Smartwatches were once thought of as a novelty. Now they are becoming increasingly popular. The number of smartwatch sales in the USA alone has more than doubled in the last four years, from 9 million in 2016 to 22.6 million in 2020. This has been thanks to the increased connectivity and integration with smartphones. The devices aren’t quite mainstream yet, but they are threatening to get there in the future. So what needs to happen for smartwatches to make that leap?
When smartwatches first came out, many people may have thought that the small screen options were trying to displace smartphones. The major difference between the two was that there was a vast difference in surface space between the two. Some may have wondered how they would be able to do all the tasks that they do on their smartphone via their smartwatch. Smartwatches weren’t designed as an alternative to smartphones, though, and this is where a mass mindset shift is required.
The smartwatch is, in fact, supposed to act as an integrated partner to the smartphone. It can provide alerts that tell users when to check their mobile device, or it can send fitness information to the smartphone which can then be presented in more detail on partnered apps. When more people start to see the smartwatch as an extension to their smartphone, they will begin to buy into its usefulness.
More Integration with Smartphones
Developers should look at more ways to integrate smartwatches and smartphones in order to encourage this mindset shift and help people to realise that the two devices are working in partnership with each other. One of the ways to do this would be to incorporate smartwatch capabilities with online games, as this hasn’t been seen much to date.
The gaming industry on smartphones is booming, and a wide range of game genres are flourishing. Some of the most successful games have been slots, such as the ones that are found at Mr Green. These include Starburst, the classic retro offering from NetEnt, and the famous progressive jackpot game, Mega Moolah from Microgaming. These slots wouldn’t look as good on a smartwatch, but perhaps players could use the watch screen to press buttons. This would allow the smartphone to display the reels in full view with no awkward icons at the bottom of the screen.
Smartwatches could also work in tandem with other apps by sending alerts to players. With freemium offerings like Clash of Clans, players often have to wait a certain amount of time before they can take actions. The smartwatch could tell users when it is time to play again.
If smartwatches are to go fully mainstream, they will need to be available at prices that everyone can afford. This will happen as newer generations are released, as these help to push the prices down on the older models. With a mass mindset shift and better integration with smartphones, smartwatches could be huge in the years ahead.