Thursday, 7 March 2013

The future of mobile is wearable

There's been a lot written over the past few years about the future of mobile. Much of it has been accompanied by ‘Tomorrow's World’ type predictions. In the past year or so however, those predictions have started to gain real credibility. Two projects in particular have been making waves since Christmas.

Project Glass
Project Glass, something that Google gave us a view of in late 2011, has been gaining momentum; both in the rumour-stakes and seemingly in its route to commercial development. Since its first announcement, Sergey Brin has been seen out and about on the New York Subway wearing a pair. Soon after that this concept video was released outlining just what the capability of this wearable tech may be.

There has been understandable scepticism about whether the project is just a scam and if not, whether it's actually commercially viable. However, there is emergent chatter that suggests that not only are they likely to be 'relatively' affordable but that actually, they may be available within the year.

That timescale would be astonishing frankly. Whether the time frame is correct or not, the reality is, the project definitely seems to be on the way. What is certain, as Forbes points out, is that the controlled leaking is a master stroke of market pre-conditioning. What the public appetite is, is yet to be assessed properly, but some are speculating it could be something like this.

Last year Nike released the Fuel Band, a wearable interactive band that augments your exercise regime. With its rather nebulous Fuel Points system, Nike say it is able to help you monitor the level of exercise you are undertaking more efficiently and with seamless integration with your social profiles it is definitely the smartest and most human-integrated item in the emergent wrist band market.

More interestingly, it was rumoured that Sir Jonathan Ive of Apple had bought dozens of boxes of the devices to work out how he could make it better. He's already done it with the MP3 player, the smartphone and the tablet so when rumours of iWatch popped up there was understandable excitement.

The wrist seems to have been the obvious place for the phone to go, ever since David Hasselhoff started chatting to Kit. Given they appear to no longer be the darlings of the smartphone market it's probably time for Apple to zag, as the industry zigs its way through MWC 2013 and potentially launch a product later on in the year. If it happens, it would be the first significant announcement since Steve Jobs’ death and would most likely smooth the bumps in the share price that have emerged since disappointing iPhone and iPad sales in Q4 2012.

Wrist or face?
2014 could see the biggest battle fought over your face, or your wrist and ultimately maybe it’ll come down to what you’re most comfortable with, or maybe what looks cooler. At this very moment we’re going for Project Glass, but that’s probably because we know just that little bit more about it at the moment.

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