Do you remember watching futuristic television shows and movies as a kid such as Star Trek where they used to speak into watch like devices on their wrists? Will this ever become a reality whereby the smartwatch replaces our need for mobile phones?
While smartwatches are loved or hated depending on which side of the coin you fall, there is an argument that this could actually happen. The most powerful smartwatches can already perform similar functions to the average smartphone. A smartwatch like the Apple Watch 6 can make and accept calls, send and receive texts, perform independently from your phone, and download apps.
In early smartwatch models, they would simply be an extension of your phone and not provide much other use except monitoring your steps along with other fitness tracking features.
So, what exactly is stopping the smartwatch from replacing the smartphone?
Battery Life Needs to be Much Better
Obviously, due to their size, smartwatches are not able to fit batteries of the size of those found in phones. Although high-end models can last 18 hours on a single charge, this is still not quite enough. Also, the batteries need to be small enough to not make the physical appearance of the watch a turn off for consumers.
There is also the charging factor. Would we want to be removing our watch to charge every day and would we even remember to put it back on? Why would we not just buy a cheap fitness tracker that uses less power and you just need to swap out the power once every six months?
They Need to Provide More Than Our Smartphones and Not Just Mimic Them
Many also feel that it would take more than just the battery to lead to mass adoption of a smartwatch. We are used to carrying around these devices in our pockets. They are larger so can provide better processing power, make use of larger batteries, and have bigger screens. Plus, would you like playing mobile games on such a small device?
It is thought that for smartwatches to match the smartphone in popularity, it would require to be able to do something smartphones cannot. As you can imagine, that would be difficult in itself as they are essentially the same sort of device.
Perhaps one area they could really grab a niche market is with the health angle. If they could do more than monitor heartbeat and steps, for example, and provide a more complete check on our health, you could imagine them being adopted more than they are currently.
So Could they Replace the Smartphone?
At this stage it would seem that the smartwatch is destined to accompany a smartphone, and for many this is fine. We have become used to carrying a phone and utilizing what they can do for us. They are larger, more powerful, and essentially a mini computer in our hands. Still, you never know with technology, and the best smartwatches might surprise us yet.