Do You Watchphone?


According to the Register, LG Electronics is gearing up to offer a wristwatch phone at CES next week.

There are two ways to look at this announcement and I’d be really interested to hear what people think.

1. This is the first announcement of a new form factor for phones. What looks clunky today will eventually be slimmed down and integrated into a beautiful piece of jewelery. Pair this with a bluetooth headset and make it a touchscreen and you now have a personal internet device that you can wear on your wrist. First generation devices will be for the geek set that wants to play Dick Tracy but in the future there will be a wide range of styles that will redefine a new type of personal technology. Think of what G-Shock and Swatch did for the wristwatch industry.

2. Remember the calculator-watch of the 80’s? It’s now been delegated to the nerd history dump, a curio admired only by niche collectors. The same will happen with the Watchphone. Just as with that calculator on your wrist, no one wants to be caught diddling around with buttons on their wrist – the physical action of picking up a phone to make a call or browsing the web with a device you hold in your hand is too strong a social signal to overcome for a serious market to develop for these devices.

What do you think about the watchphone? The an important first in a new category or future gadget roadkill?






3 responses to “Do You Watchphone?”

  1. tjsweeney Avatar

    Perhaps #1 if the interface is voice activated or somehow multi-sensory-integrated. Perhaps #2 if it tries to be a smartphone on the wrist. I suspect it would take a number of years before reaching critical mass. Early renditions will likey end up like the calculator watch (which I used to think were groovy).

  2. Gen Kanai Avatar
    Gen Kanai

    Ain't gonna happen successfully any time soon. UI cannot be made large enough for what we need phones to do.

  3. iankennedy Avatar

    Thanks for the feedback – I would agree that it isn't going to work if you try and jam a bunch of smartphone features into the device. What about a super basic phone, voice calls only: – address book that syncs with a file you manage on your PC – touchscreen UI for dialing – lookup UI for phone numbers in the address book (making a qwerty keyboard fit will be the challenge) – scrollable call log for quick calls back – one touch access to voice mail – no onboard mic or speaker – bluetooth headsets only Thinking out loud, this wristphone could be paired with a non-connected device dedicated to browsing, photos, music, email, typing, etc. By taking out everything but a bluetooth antenna you then can make a really compact internet tablet device that could use the wristphone to access the phone network.

Leave a comment