Steve Wozniak Says the Right Wearable Hasn't Come Along Yet

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
July 1 2014 6:13 PM

Steve Wozniak Says the Right Wearable Hasn't Come Along Yet

Hkg7306647
Wearbles aren't blowing Woz's mind yet.

Photo by TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/GettyImages

Steve Wozniak is a hilarious dude. But he's also proved himself over and over as an astute tech analyst. After all, this is the man who designed the Apple I and founded the company that made the first programmable universal remote. Major contributions. So when the Woz says that smartwatches haven’t reached their tipping point for consumers yet, it's kind of important.

Speaking at the Flying Car tech conference in Milwaukee after delivering his keynote, Wozniak talked about the potential of wearables and the direction he thinks they need to go in. Xconomy reports that Wozniak is all for smartwatches, but only if they can pack in all the features of a smartphone. “I want my smartphone here, but I really want the whole thing,” he said. “I don’t want just a little Bluetooth connection to the smartphone in my pocket because then it’s just an intermediary, an extra thing I buy to get what I already have and have to carry anyway.”

Wozniak tends to be a very early tech adopter, but the smartwatches he’s tried clearly haven’t impressed him. Especially Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, which he says he re-sold on eBay soon after purchasing. As Xconomy notes, Wozniak thinks it's a bad sign that so many tech companies are producing similar smartwatches right now. “If 30 companies are doing the same thing, you know it’s wrong,” Wozniak said. “When one company does one thing very strikingly different, and everybody says this company got it right, this is the way of the future.”

Advertisement

On the topic of other wearables, Wozniak says he has tried Google Glass and “liked playing with it.” So how does he choose what to try out next? “I look for things that are a little unusual that my friends wouldn’t have,” he said during his Flying Car keynote, which must be tough because his friends probably set the bar pretty high. You can’t exactly have your friend Steve Wozniak over to show him your new garage door opener.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.