Hans Hansson | April 9, 2015
With the introduction of the Apple Watch, a lot of attention has all of sudden been directed to smartwatches. The reality is that smartwatches have been on the market for a few years now. Pebble, Sony, HTC and Samsung are just a few of the manufacturers of smartwatches.
What is interesting is that every feature promoted by the Apple Watch, which was just recently released, has already been available in current smartwatches from a number of different manufacturers. What has not happened previously is that now with the Apple Watch released, consumers want to actually buy and use these devices. (Maybe)
If you look around, very few people wear watches of any kind these days. I personally gave up wearing a watch over 15 years ago. The watch has not only been replaced by our cell phones but also our desktops, laptops, televisions and almost every electronic device or app available. Date and time can easily be accessible on any of these devices, and is automatically synced to your time zone so you will always know that the time is accurate.
The biggest obstacle smartwatches will need to overcome is the social behavior and coaxing society to integrate a smartwatch into our daily lives.
Last year, I purchased the first model of the Samsung smartwatch. The real reason I made this purchase was because my wife was challenging me to stay on top of technology. She felt I had fallen off my horse, as I was no longer walking around with the newest and greatest technology. When I was purchasing my new Note 3, I had asked my phone service provider what is the new cool technology that I don't have. The representative shared with me I needed to get the Samsung Gear One.
The first model of Samsung Gear One included the ability to take pictures and videos. Initially, I thought that was cool, but quickly thought it was a "little creepy." This smartwatch also had an interface to see and respond to email and instant messages, in addition to viewing my schedule and news briefs. All of which was interesting to me, but I never really intergrated it into my daily use. I wore the smartwatch, but did not ultimately rely on my watch for business.
When I switched to the Samsung Gear S, that is when the watch became something I counted on and integrated into my daily use. Today's generation of smartwatches are able to act as stand-alone phones, some equipped with its own telephone number. It allows for email be to shown on your phone as a convenient "scrolling" format that allows me to check email as often as they come in without taking my phone out of my pocket. My smartwatch is also keeping me healthy.
With the use of SHealth, I am able to track my daily steps (daily goal is 10,000 steps) and monitor my heart rate and sleep. Health tools are one of the biggest reasons Apple says we should buy the Apple Watch based upon my experience with my watch I believe that could be true.
But how can salespeople successfully use smartwatches in their daily business lives? Today salespeople are getting fewer and fewer calls in favor of emails and instant messaging. As a result, our phones are getting larger. The Samsung Note was originally looked upon as a marginal player for few users. With the addition of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on the market, devices widely known as "phablets" are now becoming mainstream, as we want to see our emails and messages on larger mobile screens.
The challenge with these large phones is that it takes time to pull these large devices out of our pockets––enter the smartwatch. We can turn our wrist and here is our new email or message. For me, that has made me far more efficient in responding to emails and messages that need my attention right away, while also not bogging myself down by reading emails that don't need my immediate attention.
Smartwatches will get better over time. The question at hand is "Will we as a society change our behavior once again to integrate a smartwatch into our lives?"
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