I listened to several financial analysts at lunch yesterday. It was a short break from my learning quest (IoT) and I turned on the TV while eating for company. Anyway, funny but the topic of discussion was the reality of wearables. The financial numbers for some of the wearable device companies were coming in and they were getting pounded by the market. The Apple Watch, Fitbit and Pebble were all classified as NICHE products. Much, as when the Shark Tank team didn’t see value in the Popslate product, I sat there and wondered.
When you are up to your neck in alligators it is hard to remember, your job was drain the swamp. A dear friend had that in her kitchen for years. It remains one of my favorites.
So, I wondered which one of us was up to our necks. Am I, a long-time geek, to far under water to see what is there. Or are the financial analysts, mired in the tradition of the way things are, too deep to see? It is a question that I’ve been asking myself since yesterday.
It comes down to this. Is the market evolving and changing? Analysts project roughly 12 billion (in my estimate + another 3 billion) IoT devices deployed today. Right now, connected and operating. Wearables are a market within that market.
The predominant early markets are home automation and home improvement devices and the reality of Industrial Internet of things. Make life smarter, faster and make products smarter and faster. Why are these the early leaders because frankly the most value is there today.
The Watch market fell as smart phones rose. That market (watches) stabilized with the recent releases by Apple, Fitbit and Pebble. But the market is smaller today than it was when I was first in the market for watches. I still have the first watch I ever bought. I also, thanks to my father, have my grandfather’s and great-grandfather’s pocket watches. But I suspect in the world of watches I am an outlier.
Except watches are evolving. No longer just devices to tell time. They have embraced and extended the functionality of screen as a service. The watch, smart watch as they are called, becomes a notification device. That market will continue to grow.
I mean, is there anything ruder than talking to someone and unless they are conducting at you request a map or internee search, they take their phone out while you are talking. It is simply rude. Not hah-hah you shouldn’t do that rude. I mean it is plain nasty rude behavior. What someone that isn’t here is sending me, is more important than what you, the person right there is saying. I don’t know who is sending me information or what information they are sending but it is more important than you are. Rude. Unconscionable. I stop talking when people do that, and I don’t start talking to that again. I simply turn away. If you are that rude you aren’t worth my time.
Another rude thing is talking loudly to your earpiece. It is hard to see people wearing ear pieces. So a conversation with another person, loudly via your cell and an ear piece, is disruptive.
Checking your watch while talking to me isn’t as rude as taking out your phone, but it isn’t nice. It says I don’t have the time for this conversation. During a meeting checking your watch is also rude, but again not as rude as pulling out your phone. So perhaps smart watches will allow for the lesser impact of rude behavior (I don’t have time) versus the much worse (your conversation has no value) of taking out the cellular phone.
I am really curious was the edict will become for these devices as we go forward.
An introduction becoming bumping cell phones. The business card no longer carried, as your contact information is contained in the smart phone bump.
What the analysts (financial) missed however was the reality beyond exercise. Yes, I use my iWatch and my Fitbit to keep track of my exercise. Why? Well the easy answer is it lets me set goals to reach during the day. My original Fitbit goal was average 10,000 steps a day every week. Then my goal was actually walk 10,000 steps every day. Now my goal is to walk 15,000 every day. That change is because of the wearable devices.
The good is the wearable device helps me set and reach exercise goals. The bad news is it is creating a behavior problem (check my smart phone, check my smart watch) that is getting worse. But the reality is I think he analysts are wrong. These are not Niche markets tomorrow; they are today but tomorrow I wonder if in self-defense we won’t all have smart wearable devices. Check where you are, when you are and best of all, what you did.