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A Third of Consumers Who Bought Wearable Devices Have Ditched Them

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the still-waiting-on-a-smart-cummerbund dept.

Portables 180

An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian reports on research (PDF) into the (alleged) wearable device trend: fully one third of customers who bought one stopped using it within six months. Activity trackers fared even worse: half of them are collecting dust. 'For comparison, you wouldn't find people from the early days of the smartphone saying that they'd abandoned their BlackBerry, Treo or Windows Mobile or Symbian phone. They were the early adopters, and they found utility in having email and (sometimes) web pages on the move. The idea of giving them up just wouldn't occur to them. ... So far, there aren't clear signs of quite what it is that smartwatches and fitness trackers are replacing, in the way that [early] music players did. Useful new technology has to replace or simplify some function, ideally; otherwise it has the challenge of persuading us that we need this entirely new thing. Smartphones are simpler ways to collect your email – and also make phone calls and surf the web (and so on). Fitness trackers... let you track your fitness. But given that 41% of people run with their smartphones, you might get by with a movement tracking app instead. The trouble with devices that claim to track your steps is they're so easily hoaxed by waving your arms around.'"

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Gimmicks gonna gimmick. (4, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 8 months ago | (#46637955)

Same as my experience with Wii owners, or other fads, like slap bracelets.

Re:Gimmicks gonna gimmick. (3, Interesting)

sh00z (206503) | about 8 months ago | (#46638077)

Maybe they learned what they wanted to learn, and didn't "need" (in the first-world sense) the device any longer. I put a power meter on my bicycle. After about a year of riding and reading it, I could estimate from my perceived exertion just about what my power output was, so I removed the device.

Re:Gimmicks gonna gimmick. (3, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 8 months ago | (#46638125)

My kid still plays the Wii every weekend and it's actually one of the activities they do in his school for gym when it's raining out. My sister-in-law who's in a nursing home uses one as part of her physical therapy. Fad it is not.

Re:Gimmicks gonna gimmick. (1)

N1AK (864906) | about 8 months ago | (#46638151)

Fad doesn't mean that it ceases to exist entirely after the fad ends it means something that goes through a generally short period of intent interest before largely disappearing. That is certainly the case with the Wii which had huge sales initially, and was seen as the future of console gaming, but within half a console generation that view had evaporated.

Re:Gimmicks gonna gimmick. (3, Informative)

Thruen (753567) | about 8 months ago | (#46638393)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/er... [forbes.com]

Sorry. I kind of wish it was just a trend too, but the fact is, the Wii is still very popular with a lot of people. It seems like a joke to a lot of more "hardcore" gamers, but it's still dominant in a market that was largely ignored before: casuals. I don't play Wii much anymore, especially since I picked up a PS4, but when I do it's because my girlfriend still enjoys it more than any other platform we've tried, and we try every game we can to see if she's interested.

Is it the future of console gaming? No. But for a lot of people it's all they'll ever need for a price they can easily afford.

Re:Gimmicks gonna gimmick. (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 8 months ago | (#46638801)

Is everyone else missing the point that 2/3 of buyers of wearable devices are still using them after six months?

You and I can protest all day that these things seem stupid to us, but like the Wii, describing them as a "fad" seems way off.

Re:Gimmicks gonna gimmick. (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | about 8 months ago | (#46638381)

They play the Wii in gym just because it's raining out? What they hell happen to the classic past times where children learn to endure pain like dodgeball, floor hocky, or my personal favorite, those finger crushing scooters!

The second coming of tech-crash (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 8 months ago | (#46638149)

The first time the tech bubble bust was during the dot-com bust, back in the late 1990's.

And I am looking at the second wave coming, and this time, it will be worse, much worse.

I started my tech companies in the 1980's and sold most of them before the tech bust of the late 1990's, and I sold them for *HUGE* profits.

Since the mid 1990's I have been an investor, investing in many start-up companies, more or less related to technology.

Throughout these years, especially since 2010, I am seeing the building of another bubble.

It used to be that the technology evolved around PC / Mac. With the desktop (and later laptop) having powerful processors, many tasks that were done in the big irons were transferred to the PC platform.

And with this move, many *MORE* creative endeavors happened, prolonging and enlarging the user base of the PC.

Nowadays PC are in decline. Everyone and their great great grannies are running around with smartphones / tablets, and tech companies, with most of their executives being morons, took the easy path ---

"Hey, everything is shrinking, from PC to Tablets to Smartphone, so why don't we shrink it *SOMEMORE* and make them "WEARABLES" ?"

Yeah, right !

Mr. Steve Jobs is dead. There can only be one Steve Jobs - and without Steve Jobs, the tech scene is running around as if its a headless chicken.

The "wearables" are *NOT* going to be a boom, simply because we are *NOT* robots.

We are *HUMANS* and we do not *NEED* wearables which interrupts with our daily-lives with useless information (such as emails, phone calls, and so on)

Do you know why we use the phone for phone call ?

Because when we, as humans, decide that we do NOT want to be interrupted by phone calls we put the phone aside.

With wearables, you can't.

It *WILL* keep on disturbing you.

Do I hear "shut it down", or "keep it silent mode" ?

Yeah, right.

