Wearables. Coming of Age? Not Yet.
It’s always been easy to understand the point of a wristband device. From Dick Tracy to Marty McFly, geeks have always wanted something on their wrist that could do all kinds of cool stuff.
The problem has been that technology never miniaturized enough to catch up to the promise. And so wearables have been stuck for a century in over-specialization. They could do a couple of things, at best. They could tell time. Do math. Measure your pulse.
But our expectations continue to outrun what they can do, even today, despite huge advances. I can get a wristband that measures my sleep. Wakes me. Reads my texts. Tracks my pulse. Measures my temperature. Logs my sitting and standing time. Gauges movement and converts it to calorie burn. Times runs and tracks distance. Gives directions. Plays music. Quantifies how I’m rock climbing. Alerts my family if I have a seizure. Uses my heartbeat as a digital fingerprint to unlock my devices.
But I can’t get one that does all of that. Or even most of that. Or handles those few that I care about perfectly.
Will we get there? Oh yes. Are we there yet? Nope.