"Getting people to want to wear things all the time -- whether it's on or off" is a huge stumbling block, said Becky Stern, director of Wearable Electronics at Adafruit. Sure, smartwatches and activity trackers are becoming increasingly more visible in the tech space, but mainstream adoption is still key for the long-term success of the diminutive gadgets. Here at Expand NY, a trio of wearable-tech experts from across the spectrum of devices discussed the tech and the roadblocks to widespread use from consumers. Currently, there's still a challenge with getting the public to want to wear anything, let alone a smartwatch or activity tracker.
Not only does the device need to look amazing, but it also has to provide a function that we can't live without. If you think about a diabetes tracker, that wearable serves a vital purpose for a niche of consumers. For Co-founder of Narrative Oskar Kalmaru (the outfit that makes the Clip life-logging camera) the usefulness of wearables is a software issue. "[It's] making it smart enough to do something for you." With a large number of Americans using either activity-tracking gadgets or services, the interest is clearly there -- even now in infancy -- and Kalmaru is convinced the sector will continue to grow with more improved software.
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