Just because you do not want to be disturbed, you need to *DISTURB YOURSELF GOING THROUGH THE MOTION OF SHUTTING DOWN THE WEARABLES*

I guess that makes a ton of FUCKING SENSE to those moronic tech execs.

Mark my word, second tech-crash is coming.

Re:The second coming of tech-crash (4, Insightful)

nucrash (549705) | about 8 months ago | (#46638531)

The iWatch will be the precedent to decide if Apple is Apple without Steve Jobs. There are many factors to what Steve did which made their products something to be a part of a person's environment. Wearables have to provide a service that people really want. While the submitter and the article mentions about how 50% of the wearable market is sitting on the shelf, people should take note of every other market before Apple entered it.

Anyone remember the Tablet PC in 2003? That thing was a giant pile of steaming crap that people bought into, but barely used.

Smartphones were alright, but passable. I didn't see much of the advantage and waited until the technology matured. Microsoft nearly killed it, Blackberry saved it, and Apple allowed it to flourish.

Anyone remember the first MP3 players? I had one. They were terrible. I didn't see the point of having a 64MB device that was a nightmare to use. Apple introduced the iPod and everyone else followed suit.

People can trash wearable tech all they want, but I am not going to write it off until Apple fails at it. This will prove that the magic of Apple is truly gone, or ... there really is no point to wearable technology.

From what I see of the leaks though, Apple is doing what they do best so far. They are making the technology simple, small, unobtrusive to one's lifestyle. My iPhone to me is the same way. I don't have the device latched to me in such a way that it feels like an anchor. It's either there or not, but if it's around, I want to use it. Some of the wearable tech that I have seen so far appears to be large, clunky, has a terrible battery life and while might have a lot of functionality, requires too much effort to get anything useful out of.

Re:The second coming of tech-crash (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 8 months ago | (#46638613)

The iWatch will be the precedent to decide if Apple is Apple without Steve Jobs.

And of course one of the possibilities is that Apple will chose not to do a watch. Apple is known to reject many more ideas than actually turn into products.

I wish people would stop talking about a rumour as if it were an actual product.

Mug the white dude??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46637957)

Because nothing says "mug me" like wearing an smartwatch in the inner cities of America. It's for the best. Keep a low profile, hide your shit, and most importantly, don't wipe out the smartphone on the subway or bus.

Or better yet, don't live in the fucking hood!

Wearable device feasibility (4, Interesting)

FunkyLich (2533348) | about 8 months ago | (#46637961)

Wearable devices will not be massively popular unless they will be as simple to use as headphones. Plug and it works and you don't need to think anymore about them.
There are many people I know who dislike bluetooth headphones just because after a while they get tired from sychronising them with the device, finding the proper frequency, there is noise and interference and whatever have you. Or they need something for a special purpose, such as to cheat at an exam hearing through a tiny invisible earplug deep in your ear what someone else at the next room is reading. But for normal people and normal life, either wearable devices will be as simple as switching on the TV, either the producers should really think targeting not "all the people there is" but selected target groups and usage specific audiences.

Annoying cable wrangling (3, Interesting)

sjbe (173966) | about 8 months ago | (#46638025)

Wearable devices will not be massively popular unless they will be as simple to use as headphones.

Maybe you are different but I don't carry headphones either and frankly I think headphones are a huge PITA. Headphones require all kinds of annoying cable wrangling or if wireless all kinds of unreliable setups that you are constantly dicking around with. Useful? Yes. Simple? Not so much.

I carry precisely 3 items 99% of the time - phone, wallet and keys - and I'd do away with any of them if I had a reasonable way to do so. I don't mind carrying a fitness tracker if I'm actually doing exercise but otherwise the phone should serve that purpose. I don't want to wear a special purpose device unless I'm doing something rather specific. I don't wear a watch except on rare occasions because they serve little purpose these days (clocks are everywhere) and are annoying to wear if you don't have to.

Re:Annoying cable wrangling (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 months ago | (#46638231)

I guess it depends on how you travel. If you travel mostly by car, there is little reason to have headphones most of the time, because you can't use them anyway. If you usually travel by public transit, having headphones is almost a necessity. Then again, I'll see people just sit there and do nothing for the entire transit trip. Perhaps they are thinking, but probably not, because they look bored out of their skull. I don't know why everyone isn't doing something on public transit now, be it reading, listening to music/podcasts/radio, or even watching videos. Sitting there, doing nothing, just seems like such a waste of time.

Re:Annoying cable wrangling (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 8 months ago | (#46638461)

If you usually travel by public transit, having headphones is almost a necessity.

Different strokes for different folks. I strongly disagree that it is anything resembling a necessity. Preference for many I'll concede but there is no requirement to be listening to something on headphones merely because you are traveling somewhere on public transit.

Sitting there, doing nothing, just seems like such a waste of time.

Personally I prefer to be aware of what's going on around me. I also use travel time to think about things I might not have time for otherwise. Sure, sometime its boring but I have plenty of ways of solving that that don't involve headphones. Plus I find headphones rather uncomfortable in fairly short order and have little interest in using them any more than absolutely necessary. (yes I've tried a lot of pairs and no I don't like any of them)

Re:Annoying cable wrangling (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 8 months ago | (#46638659)

If you usually travel by public transit, having headphones is almost a necessity. Then again, I'll see people just sit there and do nothing for the entire transit trip.

