Has wearable tech had its day?


This time last year analysts were making multi-billion dollar forecasts for the developers of health trackers and smartwatches, and Apple was boldly selling a $10,000 gold edition of the Apple Watch.

But by November 2016 Smartwatch shipments declined by 51.6% year-on-year, according to a report by market analysts IDC.

Jawbone, once a popular fitness tracker brand, confirmed to TechCrunch that it is leaving the consumer market and focusing on healthcare providers.

Microsoft has removed its Fitness Band on its online store (although it is still available on retail giant Amazon) and crucially no longer provides the Band developer kits… More at The BBC.

A conundum. Part of me thinks that the future of fitness tracking is in devices that do other things such as smart watches and hybrid watches and the other part wonders if people are not seeing the benefits they expected.

Marketing is part of the problem where dreams are offered, but fitness trackers have at least made me think about how much I move during the day and how much sleep I get. I have done sod all about either, but at least I realise how unhealthy I am.


Categories: Wareable

5 replies

  1. I bought an Apple Watch perhaps two years ago. I don’t see any need to upgrade to Watch 2, and probably not Watch 3 either – it does enough of what I need.

    Could a decline in sales simply mean that those who want one, have one?

    • I was talking about fitness trackers while I guess the article was more general. I think fitness trackers could struggle whereas maybe smart watches will do ok, or die out completely. I wouldn’t upgrade from the Watch 1 either for the same reason. Then again, an iPhone 5s would do what you need as well.

      • I used my Apple Watch as an example really — I wonder how many people have a JawBone, or Misfit, or whatever it might be, and are just perfectly happy with its functionality.

        • Indeed. A difficult product to upgrade so perhaps the tech press needs to stop worrying about people always wanting something new, me included. A watch is a perfect example of that.

  2. The people I know who use fitness trackers have what they want, and until it breaks, they’re OK. The few people who got a smart watch aren’t that impressed and always have their noses in their phones anyway, so why did they even need a smart watch in the first place? People apparently aren’t upgrading their phones as much as they were before (according to an earlier article you posted), maybe technology has got us to point where we’re OK for now.

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