I am still perplexed every time I see a smart watch enter the market. I can’t for the life of me see how so many companies seem eager to jump into what appears to be a niche market.
Is there a need for the product in the first place?
Sony, for example, is coming out with its own smart watch, saying it will be open source and that users can install custom firmware to its device. This was a surprise to me. Something has usually gone wrong if you become open source, unless a company operates with the sole purpose of creating open source products like Firefox, VLC or versions of the Linux operating system.
Think about Apple. It insists that, if I want to use its products, I can as Apple deems appropriate. However, I am willing to deal with these limits because I want to associate with the Apple brand.
Sony noted in its announcement that open-source is not new, offering up its Sony Dash (Sony’s tablet-esque alarm clock) as another example of letting users modify with custom firmware. Do you know anyone who owns a Dash? Then think about this. Sony only switched after the launch of the product failed.
Smart watches bring to mind 3D in televisions. Just because you can make that technology, should you? I can tell you one thing. You can’t if you don’t make that technology meaningful to consumers, answering the question: Why is this important?
So far, I haven’t seen anything important.