I find music pumped directly into my head stops me thinking. I'd far rather think.

Re:Annoying cable wrangling (1)

drummerboybac (1003077) | about 8 months ago | (#46638967)

What about audiobooks or podcasts? Better than a book if you get motion-sick

Re:Annoying cable wrangling (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 8 months ago | (#46638327)

I was the same until I found the right pair of headphones. Using an older version of the Walkman Z-series now - no cables other than a behind-the-neck, no plugs other than a tiny micro USB port. Other companies besides Sony make 'em now as well. MP3 player built in. They're perfect for what they were made for (podcasts) and eliminate the need to lug around separate headphones and an external music player. Love em to bits.

Re:Annoying cable wrangling (3, Informative)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 8 months ago | (#46638523)

Wearable devices will not be massively popular unless they will be as simple to use as headphones.

Maybe you are different but I don't carry headphones either and frankly I think headphones are a huge PITA. Headphones require all kinds of annoying cable wrangling or if wireless all kinds of unreliable setups that you are constantly dicking around with. Useful? Yes. Simple? Not so much.

I carry precisely 3 items 99% of the time - phone, wallet and keys - and I'd do away with any of them if I had a reasonable way to do so. I don't mind carrying a fitness tracker if I'm actually doing exercise but otherwise the phone should serve that purpose. I don't want to wear a special purpose device unless I'm doing something rather specific. I don't wear a watch except on rare occasions because they serve little purpose these days (clocks are everywhere) and are annoying to wear if you don't have to.

Generally I agree with you and I can see your point with corded headphones but cordless (Bluetooth) ones work fine for me. I used to go through a ton of corded headphones. Usually they'd wear out due to metal fatigue just above the plug to save money. For years I used to shorten the chord and solder it back to the plug like a true penny pinching geek. Then I finally gave up and spent an obscene amount of money on a set of Sennheiser MM 550-X Bluetooth headphones. So far they have, well .... just worked. I also have a couple of sets of Sennheiser MM200 earplugs phones, also Bluetooth. Same story here, they just work. The first set finally wore out after three years of daily use so I bought a second one on sale since this model is out of production now. The only complaint I have so far is that the audio quality suffers a bit because of the Bluetooth link but not so much that I'd forgo the comfort of being wireless.

Speaking of special purpose devices, what I'd really like for safety reasons is a __proper__ HUD for my car. There are after market ones but most of the suck, a HUD should be standard equipment in every car.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (2)

sribe (304414) | about 8 months ago | (#46638059)

Well, there's that. And they also have to provide some functionality that users actually want. Before the iPhone, I could imagine wanting a pocket-sized device with a decent address book synced to my computer, and full web access, and nice apps. (Note, I am certainly not claiming that I anticipated the actual design, just that I could imagine wanting those particular functions in my pocket.) I cannot imagine anything that I really want a smart watch to do.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638155)

From what I can filter from the OH SHINY CROWD the smart watches are only useful if pulling your phone out to check your lock screen notifications is too hard.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (1)

N1AK (864906) | about 8 months ago | (#46638167)

I don't wear a watch and as I wear glasses I'd much prefer an enhanced pair of glasses over an additional wearable device. A watch doesn't provide a good input interface and it doesn't provide that much in terms of output to make wearing an additional device worthwhile over pulling a phone out of your pocket.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (-1, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | about 8 months ago | (#46638263)

Google Glass is your answer, sadly low IQ people are against people having them and make fun of people that use them. So you will haveto deal with a social stigma if you used a pair of them.

Kind of like how the morons of the Renaissance would throw rocks at and try to imprison people that dared to say the earth was not the center of the universe.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#46638355)

If Google want Glass to be well-adopted they can simply drop the camera; the camera is not all that useful in smartwatch-type applications, and is worthless as an AR device given that the display is tiny and off in the corner of your vision.

Unfortunately Google think that they can just brow-beat and market their way around an engineering and design problem in this instance.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (2)

sidnelson13 (1309391) | about 8 months ago | (#46638549)

Except that, for Glass, it makes all the sense having a Camera. Being able to capture what you see (be it for fun, security, or even mischievous purposes) makes a whole lot of difference.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 8 months ago | (#46638927)

The camera could be a small removable module

Re:Wearable device feasibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638591)

If Google want Glass to be well-adopted they can simply drop the camera; the camera is not all that useful in smartwatch-type applications, and is worthless as an AR device given that the display is tiny and off in the corner of your vision.

Unfortunately Google think that they can just brow-beat and market their way around an engineering and design problem in this instance.

Exactly: if it didn't have a camera then much of the glasshole backlash would never have started in the first place.

Screw email updates in the corner of my eye, offer me a pair of ray-bans that grant me Terminator vision across my entire field of view and you'll have my attention.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (1)

kyrsjo (2420192) | about 8 months ago | (#46638625)

Yeah, I agree. Skipping the camera could make it lighter and remove most of the stigma - I for one would consider getting a google-glass like device which is display-only (and integrated/clip on to my prescription glasses). I honestly don't see any use for a tiny crappy camera attached to my glasses.

