With companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung all reportedly working on smartwatches and other wearable technologies, some people have said that it marks the end of the smartphone.
But smartphones are going to be around for quite a while, Synapse VP of Technology Skooks Pong tells Business Insider.
Synapse is the engineering company behind Nike FuelBand. Its lead technologist, Pong, also worked on early prototypes of Microsoft’s SPOT watches about 10 years ago.
“The wearables don’t have enough power to do what a smartphone does today,” Pong tells Business Insider. “You think about your iPhone or your Samsung Galaxy, you think about the type of content and what you do with that, I just don’t see it happening in the next several years on your wrist.”
People are used to having a watch that you don’t have to charge and can wear for year without ever needing to replace the battery, Pong says. So in order for smartwatches to provide similar functionality to a smartphone and really take off, they’re going to need to have more powerful batteries and chips.
“I’d want a [smart]watch that at least goes a week without having to charge it, so the more from the tech side we can drive the battery technology to be more dense and smaller, the chips and the electronics use less power, I think that’s one thing that will help make wearables more attractive,” Pong says.
At that point, it becomes something that you just wear and don’t have to think about charging every day, or even every three days. Still, in order for smartwatches to really take off, they need to be able to do more than just push some content and notifications to your wrist, Pong says.
“I think there has to be something that makes it more interesting and changes the way you go about your daily life to make it something that everybody’s really going to want, like the smartphone when it came out,” Pong says.
Already, he has identified a few key areas: the ability to totally replace your wallet, bus pass, and access card to your office or apartment.
“That makes it, to me, more interesting than just some notifications on your wrist,” Pong says. “Now I actually can do things I couldn’t do before.”