I recently upgraded my phone to a Galaxy Note 3 and could be more impressed with it. The sheer number of features that this thing has is incredible, and I love showing off to friends how I can control the scrolling of web pages by simply tilting my head, or get it to come on and show me the time by simply swiping my hand over the sleeping device. I also love the stylus and how much it has improved my productivity – particularly with regards to note taking which is easier than ever now using EverNote.
But when it comes to getting the full experience I am told you need the Galaxy Gear as well – which I’m not quite so sure about. Why? Because I don’t know if I’m ready for high tech jewellery just yet…
For me the issue is that I have a watch I’m very happy with already. It’s a skeleton watch meaning that I can see all the way through and watch all the cogs moving and it is made of a shiny gold-colour. With a brown strap that matches my brown shoes it’s a real eye-catching piece and as a gift from my girlfriend it also has some sentimental value as an added bonus.
As such, I’m not sure I’m quite ready to swap it for a Galaxy Gear which is essentially a large plastic watch. Either I wear two watches, or I forego one of them.
With the Galaxy Gear though I’m not too worried. This is a cool idea sure, and I like the idea of being able to snap photos from my wrist and check notifications without having to pull out my large phone – but ultimately it still seems like a gimmick so I’m not quite sold.
There are examples of high tech jewellery though that I’m much more interested in and that do make me question whether I’d rather focus on looks or high tech features. One example is a ring that was recently raising money on Kickstarter. This ring would come with a built-in touchpad that would essentially allow you to operate a mouse while walking around. Combined with something like Google Glass this could be incredibly useful – letting you surf the web without even needing to look down or have your hands free.
But the downside? I’d have to wear a big ugly ring on my index finger at all times which wouldn’t exactly look great…
A Proposed Solution
There are a couple of potential solutions here, but for me the focus should be on tech companies designing jewellery that actually looks good and that you would actually want to wear. And to do this, they would need to provide enough different options that buyers could choose one to suit them and feel as though their item was individual and an expression of them.
To me it’s odd that this isn’t already the stance taken with general technology. Smartphones for instance can look quite stylish in some cases – as with the iPhone line that has such high build quality, and the Note 3 which is designed to look like a real notepad. But then there are only so many devices to pick from and if you want a particular phone for its specs then you’ll be stuck with a particular look. You can opt to choose a device that comes in a different colour yes, but that’s not really going to be enough to really make it feel like a personal fashion accessory rather than a practical gadget that you’d rather keep in your pocket. If there was a Galaxy Gear watch that looked like my current watch, then I’d be much more likely to switch.
Another good option for companies wanting to make high-tech jewellery popular would be to take a modular approach to the design so that specific components could be inserted into existing jewellery, or so that they could party with other manufacturers. For instance if galaxy gear could attach to your existing watch, or if it was small enough that Rolex, Omega and Rotary could develop bodies and straps to encase it… then you’d have a greater range of much more attractive options right away.
Or of course we go the other way. Instead of technology companies trying to make ‘smart’ jewellery and doing it in a cumbersome and unattractive way – why don’t existing watch and jewellery makers start making their fine pieces smarter?
The author of this article is Ryan Hall, an employee at Lior Diamonds, online retailers of GIA certified loose diamonds. Ryan is a technophile and likes to stay updated with the latest gadgets and technologies.