If I want to take pictures, I can use the cell phone in my pocket OR a real camera. Actually, many new system cameras have integration with smart phones, meaning that you can see the viewfinder, control exposure/focus/etc., and release the shutter using your Android/iPhone over WiFi. Something like *that* would be cool to have integrated with GG - use the controls on the camera, but have the viewfinder attached to your glasses.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 8 months ago | (#46638751)

Unfortunately Google think that they can just brow-beat and market their way around an engineering and design problem in this instance.

I'm not so sure. Glass seems to be taking an awful long time to come to market. They seem to be aware most people want nothing to do with it. I can see it being dropped even before it's publicly released.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638371)

Yes, it's exactly like that. You poor delusional child. You're Galileo for wearing a camera.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (5, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 8 months ago | (#46638721)

The kind of person that thinks wearing some electronic spectacles is equivalent to being Copernicus is indeed a Glasshole.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638987)

Says the low IQ crowd... You must be their Leader?

Space constraints (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 8 months ago | (#46638173)

I cannot imagine anything that I really want a smart watch to do.

Exactly. I don't carry a watch except rarely because it is A) redundant (my phone tells me the time), B) annoying to wear, and C) has limited functionality. The only time I really can imaging carrying a watch is for some specific task where I need certain data or sensors but weight or bulk is an issue. For instance when I'm jogging or doing some other athletic activity where a smartphone is too bulky to carry.

Re:Space constraints (2)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 8 months ago | (#46638397)

Yeah, that's the thing. I could see wearing a fitness tracker...when I'm exercising. But not all day. It's just going to tell me that I sit at a desk.

Also, I do wear a watch, partly to tell time, but also as jewelry. It's the only jewelry a guy can really wear. I have a moderately expensive Ebel. It looks great, I get compliments on it, and I like looking at it and all shiny and everything. If I were to wear a smartwatch, it would have to look about as good as my Ebel, and I don't see that happening.

Glasses, on the other hand...I wear glasses, and as soon as a production, quality Google Glass-type product is available, I'll snatch one of those up. Motherfuckin cyborg, yo.

Re:Space constraints (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 8 months ago | (#46638797)

As you get older your priorities may well change. Playing at being a cyborg might become less interesting, and the reality of not being immortal, and possible chronic health conditions may make health monitoring products more attractive.

There are many sorts of people that make a market, and we all change what sort of people we are as we age.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638245)

Sadly none of that existed before smartphones... If I invented one back them I would have called it the Palm Pilot, and it would have been wildly successful.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638103)

Your thought about selected target groups is right - give a wearable device a purpose that is not easily replicated by a smart phone - say a genuine exercise watch like a Garmin Forerunner 910 - and you have something that gets used. A lot. And a group wants it. And buys it.

See, even the best apps simply cant do what the current crop of exerise wearables can do and nor can they drill down and give you the wealth of information. A Garmin 510 for cycling is soooooo god damn better than ANY smartphone and when uploaded to say Strava give such an amazing wealth of information. You have one device that covers half a dozen apps and simply does it better. So many people are switching to Garmins or similar for their fitness that is quite clear Garmin and the like have found a good wearables niche to exploit.

Google Glass is a heap of utter shit. However as a cyclist I'm rather expecting Garmin to produce their version and have a HUD option for their other sports devices. Annnnd..... I'd buy that in a heartbeat. A HUD displaying eveything a 510 does or more? Live power graphs in your face? Speed, cadence? An 810's ability to give directions live, displayed on screen? Now THIS is a market waiting to be exploited.

So.... wearables that mimic a smartphone? DOA. Wearables from Garmin? Oh. Hell. YES. Garmin and co have got the whole wearables thing worked out and that's your future of them.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 8 months ago | (#46638275)

There are many people I know who dislike bluetooth headphones just because after a while they get tired from sychronising them with the device, finding the proper frequency, there is noise and interference and whatever have you.

What bluetooth headphones are these people using? I've only had to pair mine once with each device I use it with, and never had to mess with changing frequencies. I have to charge it once a week for like 2 hours, but that's a fair trade-off for not having a wire attached.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (2)

gigne (990887) | about 8 months ago | (#46638301)

Agreed. Simple wins. I have really thought that my Pebble would get forgotton as time went on, but I find it so easy and so convenient that I really miss it. The Pebble (unlike the gear) is simple, sleek and performs one function well. You barely even have to charge the thing.
In a world where a clock on the wall is increasingly rare, having the time on your wrist is massively useful. Not everyone wants to drag a smartphone out just to tell the time.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (1)

kyrsjo (2420192) | about 8 months ago | (#46638735)

Clocks on the wall are maybe rarer, but tons of other devices shows a clock on their displays, which perform much of the same function.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (1)

invid (163714) | about 8 months ago | (#46638313)

I wear glasses, and if they suddenly had a HUD that was smart enough to keep out of my direct line of sight unless I wanted it, and if they had a camera and could understand some basic hand gestures from me, and make a virtual keyboard if necessary, and if they had headphones integrated into the part that rested on my ears, and if they were a smart phone and GPS and video camera and web browser, and if they didn't cost more than your average smart phone, and if they looked like normal glasses, I would be ok with that.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (1)

invid (163714) | about 8 months ago | (#46638341)

Oh yeah, and understand natural language commands and stream ultra high-def video.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 8 months ago | (#46638415)

That sounds like an amazing product. Once Google Glass can do that, I'll buy one.

