Smartwatches are easily the hottest new form factor in tech in the last year or so, and considering we're already on generation two (OK, maybe more like 1.5) of Android Wear hardware, you'd think smartwatches were pretty much a sure thing. Everybody's going to wear one, there's going to be a gigantic 3rd party app ecosystem, and it's going to be just like the smartphone boom years! Smartwatches will be indispensible to our daily lives.
Except, well, there are lots of good reasons to not believe that. Smartwatches have so far presented a pretty lame value proposition - doing little more than the smartphones they're connected to, while costing nearly as much (or a lot more).
Wear devices, especially, can be a tough sell. They aren't especially robust fitness trackers, the battery life isn't extraordinary, the OS itself is still pretty buggy and "beta-y," and I know I personally could not give you a single compelling use case for my Wear device that I would not be equally capable of doing on my smartphone.
Still, I've been wearing a G Watch R (admittedly, on and off) for months, and will probably wear the Urbane for a while, too. I mean, it's part of my job (I know, I have it tough over here), but if you were to ask me if I actually felt compelled to wear a smartwatch for any other reason than general curiosity? The answer is no: for me, it's still just a novelty.
What do you guys think? Are smartwatches really on the way to becoming powerful tools we'll never remember living without 5 or 10 years from now? Or are they just a high-tech fashion fad taking advantage of ever-smaller CPUs and the increasing ubiquity of wireless communications, without any real purpose?