February 23, 2008

Watch's Next?

I've noticed more and more people around me who are not wearing watches anymore and reaching for their mobile phones to check time. Have you noticed the same?  Phones have become calendars, address books, cameras, SMS devices, portable search engines, MP3 players, calculators, e-mail, the fastest way to check your stocks ... so it's not surprising that it's substituting something as trivial as a wrist watch. 

The interesting news is that manufacturer's are finding innovative ways to reconceptualize the traditional watch by adding new functions and value-added services.  One example is Garmin® with a line of high-performance personal trainers (it wraps around your wrist but they're not even calling it a watch) with GPS receivers. Athletes can upload workout data to a website to analyze and track performance and even share running routes with friends. As a skier, I was happy to see the Swatch® Snowpass watch which allows you to go online and order ski passes. Then, just flag your watch at selected resorts, from Aspen to Bariloche to Zermatt.... and enjoy the slopes.

I think the watch can be so much more that just keeping time...
With the expansion of RFID technology, for instance, couldn't the watch be a practical way to substitute the debit card?  
Just wave your wrist at a cash register, sign and off you go. But again, can't the mobile phone do that too?

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