The Smart Way

This week (almost) every major tech company has brought their watch concept to the table. Unfortunately, every single device we've seen so far was based on the strap-a-smartphone-on-your-wrist proposition. And again, we've already discussed this, it's all wrong.

It resembles too much the pre-iPhone era, and from time to time, we should sit back and learn something from recent history. All those pre-smartphone devices tried to shrank a fully featured computer into a phone and the resulting experience was awful. There was much more to consider: screen sizes, input methods, mobility, user experience... and Apple got it right. Then it felt so obvious.

Today we are dealing with the exact same problem, but starring different characters. Every single device is trying to shrank a fully featured phone into your wrist. Even some of the functionalities these watches are inheriting might seem cool today, but... there has to be a better way.

The funniest thing is that everyone expects Apple will come with THE solution for wearables next week. Yet, no leaks, a few rumors here and there, but no one has a clue of what the hell what Tim Cook is going to show us on Tuesday.

 Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone during WWDC: those were its contenders by the time.

Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone during WWDC: those were its contenders by the time.

That's a lot of pressure on the Apple side. People count on them to show us the way to go, but they could be all wrong about it. They have been right for 3 or 4 times in a row, but this is in no proof that this time they are going to turn the market upside down again. It's highly possible that someday they will miss and get something wrong. They are humans after all.

And since I have no idea of what they are going to present, (though I believe they will go with a watch, not a smartphone-watch, but a watch form factor) I think there has to be a better way.

The issue that worries me the most is fashion. I don't see how tech and fashion collide and this leads to a happy ending. I don't see how tech companies can enter the fashion market and appeal to the masses, but neither I see the fashion business staying the same. Here's what I think might work out.

Let both worlds do what they do best. I explain: only the fashion industry has the access key to the market, people respect their designs and trust their brands, in other words, people are willing to wear them. But only technology is able to drive meaningful innovation in the industry.

Due to this market constrains some trade off will be made along the way. Maybe it starts by forging some alliances between tech and fashion companies, where one provides the platform like some set of versatile components packed with sensors and all the technology needed, and the other, just dresses the thing with its newest autumn collection.

Something like what Fitbit has done with Tory Burch, but in a greater scale. Where they just build "the thing", the technology that accomplishes all the smart-esque stuff and some well respected brand or designer puts it in an appealing envelope people is willing to wear at a party.

 Fitbit has partnered with Tory Burch to put its technology in their designs.

Fitbit has partnered with Tory Burch to put its technology in their designs.

I see how these kind of alliances could work. It's obviously more complicated than that, but the point is: let technology do the thing in the background and sync with your phone how many steps I walked today or whatever, and let fashionistas design the clothes, jewelry and accessories people is willing to wear.

I can see the race to pick your dance partner: who will get Apple on board? Or just the other way around, who is going to land Armani or Louis Vuitton? I mean... who will get the most leverage in the deal, tech or fashion? Or it could be the other way around, just the idea of building some kind of standards everybody should respect to ensure that if I like Ralph Lauren and HTC that wouldn't be a problem... That'll be awesome! But I think we've gone too far.

Well, I've made my point. I can't see how technology is going to make their way into the fashion world, but something like this, even though it sounds like SciFi now, could make sense. Eventually :)