We can now add HTC to the list of megabrand hardware companies that have officially committed themselves to wearable tech. In an interview with Bloomberg published late Wednesday, HTC chairwoman Cher Wang told the news service that a wearable would be ready in time for the 2014 holiday shopping season.
And so we wearable watchers can add another major technology company to the list of brands jumping on the body-tech bandwagon.
Of course, Samsung and Sony already have their smartwatches. LG and Sony have demoed activity trackers. Google remains committed to a 2014 launch of Glass in consumer trim. Asus says, yes, a wearable is coming in June. And smaller brands like Epson and Qualcomm have thrown down as well.
So which hardware companies are remaining coy? Here's my tally.
Microsoft/Nokia: Last year I challenged Microsoft to develop a Surface Watch, but the folks in Redmond haven't yet bitten. Or, who knows, maybe they've been waiting for the Nokia acquisition to play out. Or have respectfully waited for a new CEO to bless what will surely be a flight of hardware fancy. Still, smartwatches have great potential as productivity tools, so a Surface Watch might fit very well inside Microsoft's larger "we help you get things done" vision.
Amazon: I propose Wrist Fire. Yes? No? Wouldn't it be fun to have a Mayday video conversation straight from your wrist? And what about X-Ray second-screen features directly on your smartwatch? Amazon hasn't said anything about the wearables space. But maybe it just needs to launch a smartphone first.
Lenovo: The world's largest PC company—and soon a formidable mobile hardware company, following the Motorola acquisition—remains quietly on the sidelines, watching other megabrands shoot wearables cee-lo while it waits to see the market pan out. During CES, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Nick Reynolds, Lenovo's executive director of consumer marketing, said the company is working on wearables R&D, but "ruled out" a wearables launch anytime soon.
Dell: Yep, no official word on wearables from Dell, though the company has said it's eyeing the market. But do you really want to see a smartwatch, activity tracker, or face-hugging augmented reality contraption from Dell? It's so solidly a PC company, and dabbling in wearables would just seem so... trendy. No? Tell me why I'm wrong.
Apple: Ah, Apple. The company hides state secrets better than North Korea—at least until those secrets inevitably leak. We haven't yet seen an official wearables announcement from Apple. Nor should we expect one until that communication arrives during a Tim Cook Grand Reveal. And when that happens, get ready. Angels will descend from heaven, and a new version of normal will envelop us all.
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