How will smartwatches adjust communications?

March 16, 2015


The work we’ve done within wearables has given us some valuable indications about how communications between individuals will adjust. So far we have found that smartwatch users’ interactions with other people increase dramatically as they are able to respond to sms, calls, emails and social updates more conveniently.


“I feel more reliable now” says Chris, a Kronos Zewatch 2 user. “In the past I may not have been able to take calls if my phone wasn't easy to get hold of, but I never miss a call now. It’s comforting to know my family can get hold of me more easily these days”.


For Stephen, his Pebble smartwatch provides his with the perfect way to stay updated. “It’s brilliant when you are in long meetings as you can glance at your watch and decide whether or not to pop out ‘to the loo’ to respond to an urgent email”. In other words, Stephen appreciates the discrete way he can monitor his communications.


It’s clear that communications will become more immediate and this may result in us being more up to date with work and social updates. Whilst this may be welcome for some, it may sound like a nightmare scenario for others because it may be impossible to ignore the continual haptic vibrations on your wrist.


And what does that constant looking at your wrist convey to others? In meetings, this is usually interpreted by your companions as an indication that you are bored with the discussion. This small but significant gesture is often used purposely to signify the end a meeting.  The ‘signal’ to your companions that you are ‘bored’ whilst checking your smartwatch is a risk that users should be aware of.


Read more about our primary research on smartwatches and other wearable technology here.

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