As the future of wearable wireless technology slowly reveals itself, it is interesting to see how everyone has different views on what form it should take. One of the big takeaways from the All Things D conference was the interview with Apple’s Tim Cook who had some specific observations when it came to wearing a device on the face versus wearing it on the wrist:
Mossberg/Swisher: Is the future wearables?
Cook: I think so. I wear this. It’s a FuelBand.
I think Nike did a great job with this. It’s for a specific area. It’s integrated well with iOS. There are lots of gadgets in this space now…[As for] the ones that are doing more than one thing…there’s nothing great out there that I’ve seen. There’s nothing that’s going to convince a kid that’s never worn glasses or a band to wear one. So I think there’s lot of things to solve in this space, but it’s an area where it’s ripe for exploration. It’s ripe for us all getting excited about. I think there will be tons of companies playing in this.
I see it as something, as another very key branch of the tree. You think about the post PC era, and we really started talking about this several years ago. I think the iPhone pushed us toward that fast and the tablet accelerated it. I think wearables could be another branch on this.
Cook: I’m interested in a great product. And I think in terms of glasses, I wear glasses because I have to. I can’t see without them. So I kind of have that problem. I don’t know a lot of people who wear them who don’t have to. People who do wear them generally want them to be light, to be unobtrusive. They probably want them to reflect their fashion, their style and so forth. And so I think from a mainstream point of view, this is difficult, this is difficult to see.
I think the wrist is interesting. I’m wearing this [FuelBand] on my wrist. It’s somewhat natural. But as I said before, I think for something to work here [gestures to wrist], you first have to convince people it’s so incredible that they want to wear it.
Because you two guys are wearing watches. If we had a room full of 10-20 year olds, and we said ‘everyone stand up who has a watch on,’ I’m not sure anyone would stand up. I don’t see it. Their watch is this [pulls out an iPhone]. I don’t think it has to be just that. I think there are other wearable ideas that could be interesting. The whole sensor field is going to explode. It’s already exploding. It’s a little all over the place right now, but with the arc of time, it will become clearer I think.