Wednesday, July 15

Specialization Is At The Crossroads Of Tech And Design

As tempting as it might be, don't count the Apple watch out yet. Despite the cottage industry created to deride its entry into the wearables category, sales are steady even if the expectations were off.

The Apple watch was never going to see the same kind of adoption that the iPhone did. And if you thought it might, then you don't understand anything about watches. One size could never fit all. 

If anything, the opposite holds true. The evolution of technology and communication isn't ubiquitous generalization. It's specialization, with the caveat of collaboration — hardware that emphasizes one or two features well while providing access to select applications currently associated with phones.

The Marshall London, The Copenhagen Wheel, And The Leica Q.

There is no shortage of specialization beginning to take hold in the marketplace. And while many of them can be equated a luxury segment, emerging markets a fueling new luxury buyers and their influence over consumer behavior is spreading toward design and specialization. 
  
The Marshall London is an exquisite looking Android Lollipop specially designed for music lovers. Some features include dual headphone jacks, five-band equalizer, and a gold scroll wheel for volume. There is also a dedicated processor for high resolution audio (including FLAC files) at the core of it.

The Copenhagen Wheel is hardware that transforms ordinary bicycles into hybrid e-bikes. But more than that, it transforms any bike into a smart bike, capable of adjusting your workout based on environmental conditions, conveying real-time traffic and road conditions, and even giving you a boost when you need it most.


The Leica Q is a high-end, full-frame camera with a 24MP sensor and no anti-aliasing filter. The design is classic, but the camera doesn't compromise on modern tech specs. The interface enables photographers to use a touch screen or the lens and still delivers the fastest autofocus of any impact full-frame camera. A new WiFi feature also allows for remote shooting from a smart phone.

All three illustrate a shift away from total market disruption and the emergence of tech specializations that fall in line with the convergence of communication and the customer experience. Expect to see such specialization in future renditions of wearable tech too. 

People don't want a fully functional iPhone on their wrists as much as they want a classic timepiece that can also put their database on any screen they happen to direct it toward. But short of that, they are happy with wearables that do only one thing very well too.

Technology and design will reverse the move toward generalization. 

As Apple learns that the design of any watch needs to be significantly more malleable and personal than their initial offering, there may be a reassurance of interest in digital technology. The Apple Watch is certainly a step in the right direction. Now all we need are watches that are watches first (but can power up a display screen too) much like the Marshall London is a music phone, the Leica Q is a camera, and the Copenhagen Wheel is a wheel. And yet, they are so very much more.
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