Into the Future: Navigating the Tech Odyssey - Unveiling the Exciting Development Directions of 2024's Smartwatches!
- The 2023 Year Smartwatch Industry Review
- Potential Trend 1: from sports data monitoring to scientific health management
- Potential Trend 2: Providing More Connectivity Functions as Independent Devices
- Potential Trend 3: Personal AI Assistants, Enhancing Your Life
- Summary: Future Trends in Smartwatch Development
The 2023 Year Smartwatch Industry Review
The competition in the smartwatch market has become intense. With the global saturation of smartphones and a simultaneous economic downturn, consumer spending intentions have weakened. The elongation of the replacement cycle for new smartphones has prompted major companies to shift their focus towards the latest trend—smart wearable IoT devices.
Currently, the smartwatch market boasts a diverse array of offerings, with three mainstream directions in hardware innovation. These include smart tech watches represented by the Apple Watch and HUAWEI Watch, fashion watches led by Google, and professional sports watches epitomized by Fitbit and Garmin.
Over the past five years, smart terminal manufacturers have continually innovated in design, components, and the overall industry chain. They have successfully matched or even surpassed traditional fashion brands in terms of style. Apple Watch, for instance, optimizes its wristbands for a balance of comfort, sensor sensitivity, and fashion compatibility. Huawei collaborates closely with supply chain partners, utilizing nanotechnology to integrate antennas into highly integrated watch cases. The use of liquid metal technology ensures smartwatches have an exquisite appearance valued by high-net-worth individuals.
In summary, tech companies have gradually developed highly advanced product engineering capabilities for their smartwatches, successfully incorporating the meticulous aesthetics of traditional watches into wearable devices.
With the maturation of the supply chain, widespread adoption of advanced production processes, and the decreasing cost of new materials, Xiaomi and Vivo introduced budget-friendly smartwatches in 2023, catering to a broader consumer base.
However, it must be acknowledged that the software capabilities of smartwatches are still evolving and not yet fully refined. It is not difficult to anticipate that the year 2024 will witness even more intense competition in the smartwatch market. The question then arises: In which directions will smartwatches evolve in the coming year?
At present, the smartwatch companies are generally divided into three types
- Brand mobile phone companies launch their smartwatches, such as Apple, Google, Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.
- Companies that focus on professional sports brands, and their smartwatches provide more sports data, such as Garmin, Fitbit, Polar, Suunto, COROS, etc.
- Brand companies with complete functions and affordable prices target most ordinary consumers, such as Amazfit, noise, boat, VALDUS, etc.
Prominent global brand companies introduced smartwatches a year ago
Apple Watch Series 9; Apple Watch Ultra 2
Highlight: Smarter. Brighter. Mightier. Showcasing Apple's prowess in integrating "smart + fashion" products. These new additions exemplify Apple's commitment to seamlessly blending cutting-edge technology with stylish design, catering to consumers seeking both functionality and a fashion-forward aesthetic in their wearable devices.
Garmin VENU 3 SERIES; EPIX PRO; FENIX 7 PRO; FORERUNNER 265 & 965 SERIES
Highlight: It’s no secret — we were in the running watch game long before there were smartwatches. So we know that no two runners are the same, and that’s exactly why we have running watches for everyone. From easy-to-use GPS watches to triathlon-ready powerhouses, we have a running partner designed just for you.
Google Pixel Watch 2
Highlights: Meet the Google Pixel Watch 2. It’s engineered by Google with the best of Fitbit for personalized help and insights. So you can be healthy, safe, and productive. Personalized help for your health, safety, and productivity.
Fitbit Charge 6; Fitbit Versa 4
Highlight: Boost your routine with our #1 fitness tracker. Now with our most accurate heart rate, plus Google essentials like Maps, Wallet and YouTube Music controls. Get better results from your workout routine with this thin, lightweight fitness smartwatch.
COROS PACE 3 Multisport Watch; COROS APEX 2 Pro Premium Multisport Watch; COROS APEX 2 Premium Multisport Watch; COROS Vertix 2 GPS Adventure Watch
Galaxy Watch 6
Highlight: Unlock a healthier you. Own your days and your nights with Advanced Sleep Coaching, personalized heart rate zones and advanced wellness insights on our biggest screen yet.
Amazfit T-Rex Ultra; Amazfit Cheetah Pro
Polar Vantage V3; Polar Ignite 3 Titanium
Sell ponit: An ensemble of biosensing instruments, AMOLED display, dual-frequency GPS, maps, and the most comprehensive suite of training and recovery tools on the market. The stage is set, and the Polar Vantage V3 smart sports watch is ready to put in the performance of a lifetime.
