Wearables, Fashion, and iWatch

Khoi Vinh:

When technology companies look at goods that are built from the outside in, they generally see irrationality and inefficiency, a broken market just waiting to be corrected and “disrupted.” They believe that they can engineer so much value into these items that people will be swayed to buy goods built from the inside out, that the promise that drives hardware and software — “adopt this and benefit from its utility” — will convince people to upend their sartorial habits. This is how you get products like Google Glass, which assumes that consumers prize utility so much that they’re willing to look like they have no interest whatsoever in having intimate relations with another human being.

Remarkably prescient and apt, considering that he wrote this a few days before Google I/O and the blocky, ugly watches they showed from Samsung and LG. I’m convinced those things are dead on arrival. The Motorola 360 looks better, but I think only looks good in comparison to genuine clunkers like the Galaxy Gear and Pebble.

Here’s a simple question: Does the Moto 360 look so cool that people would want to wear it regardless of its functionality? I say: No way. It’s way too thick and oddly proportioned. And it strikes me as decidedly masculine. Thus I think it too is doomed.

If Apple is indeed making a wearable device that goes on your wrist, it should look like something you’d want to wear before you even see what it does.

Friday, 27 June 2014