Do you remember the handsome (and oh, so young) David Hasselhoff driving around in his shiny black Pontiac TransAm and fighting bad guys in the name of justice? While most eyes were on the indestructible AI-equipped sports car (and some of them on the Hoff himself), the show also featured a gadget that has most likely put some wheels in motion inside many tech innovators’ minds: a wrist-worn radio that sometimes doubled as a camera, used by Michael Knight (the Hoff) to keep in touch with KITT. It took technology three decades to catch up with the show, giving birth to the gadget of the year.
The smartwatch has blasted into our world as a wrist-worn communication and entertainment device, which measures our heart rate, reminds us of our upcoming meetings and even allows us to play selected All Slots free casino games. Although the number of casino games available on Android Wear is currently only 1, it is a start. Microgaming, the game developer providing All Slots with its game library of over 700 titles is famous for exploring all new platforms they come across – mobile, wearables, or even virtual reality. All Slots has over 100 games in its mobile gaming library, most of them fit to be adapted to wrist-worn screens. I think we’ll soon witness the launch of the first wearable All Slots progressive jackpot game, which will be truly excellent news for the tech-savvy gamer community.
But the smartwatch is apparently not the huge success it was expected to be, at least this is what the latest sales data shows.
Google has released its Android Wear operating system last year, and has made some success – a few million smartwatches were sold by various manufacturers, and many of them were either Android Wear devices or equipped with some big manufacturers’ own operating systems (like Samsung Gear and Tizen). Other gadget builders have also decided to ride the wave – the Pebble Time, for example, was the second most popular smartwatch with over 700,000 units sold in 2014. But the most resounding success on the smartwatch front was achieved by the much anticipated Apple Watch, which has outsold everything on the market at its launch this year. But the latest numbers show that the smartwatch was not by far as big a success as it was said to be.
Apple Watch was by all means a big success for the Cupertino-based tech giant, but when it comes to sales data, Apple is silent. According to some sources, the number of Apple Watches sold in the second quarter of this year might reach 5 million, but shipments have allegedly dropped after the first few weeks of enthusiasm. Some say that the smartwatch in general, and Apple Watch in special, is still in its early stages of customer acceptance, and that it will rebound in the near future, but others are less optimistic about the gadget’s survival.
Smartwatches apparently have trouble finding their place in the market. They incorporate the functions of popular fitness trackers, but they offer way more than that – a new way of staying in touch and consuming content on the go. But apparently they don’t have that “je ne sais quois” that the smartphone had back in 2007, which would bring an evolutionary leap to a whole category of devices.
To be honest, there are too many people who simply don’t feel the need to own a smartwatch. Most of them have even abandoned their classic wrist-worn timepiece, as they always have a device to tell them the time – in their pocket or on their desk. Besides, modern touchscreen smartwatches don’t have that “wow” factor that would make them desirable for the masses. So, I think, if the gadget successfully stumbles through the obstacles of its childhood, it will take some time until it reaches the popularity it might deserve.