Suunto Race; Sunnto Vertical
Sell point: Ultimate performance watch for racing and training. Adventure watch for outdoor expeditions and training.
HUAWEI WATCH GT 4
Sell point: Fashion Forward, Geometric Aesthetics, All-new Calorie Management, Up to 2 Weeks Battery Life.
Potential Trend 1: from sports data monitoring to scientific health management
Smartwatches are evolving beyond mere sports data monitoring and are moving towards a more comprehensive realm of scientific health management. The emphasis is shifting from basic fitness tracking to providing users with a holistic understanding of their overall health. Advanced sensors and algorithms are being integrated to not only monitor physical activity but also analyze health metrics in a more nuanced and personalized manner.
These next-generation smartwatches are poised to offer insights into sleep patterns, stress levels, and other crucial health indicators. With an increased focus on scientific health management, users can expect tailored recommendations for lifestyle adjustments, exercise routines, and wellness strategies. This shift reflects a broader commitment within the industry to empower individuals with actionable insights for a more proactive and personalized approach to health and well-being.
As we move forward into 2024, this development direction signifies a convergence of technology and healthcare, where smartwatches play a pivotal role in promoting preventive healthcare and fostering a deeper understanding of one's well-being.
Monitoring sports data is a fundamental feature present in almost all wearable devices; however, the drawback lies in the fact that the collected data is often just a numerical representation without in-depth analysis. This limitation is a prevailing issue in current wearable devices.
Research conducted by professors has revealed that while wearable devices and their health monitoring data are reliable, there can be misunderstandings during the interpretation of data and conclusions. These misconceptions encompass factors such as whether device manufacturers adhere to the same standards, the accuracy and reliability of the data itself, and how to reasonably interpret the correspondence between data and health characteristics.
For top smartwatch companies, the core competitive advantage in health monitoring is based on rigorous scientific research. There are two key competitive points:
1. Analysis of Numerical Data
The ability of smartwatches to collect data and provide health management relies on scientific explanations, and possessing qualifications similar to medical devices.
This capability determines the quality of health services provided by smartwatches. Traditional smartwatches, lacking integrated sensors, often fail to detect certain health conditions.
For example, up to 40% of atrial fibrillation (AFib) patients may be asymptomatic, making detection challenging without proper monitoring.
Currently, companies like Apple and Huawei offer AFib screening capabilities in their smartwatches, identifying and tracking early risks, and correcting abnormal lifestyle behaviors in at-risk individuals.
Consider a scenario where a smartwatch detects an increased heart rate. There could be various reasons behind this, including anxiety, dehydration, anemia, pulmonary infections, or even pregnancy. Most smartwatches currently provide data to users but struggle to understand the underlying principles and offer relatively accurate health recommendations.
The advancement of digital health capabilities based on scientific research is increasing. For example, a study published in 2023 in "Nature Medicine" demonstrated the feasibility of identifying diabetes by analyzing photoplethysmography (PPG) signals from the fingertips of 60,000 participants. Utilizing AI deep learning, the model reported a sensitivity of 65.4% and specificity of 75.0%, indicating that collecting wrist PPG signals through a smartwatch to identify diabetes is viable.
In summary, the integration of effective health monitoring based on rigorous scientific research enhances the professional capabilities of smartwatches while maintaining their fashionable attributes. This not only extends the product's lifespan but also attracts a diverse user base, including middle-aged and elderly individuals as well as those at high risk.
2: Abundance of Health Monitoring Features
Wearable devices that offer health monitoring come in various types, and the number of effective functions integrated into a device determines its overall value. For instance, some True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earphones now incorporate features like body temperature monitoring, creating significant functional overlap with smartwatches and posing a potential replacement. Companies with limited investments in digital health may lack data and algorithms, resulting in fewer robust health monitoring features.
In this regard, both Apple and Huawei have advanced health management capabilities. The Apple Watch and iPhone currently provide a focus on 17 health and fitness areas, ranging from heart health and sleep to mobility and women's health. Additionally, Apple supports the use of Apple Health Records by patients from over 10,000 locations and more than 800 medical institutions, serving as accessible medical data.
The HUAWEI WATCH 4 series, with its "Micro Health Check," has garnered substantial consumer recognition. Its core capability lies in conducting ten health indicators in just 60 seconds, significantly enhancing efficiency and portability compared to traditional health check-ups. The challenge lies in deploying eight algorithms and five sensors within this brief timeframe, conducting multimodal detection, and providing health recommendations based on professional theoretical foundations.
