We have seen a lot of new developments at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but last year the wearables and smart watches segment had taken up a lot of interest from manufacturers and their ads. Been scarce.
In fact in this Mobile we leave with hardly anything to review of the segment of the smart clocks: smartphone manufacturers have preferred to put all the meat in the rotisserie in its new devices and as much in devices of virtual reality. What happened to smartwatches?
An evolution that lowers its frenetic pace
The truth is that the market seems to be in a kind of "technological adolescence" in which devices do not seem to be able to offer many more improvements than they already offer. The latest proposals we saw these months - the Samsung S2 Gear is the most notable - have not gone beyond raising some usability improvements, but neither the watches based on Android Wear nor the Apple Watch themselves seem in a hurry to renew.
That could be one of the keys to a segment that as in the case of the tablets seemed to start their way with a lot of rush for the renovation. The first generation of devices with square screens was followed by another with circular designs, and the more sporty models also soon followed those oriented to replace traditional watches in fashion and design.
Things have gone slower in terms of functional improvements: Android Wear and watchOS have progressively progressed in their offer of services and applications, but neither proposal has just convinced us at all that the smart watch can bring something really Significant in many scenarios.
The autonomy and independence of smartwatch, key to the future
That may be due in part to the dependence of these devices on smartphones to which they are associated, and for that reason may be the next great revolution of these products is not in the software, but in the hardware.
Specifically in an area: that of its autonomous and independent operation, something that would allow us not to carry the mobile in our pocket to be able to access all the features of our smart watch.
It seems that in this Mobile World Congress the technology was not yet fully prepared for it, but it is clear that there are key advances in this regard: eSIM ads will be especially relevant to the future of smartwatches, wearables and devices Of the IoT, and perhaps this has been but a respite for a market that will undoubtedly continue to speak in the coming months.
The relevance of eSIMs is not in smartphones, but in wearables and IoT
When yesterday we talked about the virtual SIM or eSIM we explained how Telefónica had demonstrated its operation with the first device that will integrate this type of technology: next April O2 will sell in Germany the Galaxy Gear S2 with eSIM, which will allow the product to work As an autonomous clock more simply.
Smartwatches have already appeared with SIM slot, but it is the first time that a device makes the leap to this new standard that promises to become the reference in the market of smart clocks, wearables and the Internet of Things . The advantages are clear both in physical management and distribution - they disappear, and it is the manufacturer that integrates these tiny cards - as in the access to the services they offer.
It is true that eSIMs also make sense in smartphones - comfort in the area of changes in voice and data plans or in the hiring of roaming services is evident - but the advantages of the standard are evident in the "available" devices, and Smart watches seem to cry out for this improvement.
At the moment this type of technology is in full development, but it is expected that while in 2016 we will only see some first signs of its implementation, it will be in 2017 when we probably attend the revolution that pose this type of virtual SIM cards.
And if there are protagonists for their adoption, these will be intelligent clocks, which can finally be autonomous and independent of the mobile. Perhaps in the MWC 2016 smartwatches have not been exceptional protagonists, but it is more than likely that they will be much more in a promising MWC 2017 in which the eSIM will be more settled. We will be attentive to this.