Re:Wearable device feasibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638353)

I agree about the simplicity aspect. For example, I'm a runner and I own a GPS watch to track my milage. Its a pain in the ass...For one, the charge only lasts for about 8 hours when GPS is on and only 3 weeks even if you never turn on GPS. I can't even get a week out of a charge! Additionally, its a mess to get data from it via bluetooth or USB, the interface is slow (for example, when viewing the history)and clunky, and it takes 1-3 minutes to "sync" when I turn on the GPS reciever. Now that I joined the smartphone club, I can get all the same functionality out of my phone (which I carry while running anyway!) so why would I want this device?

Split the difference (1)

drummerboybac (1003077) | about 8 months ago | (#46638989)

Or, you could use a pebble that syncs to your smartphone app, which gives you the benefit of not trying to awkwardly look at your arm or try to pull a smartphone out while running.

Obviously a working model for some companies (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#46637989)

There is a segment of the population who will always covet the newest, latest, greatest, but fads are as quick to wane as the companies are to make your prize obsolete with a new model.

Re:Obviously a working model for some companies (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 8 months ago | (#46638011)

You've got remember most of these people still think the digital watch is a pretty neat idea :D

Re:Obviously a working model for some companies (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#46638145)

You've got remember most of these people still think the digital watch is a pretty neat idea :D

There was a niche market for even that.

We were required to pass a basic skills assessment test to advance a grade in school that included telling the time by the hands of the clock.

I don't recall what grade it was, but one year there was a plausibly dyslexic chap who was rescued on the third makeup test by borrowing his grandfathers Pulsar.

Re:Obviously a working model for some companies (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 8 months ago | (#46638199)

A watch is a nice example of a wearable device. And today even more so than back when those lines were written, watches are worn as an accessory rather than for their function. In that light, it surprises me that most of the currently available "smart" watches are ugly as sin.

Re:Obviously a working model for some companies (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | about 8 months ago | (#46638871)

Just keep banging the rocks together, guys.

Re:Obviously a working model for some companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638133)

That segment of the population is much smaller since Steve Jobs died.

Yea, but... (2)

fullback (968784) | about 8 months ago | (#46637997)

wearable devices are a hit compared to the rate of married couples who stay together. Does that mean marriage is a fad?

Re:Yea, but... (3, Funny)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 months ago | (#46638083)

Most people don't quit marriage altogether, they just move onto a new model.

I can wear my phone just fine, in a pocket (4, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 8 months ago | (#46638009)

Pants have pockets. Phones fit in pockets. Problem solved. And I know that women tend to not use pockets - I cannot understand why - but they have purses and handbags that are specially designed to hold many things including a phone. Either way, the problem that a wearable smart gadget tries to solve is not a problem in the first place.

Also, I don't have to track my fitness, because I am usually there myself to observe my fitness with my own eyes.

Women's clothing (3, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | about 8 months ago | (#46638071)

And I know that women tend to not use pockets - I cannot understand why

Because a lot of women's clothing tends not to have pockets. Can't use it if you can't buy it. Furthermore there are aesthetic reasons why they tend not to use pockets. Women have a different set of social pressures for appearance than men do.

Re:Women's clothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638113)

Maybe if women didn't bend to those social pressures they'd no be pressures anymore.
 
Peer pressure is a lame excuse for anyone over the age of 8.

Re:Women's clothing (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 8 months ago | (#46638257)

Maybe if women didn't bend to those social pressures they'd no be pressures anymore

Grow up. Social pressures always exist and they aren't always bad things. You probably put on pants today and social pressure was a component of that action. Are you going to argue that you shouldn't bend to that social pressure anymore?

Peer pressure is a lame excuse for anyone over the age of 8.

Really? You do whatever you want regardless of the social consequences? (If you answer yes to that then you are either in jail or a liar)

Re:Women's clothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638449)

Maybe if women didn't bend to those social pressures they'd no be pressures anymore

Grow up. Social pressures always exist and they aren't always bad things. You probably put on pants today and social pressure was a component of that action. Are you going to argue that you shouldn't bend to that social pressure anymore?

Peer pressure is a lame excuse for anyone over the age of 8.

Really? You do whatever you want regardless of the social consequences? (If you answer yes to that then you are either in jail or a liar)

There's a difference between social pressures and legal pressures. Public decency laws are not a social pressure. That slanderous bitch down the hall is a social pressure. Do you understand the difference yet? Commonly held social preferences can become legal pressures, but even those are far less restrictive than the gossips and other filth that abuse people for fun.

Re:Women's clothing (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 8 months ago | (#46638579)

Public decency laws are not a social pressure.

They most certainly are a social pressure. Why do you think we have such laws in the first place? It's a social pressure codified into law. There is no functional reason to require people to be dressed in public and yet we insist that they are. Why? Social pressure.

That slanderous bitch down the hall is a social pressure.

