Just a few weeks back I happened to revisit the amazing Sixth Sense video (it was infact my introduction to the TED series) by Pranav Mistry, the occasion being a talk on creativity and innovation.I remember when I first watched it, I could not help but get amazed by the gadget developed and the thought process that must have gone behind it. This was simply perfect and straight out of a sci-fi movie. I remember sharing this video across with all my friends and each one of them was equally amazed. Below is the Sixth Sense video for you, if you have not already seen it before -
Pranav Mistry – Sixth Sense Video
But when I watched the video a few weeks back, there were two questions that came to my mind- “Why Haven’t We Seen A Working Prototype of the Sixth Sense Device Yet?” and “What Happened To This Brilliant Guy – Pranav Mistry?”
While I Googled a bit for the first question and found that Sixth Sense was easier said then done, my second question was answered when a friend posted on Facebook that Pranav is the mind behind Samsung Galaxy Gear. Wow, so the man was all set to make his mark onto the consumer market, I could not wait to see another amazing concept and this time around a working prototype of it. But alas, I was disappointed.
Here is the video of the Samsung Galaxy Gear Launch By Pranav Mistry
Here are three reasons why I believe the Galaxy Gear will not work -
1. It Replaces Your Watch But Without the Essential Features Of One – Pranav himself mentions this, the watch is “an object we have loved and relied over centuries” and that a watch speaks about our individuality and our personality. The Gear basically destroys this core aspect of a watch. Just by changing the wristband color of a watch, you cannot create differentiation. I would definitely not like to have a watch that is seen on every other wrist and which is so rigid in its design. Also the fact that we wrap only one watch around our wrist means that it is a binary situation here. So if I had to choose between a Kenneth Cole and a Gear, the Kenneth Cole wins hands down for me.
Although I do not have any market research to back this, but I am sure the target audience of Gear ( corporate, business professionals), prefer the analog variant of watches than the digital one. Digital is something that is more of a kids watch.
Is the device water resistant? We take it for granted that most of our watches are. Pranav does not say anything about this, but considering the electronic devices involved I assume it not to be water resistant. So on a rainy day perhaps the Gear will not adorn your wrist and lie wrapped up in your backpack.
Also who the hell charges watches? Do we not already have enough devices to charge, than to add another one to the list. Considering that the Gear lasts for only one day, you might well have to be prepared to charge your watch everyday before going to bed. Is the consumer really prepared for such a behavior change?
2. It Is Not Ubiquitous – Currently it is integrated only with Note 3 and while in the future it maybe integrated with other Galaxy products, this makes the Gear device completely useless if you do not have a Galaxy tablet. So as such, Gear is nothing but a fancy add on to the Galaxy tablets.
3. User Behavior Not Considered While Designing - I believe either no great deal of research was done on user behavior before defining key features of the Gear or the user behavior took a backseat while technology was driving decisions. For example – While Pranav marvels about the camera, I do not find that working, unless you are targeting investigative journalists here. By our very action, we need to see through the lens what picture we are capturing and not jsut point and shoot.
Would like to hear from you guys on what you feel about the Galaxy Gear? Will the device change the watch market just like cameras in phones redefined the camera market? Or will this be another fad that will die a quick death? What changes in the device do you think can turn around the tables for G