Gartner talks up smart watches

fobwatchThe jury is still very much out on whether people will want to have a smart watch on their wrists, but a report from Gartner appears to favour the “yes” rather than the “no” vote.

Gartner’s notion is that Chinese original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs) will drive the price of smart watches down – with Android devices averaging $150 a throw. That will mean that by 2016 smart watches will account for 40 percent of wrist worn devices, Gartner predicts.

Apple’s iWatch starts at $350 and won’t be available until next year.

Gartner’s Angela McIntyre, a research director at Gartner, said: “Apple has finally unveiled its watch, which we expect to trigger more consumer interest once it starts shipping in 2015.”

Another research director, Annette Zimmermann, said that the latest smart watches show imprvements in design and Android Wear will include voice search, turn-by-turn navigation, contextual reminders and taking notes via voice output.

One of the obstacles to acceptance, however, is the sheer proliferation of devices that need charging, Gartner thinks.