I sense you have issues you need to work out...

Re:Women's clothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638529)

Grow up.
 
Thanks for announcing you're an asshat.
 
  Social pressures always exist and they aren't always bad things.
 
Not having pockets for the sake of fashion is benefiting society on what level exactly?
 
  You probably put on pants today and social pressure was a component of that action. Are you going to argue that you shouldn't bend to that social pressure anymore?
 
I wear pants even when I don't need to. There's a large difference between social pressures and publicly accepted standards of decency. We actually have laws based on this. I'd expect your average Slashdotter to understand this.
 
  Really? You do whatever you want regardless of the social consequences? (If you answer yes to that then you are either in jail or a liar)
 
Obeying the law and peer pressures are really two different things. Thanks for showing that you have no concept of how society works.
 
There are arguments that could have been made against not bowing to peer pressure that I would have given a bit of credit to but you've just chosen to be an obtuse extremist who thinks they're insightful.
 
Major fail on your part.

Re:Women's clothing (2)

bws111 (1216812) | about 8 months ago | (#46638979)

Sorry, but you seem to be the one with no idea how society works. Suppose you work in an office, and there is a girl there, always dressed nicely, who you would like to date. You ask her out, and she says yes. You make reservations at a nice restaurant. Are you going to dress nicely for your date, or are you going to wear an old tee shirt and worn out jeans? Gasp! You have just caved in to societal pressure!

Womens clothes don't have pockets because most people do not consider it attractive for a woman to have bulges of keys, phone, wallet, etc in their clothes, and most women want to appear attractive. Any woman can, of course, have pockets but nobody is required to find that attractive. Therefore, some woman deciding 'I care more about having pockets than appearing attractive' is not magically going to make the rest of society find it attractive.

Re:Women's clothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638293)

Lame excuse maybe. It doesn't stop it being true.

Re:Women's clothing (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 8 months ago | (#46638337)

The aesthetic reasons are stupid. Many pairs of women's pants have FAKE pockets. They look like pockets, but they are sewn shut. Dumbest thing ever.

Re:Women's clothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638491)

Because if you put anything in them it would either be uncomfortable or look bad. Simple as that. Sure, all women should go around in cargo shorts, but for some reason they don't. It's really baffling.

Re:Women's clothing (1)

kyrsjo (2420192) | about 8 months ago | (#46638781)

But they do often carry a (sometimes huge) bag.

Re:Women's clothing (2)

sjbe (173966) | about 8 months ago | (#46638561)

The aesthetic reasons are stupid.

I'm just guessing here that you don't date a lot. Aesthetics matter whether we like it or not. Looking nice sometimes doesn't involved practicality for better or worse. I'm not exactly the most fashion forward guy myself but I understand that sometimes how I look is important. People care about how others look and no that isn't always stupid. It's only stupid when one makes harmful decisions based on aesthetics when the important information is not aesthetic. Dressing nicely isn't just for your benefit. If you come to work looking sloppy and like someone who doesn't care then that says something about you to others. If you are trying to attract a romantic partner, how you look tends to matter. You think all the shaving and bathing and other primping both men and women (especially women) do is purely for practical reasons?

Re:Women's clothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638667)

The crux of the problem is that in the end aesthetics are luxuries. Luxuries can be useful, but there's a difference between being functional and optimal. If we put more emphasis on being functional rather than optimal, perhaps adaptation would be an option.

Re:I can wear my phone just fine, in a pocket (1)

tist (1086039) | about 8 months ago | (#46638121)

Indeed. I have yet to see why I need any of these devices on my person. In fact, I get by with very few "apps" and use my phone mostly for "calls" (for those of you who don't remember those, it's when you pick a name form a list and then talk to the person rather than typing a message to them) - very fast, interactive, and simple to use.

Re:I can wear my phone just fine, in a pocket (2)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 8 months ago | (#46638161)

Suit pants don't have the right shape if you stuff things like a phone in the pockets. The interior of the suit jacket is already occupied by the wallet.

I would like to have a way to carry my phone when I'm wearing a suit, better than attached to the belt. A "watch" might be the solution but the existing solutions are not good enough to replace a smartphone.

i like my wearable device dumb watch (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 8 months ago | (#46638017)

it takes a licking, and......

Don't wear a watch either. (1)

Tz Terri (2842239) | about 8 months ago | (#46638053)

In other news I stopped wearing a watch back in the eighties when my beeper stated telling the time. My iPhone 5s has a motion sensor so no need to wear anything for use with FitBit and fits nicely in my pocket. Plus I use an iPhone wallet case so often I don't even carry a purse when shopping. Last time I want is even more crap to carry.

Re:Don't wear a watch either. (2)

jittles (1613415) | about 8 months ago | (#46638309)

In other news I stopped wearing a watch back in the eighties when my beeper stated telling the time. My iPhone 5s has a motion sensor so no need to wear anything for use with FitBit and fits nicely in my pocket. Plus I use an iPhone wallet case so often I don't even carry a purse when shopping. Last time I want is even more crap to carry.

