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Plus Report - By Thomas Baekdal - April 2014

The Trends That Form Wearables

The buzz around wearables seems to be growing every day, and we are seeing more and more devices and concepts as each day goes by. The latest 'fashion' is the Moto360, which unlike all the square smartwatch examples we have seen so far is... round.

Yes, I know, it sounds crazy. Who would ever have imagined a round watch that could tell you more than just the time? What will they think of next?

But, as some would say, these smartwatches can do so much more than that. They have calendars, notifications, they can tell you what the weather is like, help you exercise. Not to mention, they are all touch based.

Well, that's true, but the Casio Databanks also had all of those features back in the 1980s, and, yes, that included touch based watch faces. For instance, the Casio Databank DB-1000, from 1984 allowed people to write letters with their fingers to look up contacts.

Sure, the technology is getting ever more sophisticated, and the features are much more advanced, but if you think about, nothing has really changed... yet.

What we are seeing today is still the very same concept that people have talked about for the past 70 years, ever since Dick Tracy started using a smartwatch in 1946.

We haven't really solved any problems yet. We haven't really identified a need. In fact, if you look at the macro trends, our world is moving away from wearables, not towards them.

So is there a future for wearables? What are the important trends? And where do we need to go from here? Well, let's explore that.

Why are people born? Why do they die? Why do they want to spend so much of the intervening time wearing digital watches? (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 1978)

Wearables are much more than smartwatches

Obviously, the concept of wearables is about much more than just a watch that has some kind of minimalistic connection to your smartphone. While that may be what most people are talking about, it's probably one of the least interesting elements of this future.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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