Wearable technology has long been a part of the popular imagination. You can go back to the Jetsons and beyond, finding lots of imagined wearable technology innovations along the way. But it’s only recently that you actually start to see examples of these tiny, fashionable computers out in the wild. Sure, simple technologies like wristwatches have been part of our lives for many years. But these devices are a far cry from the wearable computers you see on the wrists and over the eyeballs of early adopters around the globe. But new innovations like these are often rife with problems. New users of the watch and glass products created by the likes of Apple and Google have often reported accuracy problems: ways in which the products don’t work as well as they should. The question is: is this improving?
In some ways, yes. Much of the accuracy problem surrounding these products is the lack of uptake from the sea of consumers we call the United States, Asia, and Europe. Even when products like these go on the market for the first time, they’re far from mature. You can think of early users as sophisticated beta testers. Because they often spend hundreds or thousands on wearables, they are very focused on these devices fulfilling their technological potential. When a consumer gets to the checkout stand at the local market and can’t pay for their order with a flip of their watch, they get ticked off. And they should! After all, hundreds of dollars spent for a core function should guarantee a result.
But without large uptake, it’s hard for companies to be able to invest in the core infrastructure concerns which make these core functionalities operational. Just imagine if instead of tens of millions of iPhones, Apple had only sold hundreds of thousands. This single product trailblazed an entire industry of consumer mobile products, and are still a vital part of the industry today. Verizon wireless promo codes might be able to score you a little in the way of coverage, but you’re still living in a technological world made possible by products innovated by just a couple of sources.
In many ways, we’re just waiting on a hit. It’s impossible for product designers to make the perfect product (especially a mobile product meant to connect us all) if there isn’t widespread uptake. Apple Watch is a flop. Google Glass has been put on the back burner. In many ways these status symbols actually make their wearers look a little out of it, a little ostentatious but not in a good way. Even so, this only means that the ultimate wearable technology product hasn’t made a hit yet, even though we may already know its name. It seems inevitable that some future piece of wearable tech will become every bit as ubiquitous as the iPhone has been during the past decade. When that happens, this will drive the industries to center their infrastructure technologies around the product itself, ensuring that it functions a lot better that some of the unpopular versions we have today.