Apple is on the right path, and female smartwatches should be explored, says LG

LG's kicked off the Wearable Tech show with some interesting insights into the future of smartwatches

When asked about his thoughts on the Apple Watch during his presentation at the Wearable Tech Show, LG's head of business development Justin Jungsup Lee, gave a short but diplomatic answer:

"They're on the right path by marketing [the Apple Watch] in Vogue and positioning it as a fashion item. It's the right strategy".

It's a short answer, but it accurately represents the South Korean tech giant's mindset. According to Lee, smartwatches have a problem, in that, well, not many people are scrambling over each other to get them at the moment. This is made evident by the 720,000 Android Wear devices which shipped last year, and LG believes that this is because the technology is ahead of the market. Or, in other words, people aren't convinced that they actually need one. This is backed up by figures from BI Intelligence which show that 51% of people "don't see the point" in owning a smartwatch.

It'll be interesting, of course, to see what those numbers say post-Apple Watch release day, but the main point to take away from all this, is that consumers need convincing.

Fashion statement

Watches have been around for hundreds of years, and they're a very personal style statement. LG, Lee states, is more than aware of this, and chooses to look at smartwatches as fashion items first, gadgets second.

That's where design and marketing come into play, which is why Apple's classy (and undoubtedly extremely expensive) full-page Vogue ads come into the picture. Can we expect to see the likes of LG and Samsung grace the pages of fashion magazines without a Ghz or RAM spec in sight? You bet.

LG has already improved on the original G Watch with the circular G Watch R and the even classier G Watch Urbane, showing that it's committed to refining its design in an effort to make its smartwatches as desirable as possible.

A feminine touch

Another area that has yet to be fully explored according to Lee, are smartwatches exclusively designed with women in mind. The "female smartwatch" - i.e. one that's smaller with feminine design influences - poses its own problems.

Battery life is apparently one main issue. A smaller watch means a smaller battery, which isn't ideal given that stamina is one of the biggest criticisms of smartwatches at the moment.

Apple has of course taken a step forward by offering two sizes of its Watch, along with a whole host of strap options designed to appeal to both sexes. It's kept quiet on battery capacity however, although both sizes are listed as having an 18-hour battery life.

The future

As technology improves, the smartwatch experience will obviously evolve for the better. Longer battery life, sharper screens and faster processors will all be welcome with open arms, but only if they've got the design to match.

Lee briefly touched on opportunities like smart straps which can be exchanged to offer extra functionality when required, housing sensors in the straps themselves to allow for sleeker designs. The new Pebble Time already has a built-in accessory port for these smart straps, and we look forward to seeing what magic developers can whip up.

All eyes are of course, now on the Apple Watch, and its 24 April release date. Will it turn the wearables market on its head, as many have predicted? We'll just have to wait and see...

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