I love a good watch. They are stylish and much more convenient to use rather than having to reach into my pocket to check the time. This is especially true when I am trying to be discreet during a meeting, date, or while listening to a coworker's inane babbling. There are times when I cannot wear a watch, though, and I am happy that I have my phone as a fallback.

Re:Don't wear a watch either. (1)

Tz Terri (2842239) | about 8 months ago | (#46638409)

Guess I should have mentioned that I often do wear a bluetooth headset, like when I'm driving. Also wear earbuds when working out or biking or working in the yard or doing housework. In both cases I ask Siri what time it is and she tells me without having to take my phone out.

Can we do the next story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638069)

on how many 3D printers are gathering dust in people's homes?

They don't do anything important (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 8 months ago | (#46638081)

The reason they don't take of is because they are niche. Fitbits only track fitness info. They don't do anything else. As much as we like to believe fitness is a necessity, it's not the #1 priority in most peoples lives so they are easy to forget to wear, and once you forget them for a day or two, you've lost the momentum and it's actually harder to get yourself to start caring again. Similar thing with the smart watch -- it can do a couple of things, but it's not really any more convenient for those things than the smartphone that you still have to have in your pocket anyway, and it can't do any of the other cool stuff the smartphone does. It doesn't have a chance until it can completely replace the smartphone, and even then it isn't a sure thing.

Re:They don't do anything important (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 8 months ago | (#46638087)

The reason they don't take off is because they are niche.

My proof-reader is fired.

Re:They don't do anything important (1)

jittles (1613415) | about 8 months ago | (#46638329)

The reason they don't take off is because they are niche.

My proof-reader is fired.

What sort of severance package do I get?

Re:They don't do anything important (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 8 months ago | (#46638375)

They're also really bad at what they claim to do. They don't work any better than pedometers. They claim to "capture any movement you do" but they are notoriously bad at picking up stationary exercise on equipment. I am probably going to cancel mine because it can't tell that I'm jogging on a treadmill. Oh sure, it picks up jogging on the road just fine, but it thinks that I am just jumping slightly in place when I walk or job on a treadmill.

Summary (1)

jaseuk (217780) | about 8 months ago | (#46638089)

I've got drawers full of returned windows mobiles and early smartphones. Blackberries and iPhones were of course very different, but early smart phone sales definitely were returned or misused a lot. I can see wearable being exactly the same way!

Jason

Re:Summary (1)

N1AK (864906) | about 8 months ago | (#46638191)

This is a fair point. Blackberry's were not the first smartphones, there was an extensive period of clunky win phone devices etc before this that were much harder to use and less convenient. I'm not sure that smart watches will follow the same path but it's pointless using smartphones as evidence they will fail.

Wearable Computing Is Not Safe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638095)

I had too many accidents while wearing my Oculus Rift headset. Hard to drive, hard to walk, hard to even type. I had to get rid of it.

Re:Wearable Computing Is Not Safe! (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 8 months ago | (#46638451)

Just make it display Google Street View imagery based on your orientation and GPS coordinates.

Maybe the real problem with wearable devices is (2)

korbulon (2792438) | about 8 months ago | (#46638135)

They're wearing them in the wrong place.

Interesting! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638137)

But given that 41% of people run with their smartphones

I did not know that there 41% percent of people run with their smartphones! I always thought it was round about 39.8571234124%. Must have been wrong there.

But seriously: is there any source for this claim?
I would not want to run with a big clunky phone.

My Wearable Device Ditched Me (1)

Vic Metcalfe (355) | about 8 months ago | (#46638159)

I really liked my fitbit, but it somehow came off while I was camping and I never bothered replacing it.

Now I just use Endomondo to track activities I'm really interested in tracking from my phone. I'm very interested in the newer more energy efficient technologies being introduced to phones for tracking activity since I've almost always got mine on me anyway.

Not useful enough yet (1)

slfnflctd (1050758) | about 8 months ago | (#46638169)

These things are a joke. Their shortcomings are much like those of consumer robotics-- not enough sensors, not enough automation, dumb software and finicky interfaces. Until I can slap one on my body with minimal to no manual configuration and get accurate, reliable data complemented by accurate, reliable, non-obvious analysis (plus an easy way to get it all in tabular form for my own uses), all they do is add hassle to my life with insufficient justification.

Fitness trackers almost useless unless ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638243)

they are paired with a heart rate monitor. In the gym, there are so many exercises that your basic fitness tracker just doesn't grok. Rowing, weight lifting, biking - any thing where your arms aren't moving in a pattern that can be linked to stride.

However, if you have a fitness band that can pair with a heart rate monitor, they are actually pretty convenient. Small, unobtrusive and, depending on brand, waterproof and nearly indestructible.

Citationless assertion (1)

aywwts4 (610966) | about 8 months ago | (#46638267)

"You wouldn't find people from the early days of the smartphone saying that they'd abandoned their BlackBerry, Treo or Windows Mobile or Symbian phone."

I absolutely abandoned my early Palm, I could only afford it because the guy was selling it for a loss after he too abandoned it, it ran through batteries like crazy, had limited utility, and frankly a paper notepad was vastly more useful than "Graffiti" It's a very strange assertion because we don't have the metrics of these early devices, they weren't connected like today, again a testament to their limited utility.

