The smartwatch and wearable era is finally upon us, with great devices hitting the market. This category of gadgets has finally defined itself. What it needs now is polishing, as it seems no one can just get everything right.
What does a smartwatch need in order to keep us happy? There’s a few specs and features we would consider necessary before we can move forward. Let’s go over some of them.
Mirasol displays (or similar), please!
I don’t understand manufacturers’ obsession with LCD screens for smartwatches. It must be considered these are not your average gadgets. You don’t need to colors to be accurate and the display to be flashy. All we want is the watch to work… and to work well.
A traditional LCD display simply doesn’t cut it. These usually offer horrible visibility in direct sunlight. Not to mention, they murder battery life.
E-ink displays like the ones in the Pebble smartwatch are great. These can be lit in the dark and are perfectly visibly in direct sunlight. Battery life is also no problem – these E-ink smartwatches can last days, thanks to their display technology.
Moving forward we will still need some color, though. There’s E-ink-like screens now that offer color. The best example would be Qualcomm’s Mirasol technology. The Qualcomm Toq features this display technology and it can last nearly as much as the Pebble. And there’s no noticeable performance issues… refresh rate is great.
The most common mistake in smartwatches is that they often try to somehow replace your smartphone. This is a mistake, wearables are supposed to coexist with your smartphone.
This is why I feel like Pebble and Google have hit the gold with their implementations. Android Wear and Pebble’s OS are simple and clean. They do a great job at keeping a balance between functionality and simplicity.
Their main features include notifications and updates, but these devices can also take advantage of more complex actions (like voice actions, setting alarms, etc.). I don’t want to make calls and check Facebook with my watch, guys. That is just clutter.
Good design and quality materials
Ultimately, this is a watch. It’s an accessory you will be carrying around and showing off all day long. This is not a phone you just hide away in your pocket, so you want it to look good.
Though we love the affordability of rubber and plastic, we want something a bit stronger and more aesthetically-pleasing. Leather, metal and glass would make great materials for a smartwatch.
We love that more manufacturers are implementing more quality materials lately, so we are on the right track. Also, try to make some smaller smartwatches. Seeing people with small wrists try to wear huge smartwatches just looks ridiculous.
Though smartwatches are high-tech gadgets, they are also the succession of an older technology. They are accessories, and they should feel like such. Having to plug in your watch with a cable just seems a bit odd in the world of wristwatches.
A way to easily fix this issue would be to implement wireless charging. Even current wireless charging wearables don’t implement the technology right. I want to simply take off my watch at night and place it over a charging pad in my night stand.
That’s the way I envision the future of charging wearables. Simple and seamless.
We have been focusing on the functionality and looks so far. That is because that is what I mostly look at when shopping for a smartwatch, but we know many of you want some more out of your wearables.
Health-focused smartwatches are very popular among active users, and that is also technology these wearables can take advantage of. We have seen smartwatches feature sensors that measure heart rate, blood pressure, activity and more.
It would be nice if this technology were to come to more devices without sacrificing too much on size. We know many of you will appreciate it, and those of us who should worry more about health and fitness may benefit from the constant reminder of carrying these devices around.
Ultimately, we are not asking for much. And this is all technology current smartwatches feature. The issue is that none of them seem to have all these benefits in one package.
This is all relative and depends on priorities. Do you disagree with me on any of my preferences? Maybe you don’t mind charging your smartwatch everyday in exchange of a gorgeous LCD display, or you think more features is always better. Let us know in the comments!