Thoughts on the “wearables” market

I’ve seen a lot of references to the wearables market lately with a lot of people getting very excited about it.  I can’t tell though, is it actually a thing that people will really want?  Lots of companies are jumping into it and trying to provide offerings, and the media seems to be taking it seriously, but even though I work at a tech company in San Francisco, I haven’t seen a single person wearing one or talking about it.

I can see why companies are jumping into it: a lot of them got burned by not taking tablets seriously, and look where that market ended up now.  A potential new market, which could provide a new revenue stream, has to be the dream for any exec, and it could make a lot of sense to get a jump start on a new market even if there are doubts about it.

That said, I’m feeling like wearables might be a similar market to 3d printers: it makes a lot of sense that in the future those things will be very big, but I think there’s a very long road ahead.  I’m not sure there’s going to be a single killer feature for either of them, so adoption could be slow — though I think once they take off they’ll get integrated into our day-to-day.

But who knows, I was a tablet naysayer when they came out, and maybe Apple will release an iWatch which will define and launch the wearables market as well.  But especially when it comes to the “smart watch” wearable, I think it will be more similar to netbooks, and even though a number of companies will push hard, people will gravitate to other form factors.

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