In summary, health remains the most powerful and enduring driving force for consumer purchases. Artificial intelligence, as a novel software technology, enables smartwatch manufacturers to rediscover the value of data, offering users professional health solutions. Consequently, smartwatches now hold the genuine potential to catalyze the broader health industry.
Potential Trend 2: Providing More Connectivity Functions as Independent Devices
This year, Huawei HarmonyOS 4, vivo BlueOS, and Xiaomi Hyper OS have all been integrated into smartwatches, focusing on the concept of the Internet of Everything. Operating systems act as bridges between applications and hardware. Through these IoT-oriented operating systems, smartphones and smartwatches can better share functions, achieve functional differentiation, and allow smartwatches to operate independently from smartphones, providing a more natural and seamless interactive experience. Operating a smartwatch is much simpler than pulling out a phone, making it more suitable for seamless interaction with other IoT devices in mobile scenarios.
The core interaction methods centered around smartwatches are challenging to implement in the Android system. Factors such as security, data interaction, and app development are limited by the system's characteristics. For instance, HarmonyOS 4 supports atomic applications and adaptive development, enabling developers to create apps that automatically adapt to different screens on smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, etc. The Huawei WATCH 4 series integrates functional scenarios, such as Life Cards that include schedules, navigation, WeChat, weather, etc. The "Health Dashboard Card" consolidates health features like heart rate, blood oxygen, body temperature, and sleep, providing a clear overview of health data.
BlueOS supports complex intent recognition interactions and can present users with integrated information for the most needed functionalities. For instance, in a travel scenario, it can combine flight information, high-speed rail details, hotel locations, etc., offering a faster and more efficient interaction experience than a smartphone.
In 2024, smart wearable companies worldwide, building on smartwatch operating systems and incorporating new technologies like AI big models, are expected to delve deeper into exploring the potential of wearable devices. The focus will shift towards developing more adaptable and resource-efficient human-machine interaction methods, moving away from merely extending and replicating smartphone functions.
Potential Trend 3: Personal AI Assistants, Enhancing Your Life
The year 2023 witnessed significant advancements in AI, introducing several remarkable AI services such as CHATGPT for conversational applications and Midjourney for generating design images. For instance, VALDUS launched VA9 ULTRA 2 and VA9 PRO MAX, incorporating GPT-based conversation features and AI-driven watch face changes. This unlocks more fun experiences with smartwatches, combining large models with intelligent assistants for deep integration.
Using large models as the foundation, equipped with robust data analysis and understanding capabilities, smartwatches can leverage various AI model algorithms, providing a quick entry point for the intelligent assistant functions of the watch. While Apple has not yet announced specific news about large models, the latest watch assistance feature is that the Apple Watch SE can provide life services through the Siri voice assistant, with future capabilities highly anticipated.
Furthermore, based on large model-driven user intent recognition and service recommendations, leading domestic smartphone manufacturers have explored extensively. They are integrating capabilities like intelligent comprehensive sorting into smartwatches. The advantage lies in presenting service information on the relatively small watch screen in a balanced and reasonable manner. This ensures users don't miss crucial information and are not overwhelmed by complex data and applications.
Summary: Future Trends in Smartwatch Development
In the previous ecosystem of smart devices, the flagship product driving consumer purchases has predominantly been the smartphone. However, assessing the current comprehensive performance of smartwatches reveals their higher average transaction values, expansive innovation potential, and practicality in the realm of health and fitness. This shift positions smartwatches as emerging revenue powerhouses, crossing various domains within the technological ecosystem.
While the market is still relatively nascent, with established players like Apple and Garmin holding stable positions, other manufacturers are earnestly entering the competition, presenting ample opportunities for innovation.
At the algorithmic level, particularly in health management and interactive controls, there exists significant exploration space. Unearthing the relationships between physiological indicators and health and achieving comprehensive health management with multiple features will be a pivotal direction for future development.
On the hardware front, including sensors, manufacturing processes, and materials, advancements will continue under the impetus of software and algorithms to enhance performance and precision. Current smartwatch sensors are yet to leverage cutting-edge processes, leaving substantial room for development that may well surpass our current imagination.
Smartwatches are poised to enter a phase dominated by software-driven functionality competition. Success will hinge on who can more effectively leverage data, algorithms, and large models. Thus, investments and explorations in software will become a critical focal point.
Looking ahead to 2024, with the accelerated implementation of AI large models, significant upgrades in smartwatch functionality are expected. We eagerly anticipate witnessing the compelling trends that smartwatches will unveil in the future.