While I've been covering wearable technology, the category has always been on the cusp of something. But it has also been hampered by a number of factors that still make wearables impractical for many people: if the battery life was better; if he was smarter; if it was more precise; if it looked better; if it offers enough value to use it on my wrist / body / face all the time.
However, the positive side of anything that is not fully realized is that there is always room for improvement, which means that companies that manufacture portable technology keep trying. As Fitbit: started selling wireless health trackers in 2009 (in the early days, they were basically technological pedometers) and, more recently, jumped on the smart watch car. First, there was the Ionic smart watch (it did not work quite well), and now, the company has just launched the Versa, a $ 200 smart watch with Fitbit's standard fitness features. In what is perhaps one of the greatest testaments of incrementalism in the entire smart watch market, it looks a lot like an Apple watch, and also performs many of the same functions.
So at the end of the Versus season, "we" compared the Fitbit Versa with the entry-level Apple Watch Series 1. Fitbit really makes a convincing case with the Versa, which lowers the price of the Apple Watch Series 1; it is compatible with multiple operating systems, not just iOS; and even swimming tracks, while Apple Watch Series 1 is only "splash and water resistant". But the Apple Watch – any Apple watch, not just the 1 series – is so integrated with iPhones that things like messages and notifications are just that better in Apple's smart watch, so they're in Fitbit.
They may sound like small things, but when smart watches are still able to have something to prove, every little ping and buzz, tap and micro application is important. Otherwise, a smart watch becomes a too expensive irritation on your wrist, one that you can not avoid but that you should consider. It is perhaps the biggest irony of portable technology: many of the products are thrown into big splashes and bold claims, when, in reality, the goal of well-designed portable technology is that you must be able to completely forget about it.