Future Tense

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

Wearbles aren’t blowing Woz’s mind yet.


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.”

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.