Audi

05.03.2015

Wearables, advancing towards everyday use

Image | Audi AG

The 50s generation was born without television, and that of the 80s, without the Internet. The generation born during the first decade of the 21st century, meanwhile, will be able to say that it was born without wearables. Although these products are still appearing on the market, it remains to be seen whether their use will one day be as widespread as watching TV or surfing the Internet has become.

One of the great advantages wearables offer is that, in addition to being useful in and of themselves, they allow you to interact with other objects, making them versatile, practical and multifunctional tools. When we envision a wearable the first thing that comes to mind is the wristwatch, one of the most common types. Smartwatches usually track the user’s physical activity, with a range of aims: to monitor the body during the performance of a certain exercise, in combination with fitness applications, or to help patients suffering from a disease.

The Consumer Electronics Show 2015 (CES), held in Las Vegas at the beginning of the year, showcased the new generation of wearables. Most of the devices are ready for commercialisation, products at competitive prices designed to carve out a place in their users’ daily lives. Thus, wearable manufacturers have been forced to furnish their products with innovative characteristics that set them apart from the competition by providing consumers with added value.

Some characteristics that can measure this added value include the device’s size, battery life, memory capacity, the quality of its materials, its functions, and the type of technology that it uses. Although in the next few months a massive showdown between Google’s Android Wear and Apple’s Apple Watch is expected, these are not the only options users can enjoy. Some manufacturers, such as Korea’s LG, have decided to employ the WebOS operating system (the Linux-based system that Palm Inc. used for its mobiles and PDAs) on their wearables after confirming the quality of its operation on their smart TVs.

Based on this technology, and in an agreement with German’s Audi, at CES 2015 LG revealed what its new wearable would look like: a smartwatch with NFC (Near Field Communication) that will allow users to open their car doors via remote, among other features that have not yet been disclosed. Some of the special features of this smartwatch include its capacity to keep on working even after the battery has run out, and its compatibility with SIM cards, which will make possible a direct connection with mobile networks, and perhaps even the ability to place calls without being connected to a smartphone. A solid and elegant water-resistant watch, made of stainless steel and sapphire glass, that even places you in contact with your vehicle.

It is ever more evident that what users are looking for are wearables that, in addition to being sophisticated devices, are truly wearable objects. Hence, the wearables that will ultimately prevail are those that, in addition to offering exceptional functions, as in the case of LG and Audi, feature designs in accord with the latest trends.

The cards are on the table: now it is a question of patience, strategy and speed.