Smart watches have come in a rather funny full circle in the 5 years or so since they were first launched. First, there was anticipation, and excitement at this new technology about to hit the market and make all of our lives easier. Next, when it finally came it was slightly slow on the uptake, but with advances in technology smartwatches have become genuinely useful pieces of tech, and people have been buying them in their droves. Now, however, people seem to be getting slightly bored of them, either that or revolting away from the wearable tech bubble and back again towards traditional manufacturing and analogue watches.
We can see this because the hybrid smartwatch has become so popular in the past year or so, with the wonderful combination of analogue parts such as hands, dial and bezel combined with hidden digital technology, but could we go even further? Some manufacturers and designers, notably Montblanc, Tommy Hilfiger and Fossil watches are exploring the possibility of hiding the digital parts that people seem to expect within the watch strap, removing the need to alter the beautiful, honed piece of analogue engineering that people love. This would be a major step onwards from the current ‘hybrid’ watches, and would mean that the discreet digital technology would be added either in the clasp or strap itself, and then retrofitted to whatever watch you wanted.
In many ways this makes a lot of sense, as you get to keep the lovely timepiece you know and love, but also spruce it up with a new look, and this could be chosen from a myriad of different styles (in itself creating a new market). The only barrier to this is the digital technology itself, and whether all the functions of pedometer, vibrating alerts, screens etc could be housed within a strap that would add to the aesthetics of the watch rather than detract, and all the time still be useful. Whilst it might not be quite there yet, the fantastic pace that technology moves at surely means this will be possible soon.