Wear

CES in Review

The show when: - Blockchain, AI, VR and other buzzwords - Hey Google! - One well placed rant - The robot uprising has begun - Not all robots were feisty - Time for a new body?

Peering into a Wearable Future

For a category that has faced much skepticism, it’s hard to argue that the wearable tech category has not been a success story so far. In fact, NPD expects that total ownership of activity trackers and smartwatches among U.S. adults will stand at nearly 77 million devices by the end of 2017. However, the market is becoming increasingly complex in the face of innovation and changing consumer demands. 2018 will see even more dramatic shifts in the evolution of the wearable tech space than we have seen in the previous two years.

Blame it on the Moon

The U.S. is number four in the list of innovative countries worldwide, according to a June 2017 Business Insider article. On the surface, it's a puzzling rank. This is, after all, the country that put a man on the moon (and maybe will again soon), built the initial Internet, and is home to many of the major tech companies, such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple. And yet, Switzerland, Sweden, and the Netherlands all rank higher for innovation. Ouch.

The Smartwatch Boom is Here

For a product that was criticized by many only a short time ago, the smartwatch has regained momentum in the U.S. market. Indeed, far from being a failed product, we expect U.S. smartwatch ownership to surpass that of the cheaper and more ubiquitous activity tracker by the end of 2020.

Tale of the Phone Cutter

You’ve likely heard of cord cutting, the trend toward cancelling cable TV in lieu of streaming video or no paid TV service at all. This trend, which is becoming more mainstream, is no longer just a behavior of innovators who test the waters of new technology. In fact, it’s so pervasive that media companies such as Disney, CBS, and HBO, have or are in the process of decoupling their programming from the traditional pay-TV distribution machine, now offering streaming services that don’t require you to buy a large bundle of channels, but rather subscribe to the core content they offer.

Apple Watch Finally Broke Free with LTE

While the smartwatch is still not a mass-market device, with roughly 9.5 percent penetration among U.S. adults as of the middle of 2017, Apple has certainly been doing its part to push the category in that direction. Apple currently owns more than 50 percent of the U.S. smartwatch market and the newly announced Apple Watch Series 3 will further bolster Apple’s status as the top smartwatch maker in the industry.

Sitting Pretty in the Post-Mobile Era

If there was any doubt that we are entering the post-mobile era, this year’s CES ratified the fact. The absence of mobile integration as a core discussion, and “must show-off” checkbox, demonstrates that the ground has shifted. Where iOS and Android integrations were the must-have stamp of approval in previous years, this year the badge of honor was to show-off Alexa integration.

Chaos & Technology

As we embark on the holiday season, two distinct dynamics tend to converge: chaos; and new technology. Is your work done? Are you ready to take the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day? Have you even started your holiday shopping? As you read on, I hope you spot a gift idea for that tech-crazed special someone on your list.

Perhaps, to be Practical is Madness

We find ourselves among a new generation, one that is redefining the technology that will shape their lives. Not the often publicized Millennials, but their successors, Generation Z. While no dates squarely define their age and few characteristics evoke imagery of who they will become, one thing cannot be argued: they were born into an always-on, always-connected world.

Smartwatch Growth Takes Time

Over the past few years I’ve tried my fair share of smartwatches in various shapes and sizes, but none lasted on my wrist for more than a few days. The use case wasn’t compelling enough to justify the wrist space, particularly as each and every one of the devices felt like a compromise between tech and style. Ugly may be too strong a word, but certainly – for me at least – they did not look elegant or classy.

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