We don’t have a crystal ball to tell us what timepieces of the future will look like, but it’s fun to imagine. What will their future be? Will they become obsolete? Will there be technological advances that will change the way they work? Keep reading to see what our readers think lies ahead for these time-telling devices.
Erik Pham, CEO and Managing Editor of Healthcanal.
Watches Can Become Obsolete or Adapt
The future of watches might seem very bleak with the rise of digitization making it easier to tell the time simply by looking at a smartphone. This may make watches obsolete as a timekeeping device but that doesn’t mean that the utility of watches is gone. With digitization comes the potential for new features.
Watch companies can include new features in their watches that can help make them more useful. A lot of luxury watches being sold today have digitized features such as being able to tell the temperature, GPS tracking, UV light tracking, and even bank transactions.
Now you can do all of this with a smartphone, but they aren’t as portable as watches which gives watches their edge. In my opinion, the future of watches depends on how fast watch companies can adapt in this digital time and whether or not they can include more useful features in both luxury and non-luxury watches.
Maya Levi works as a Marketing Manager at ReturnGO.
More Digitized Form of Watches and Clocks
I don’t think clocks and watches will be obsolete. Timekeeping technology will remain but will take a much more digital form such as continued integration in computers, mobile phones, and even transport systems.
Smartwatches continue to be improved each day, and so it won’t be much of a surprise if another innovation on timepieces will hit the market. There are even watches where AI is integrated into them which seems promising nowadays.
Eden Cheng, Co-Founder, PeopleFinderFree.
Traditional Watches Will Remain
While the conventional use of a watch is now no longer relevant, with the rise of smartphones, people still purchase watches and value them as more of a fashion accessory rather than a necessity to tell time. However, this isn’t to say that watches are not also evolving, as more and more tech companies like Apple are now mass-producing smartwatches, which often can measure the user’s heart rate, schedule meetings, or even make calls without needing to take one’s phone out.
On top of that, many people now like to wear expensive watches as a status symbol, with classic watches also becoming a means of investment for many affluent people. In this respect, there are quite a few watches out there that maintain and even increase in value as time passes. For instance, investing in an IWC Portugieser Chronograph, Omega Seamaster, or even Panerai Luminor, can be a great investment that will pay dividends over time.
So, while the reasons for wearing watches have evolved over the years, and most of their functions have now been duplicated in many smart devices, they still hold value even in this day and age. After all, there remains an intersection of needs that are uniquely serviced by them that no other device can match. As long as that remains true, the watch industry should continue to exist and thrive.
Jack Miller is the founder of How I Get Rid Of. He is a home improvement and pest control expert with more than 15 years of experience.
Timepieces Will Evolve
Just like sliced bread and every means of transportation, timepieces are part of man’s long list of greatest inventions. It helped the ancient man evolve from relying on sundials to get a good gauge of time in a day to have an instrument to give an exact measure.
That said, I don’t think clocks and watches will ever be obsolete. If anything, it can only evolve into other smart innovations, just like how the Apple watch came to be.
And yes, we can expect more technological advancements in the future. I have one prediction: In the near (or distant) future, I think we’ll be able to mark timestamps at specific times of the day.
It can be a new feature of a futuristic watch design or a new mobile app, but given our new obsession for marking these specific moments in time, it won’t be too long before someone smart and capable enough can turn into a reality.
Sam Brown is a professional radio engineer with a blog at OneSDR.
Broader Tech Opportunity for Watches and Clocks
Clocks and watches today incorporate connectivity and have morphed into smart devices. In addition to taking phone calls, watches are also fitness trackers, heart rate monitors, and they perform a host of other related functions.
Looking into the future, we’re going to see technological advances in battery technology. For instance, there could be energy harvesting from various environmental sources that would take away the requirement to charge these gadgets. They would keep running until the internal electronics failed. Imagine never having to charge your phone. It would be always on and always connected to you and the network.
Additionally, we are going to see significant advances in semiconductor technologies that allow for faster processing in smaller device footprints.
With advances in artificial intelligence, your watch will incorporate such technology in the future. Imagine a watch that learns over time, one that develops an understanding of you and your environment. Imagine now a device that automatically calls for help when your watch senses that you’re in distress. A watch that senses changes in your physiology because it’s on you at all times could then harness and crowdsource global knowledge on any situation and make recommendations on how to solve any potential problem. The possibilities are endless!
Eric McGee, Senior Network Engineer at TRGDatacenters.
Watches and Clocks are Here to Stay
I honestly do not believe that clocks and watches will become obsolete. What I am confident will happen is that watches, in particular, will continue to become more technologically advanced. This is mainly due to the growth in popularity of wearable technology, a trend that will not stop growing any time soon.
Watches with more than just the basic functions of telling time will continue being in high demand well into the future. I also do not see clocks becoming obsolete because they will still be needed in public places, office buildings, restaurants, amongst other places to help people tell the time when they do not have a watch or smartphone on them to check the time.
Philipp Zeiske, CEO of Zeitholz.
A New Era of Watches and Clocks will be Born
As long as time itself exists, watches and clocks will never become obsolete. There are millions of people all around the globe that still prefer mechanical and quartz watches, even with the rise of digital smartwatches.
I think we’ll see a new era of digital watches, ones packed with even more features than before. As for the traditional quartz watches, we may see a transformation in their design as they slowly become more minimalistic, lightweight, and compact.
Lillian Dodd, Founder of The Hobby Kraze.
Luxury and Ultra-Cheap Watches
I don’t think we will ever really see clocks and watches go obsolete. However, I do think we will see watches split into two distinct categories: luxury and ultra-cheap. I think most people are going to focus on smartwatches, leaving traditional watches for those who cannot afford smartwatches and those who see luxury watches as a sign of success.
As far as smartwatches go, I think we’ll see them transform a bit into tracking more and more health data, but they will likely remain unaffordable for the lowest income earners. Other than that, I don’t see any other tech advances in watches on the near horizon.
Carla’s passion for data and technical chops led her to co-create Broadband Search.
Watches and Clocks will be Upgraded
Watches have already seen the upgrade they needed in the past few years, working their way into smart devices and being able to communicate with your phone. It isn’t that watches will become obsolete, but they will gain more function as tech advances and becomes more compact. As smartwatches develop, they will possibly be able to better communicate with your smart home environment.
For those who do a lot of trekking and hiking, imagine being able to have GPS so precise you can actually leave digital markers to find your way back to your initial pick-up point. For those who possibly find themselves in emergency situations, your watch could send out a GPS signal which could alert others about your situation and how they can help.
Clocks haven’t truly become obsolete, instead they can be the initial innovation point for your smart home hub. Those already tell time, as well as connect to your other smart devices and integrate along with your other online services, such as streaming music or movies. These won’t become obsolete or fade out. They will simply be adapted to better suit newer advancements and to upgrade with each one.
Michael Montgomery is a nonprofit industry consultant at Montgomery Consulting, Inc, and part-time college educator.
Evolutions in the Watch Market
Watches, especially mechanical ones, are in again. Many people want that right now. You see that in the reemergence of a “middle” in a watch market that has been defined by its two ends, luxury and disposable, for the past three or four decades.
Seiko is pushing its nicer quartz and moderately-priced automatics like the Seiko 5.
Timex is doing reissues, including automatics and winders, selling them directly rather than through Target or the local drug store.
Starting with Shinola and continuing with Vaer and Wolf Point, you also see attempts to reclaim the territory of “American” watch.
It’s a fascinating time.
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