It’s tough to state that the glory days of traditional watches are now in the rear-view mirror, but that’s exactly it. Wearable technology is now a thing. And while we cannot discredit the amount of success and innovation that legacy brands like Rolex, TAG Heuer and others have provided, these manufacturers are nervously waiting for their coup de grâce.
In just three short years, strong competition from Apple, and their release of the Apple Watch, have not only transformed the industry, but toppled industry giants from their longstanding control of the industry. Much like the iPhone revolutionized the way people interact with mobile devices, the same can be said regarding wearable technology. Even with strong players like Garmin, Fitbit, and other fitness tracking companies, one thing remains constant – apps are a detriment to the sustainability of basic fitness devices.
Initially, I was a skeptic. The introduction of the Apple Watch seemed like just another cool gadget to show off. But just like I stated in one of my previous posts, people don’t realize they need one until they have one. That said, there’s always been something unique that traditional watches provide. Perhaps its simplicity, or for some, a way to express their personality. But today, with all of the different innovations and customization (i.e. faces, bands, etc.), aren’t smartwatches providing the same?
In an article on Mashable, the popularity of smartwatches took off due to their capabilities to facilitate payments and GPS technology. To a certain extent, these new features are enabling consumers to rely less on their mobile devices due to the amount of information someone can access and the comfort of convenience.
According to Fortune, smartwatch sales should hit 71 million devices this year, and grow steadily to reach 140 million devices by 2022. Further, Apple sold more watches last quarter than Rolex, Omega, and Swatch combined, and for the first time, shipped more watches in 4Q2017 than the entire Swiss watch industry.
However, in order to add more fuel to the debate, how much convenience and comfort is too much?
Fitbit announced that it is on the verge of releasing a new smartwatch in an effort to not only regain lost market share, but to also connect with women in a unique way. The Versa, which will be priced at $199 is Fitbit’s attempt to help women track and understand their menstrual cycles. The company is trying to directly appeal to women all while balancing a fine line in order to not alienate its male consumer (which currently make up more than half of its Fitbit userbase).
Dr. Katharine White, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University’s School of Medicine teamed up with Fitbit to help design this portion of the app and create medical content that will be published along with it.
Fitbit believes that with this new app and technology, women could potentially identify patterns over time, track fertility, and provide insight into various health initiatives. However, are some aspects of the app/design too intrusive?
This leads me to ask…
Is this new app/feature enough incentive for women to purchase this new product? Apple released something similar in 2015, but it’s not as in depth or refined as Fitbit claims this new initiative to be.
I guess the troubling part for me is knowing that someone’s personal information is out there, it can be tracked by Fitbit and whatever other 3rd party can purchase/access the information, and what will this new information be used for. Personally, I feel that this product will experience forceful and immediate backlash from women everywhere.
The BIC company once introduced pink pens in an effort to appeal to women. Sadly, that initiative was a disaster due to the company’s inability to understand what woman really prioritize. Women pick up a pen to write work related things. The pink pen campaign assumed that a woman’s first thought in picking up a pen is, “I want a pretty color.”
Fitbit has a problem rooted in the same place that BIC did: What do women need. How many women will invest so much time and money to attach something to their body that will track their menstrual cycle? I would assume not many (excluding women with medical reasons, but that is an obvious exception).
We are all living through this digital age where privacy concerns are a big focus on what is right and what should be left alone. So, I’m asking all of the women out there, where do you side with this new product?
As always, sound off in the comments and thank you for kikinitwithraf!