I admit after I tasted early android I never looked back, but today's era of wearable tech is much more comparable to 2002's Treo, sitting in a desk somewhere, likely discharged, clunky input, poor display, lacking utility, and shown to people as a novelty. Give it a few years and a few false starts before we claim it "dead".

Re:Citationless assertion (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#46638331)

At least with your Palm you understood that you wanted something like that, but better. I don't think there's too many people who feel the same way about smartwatches that aren't the Pebble.

Please tell me tablets are going away too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638271)

My iPad is gathering dust on a shelf somewhere (I don't know exactly where). In the list of "useless crap I have purchased," it's in the top 50 items along with my pasta maker and those things you strap to the bottom of your shoes to aerate your lawn. I know I'm not the only one. Practically everybody I know with a tablet has said basically the same thing: they're convenient, but not convenient enough to lug around all the time.

2 out of 3 (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 8 months ago | (#46638401)

Wearable tech died because people realized 2x the batteries to worry about and needless cost doesn't justify a bulky and annoying device attached to you with very little benefit. Netbooks died when people realized you can't type on them very well and can't see the screen. For the exact same reason plus the unbelievably short useable life rating and failure rate, why are tablets still around? They're netbooks with no keyboards.

Re:2 out of 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638935)

netbooks were extremely popular when I was in college. turns out a tough small laptop with long battery life was a thing alot of people wanted. This was especially true in comp sci when you wouldn't find a single one of them not running some sort of linux. may not have been comfortable, but when you need to debug a troublesome project for data structures and you were in an hour lull between classes, it made much more sense to use that rather then finding a power socket and setting up a big heavy fullsize laptop (carrying one of these around for 8 hours a day is a pain in the ass), or going back to the dorm to use a desktop. Tablets are useful for a similar principal, though alot less useful then the netbook was.

I love my MOTOACTV (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 8 months ago | (#46638453)

But I don't wear it, my bike does.

Battery life? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638485)

I love my Pebble, which gets flack for limited featureset. It has a good battery life, however, and I knew the featureset was going to be about what it is when I ordered it. It does exactly what I wanted - makes me take my phone out of my pocket less, changes tracks on my music app, and it's also a watch.

I am ready to dump everything (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 8 months ago | (#46638557)

since the US Govt wants to take the internet out of ICANN's hands and hand over control of the internet to an international body, plus the NSA has turned everything that has internet connectivity in to their own spy tool, this makes me want to abandon the internet and cancel my ISP account and pull the plug on the cable box to my house, and next just go almost completely off the grid by reducing my utilities to water so i can use the toilet, bathe & shower and do laundry, and the only electronic devices i will have is a battery powered AM/FM/Shortwave radio and an LED lantern

Galaxy Gear (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 8 months ago | (#46638647)

It's weird that the article leads with the Galaxy Gear, which is pretty much useless, so there's no surprise that people want to dump them.

The numbers on activity trackers are more interesting. I currently have a Fitbit on one wrist, and a Basis activity tracker on the other while I evaluate each. It seems like the current generation is pretty limited, with the FitBit just tracking motion, and the Basis tracking heartbeat poorly, especially when active, so I can see why people would be dissatisfied. If someone makes a reasonably-sized, reasonably-priced device that tracks movement, heartbeat, O2, and perspiration while active and not, I expect it to be very popular.

I avoided bluetooth for years... (4, Insightful)

thevirtualcat (1071504) | about 8 months ago | (#46638711)

I avoided bluetooth for years becuase it was unreliable and awkward. The headsets were expensive and uncomfortable. Some didn't work in that they required pairing every time you turned it on. (Both the phone and the device completely forgot about each other.) Buying a corded headset was far cheaper, had far better quality, and was far more comfortable.

But times change, as do needs. Most bluetooth devices now have just enough non-volatile memory to remember what they were last paired with and most bluetooth hosts will quite happily keep a list of every device it's ever pair with. Other than the initial setup (which can still be awkward and annoying) it's quite simple to use now. Hold the button for a few seconds until the light blinks and/or the sound chimes. Now I have a whole host of bluetooth devices. A headset, a car, a smart watch, a pair of headphones and a keyboard.

Wearables are very much in that early adoption phase. Everyone who owns and actively uses one knows this, I should think.

"Why would I want to read a text message from my watch? I've got a perfectly good phone in my pocket."
"Why would I want to check my email from my phone? I've got a perfectly good laptop in my briefcase."
"Why would I want a laptop? I've got a perfectly good computer back at the office/at home."

Just wait for Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638807)

There's no Apple stuff to be copied yet. Once Apple releases the new iWeareable then everybody and their dog will say it's all obvious and start cloning the design.

Well, yes. (5, Funny)

Veranix (666820) | about 8 months ago | (#46638809)

The trouble with devices that claim to track your steps is they're so easily hoaxed by waving your arms around.

No kidding. My girlfriend is Italian. Every time she has a conversation, her FitBit records her running a marathon.

Most Americans ditch most of the stuff they buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46638949)

Most Americans ditch most of the stuff they buy. It's a throw away society. Look at your closet, your old hardware box, your Software, Look at the reason you're leaving FB to go to instagram, old "Friends" you're sick of seeing pictures of their now domestic lives.

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