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Sensors could prove the savior of smartwatches

Matt Hamblen | Sept. 6, 2013
New Galaxy Gear and Qualcomm Toq must have biometric sensors — and a lower price — to satisfy consumers, analysts say

In a research note, Gold wrote: "Smartwatches could be hugely successful if we change our expectations. We need to change the conversation and address the whole notion of wearable devices in general. We should not be looking at duplication in functions worn on another part of your body. Rather, if I look at wearable devices as part of a personal sensor network and not just a remote window to my phone, that would have far great value and one I'd be willing to pay for."

A personal sensor network could monitor a person's health while working out or the status of a person with a medical condition. The data could easily be transmitted to a doctor, Gold said. Sensors could let users see how many calories they consume or burn, and they could be used to monitor blood pressure, sugar and oxygen levels.

Also, sensors can work with GPS and other location technology to offer driving directions or even directions inside of a large building. The smartphone would remain the communications hub, Gold said.

Smartwatches are not the future, but wearable tech "could be a huge success," Gold said.

"As Apple, Samsung and others bring devices to market and support real standards for interconnection, hopefully [wearable technology] will be where they direct their investments," he added

Gold's prediction is as stark as can be: "I'd bet many upcoming smartwatches won't be around a year after they are released, while true wearables offering additional benefits will."


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