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2014年为什么还不是可穿戴设备年

最新订阅内容:英语爱好者摘要:As early as 2008, wearable technology—which can range in anything from measuring your heart rate to curating music base
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As early as 2008, wearable technology—which can range in anything from measuring your heart rate to curating music based on your mood—has been touted as the next big moment in consumer electronics.
早在2008年,从测量心率到根据用户情绪播放音乐等的一系列可穿戴技术就已经被吹捧为消费电子产品的下一个重要契机了。

In the wake of the Fitbit and Google’s GOOG 0.26% Glass, a flurry of companies has flooded the market with iterations of sensor-laden armbands, apparel, and eyewear. It’s a buzzy category, but early adopters seem to be waiting for a moment when they are no longerthat guy. (You know. The “Glasshole.”)
紧随Fitbit和谷歌眼镜(Google Glass)之后,许多公司开始蜂拥进入这一市场,带来了许多装有感应器的臂章、服饰以及眼镜。这个领域现在炙手可热,但最早使用这些设备的人们似乎都在等待那个时刻,让他们不再显得特立独行。(你知道的,谷歌眼镜的粉丝们现在有了个专门的贬义称呼“Glasshole”。)

 

But that moment, try as Google might, has yet to come. Some reports have named 2014 as the year when wearable devices will hit the mainstream, but a newer study from L2, a digital research firm, confirms what many have been quietly fighting for: wearables are still not socially acceptable, creating a significant hurdle to further sales.
尽管谷歌已经竭尽所能,那一刻却依然还未到来。许多报告都声称,可穿戴设备将在2014年成为主流。不过来自数字研究公司L2的最新报告证实了许多人正在默默为之努力的一件事:可穿戴设备仍然没有得到社会的广泛接受,要扩大销量依旧障碍重重。

According to the study, 75% of consumers are aware of wearable technology (whether as futuristic fashion or new-age tech tool), but only 9% actually have any interest in wearing it. A meager 2% admitted to owning a wearable tech device, most of which consist of fitness trackers and smart watches, according to the study.
调查显示,75%的顾客都知道可穿戴技术(无论是作为前卫的时尚潮流,还是新时代的技术工具),但是只有9%的顾客有兴趣使用它们。根据调查,仅有2%的人表示自己拥有可穿戴设备,其中大部分都是健身追踪器或智能手表。

Wearables typically fall into three categories: complex devices such as fitness trackers; smart accessories such as smart watches, defined by their ability to run third-party applications; and fully autonomous smart wearables that connect directly to the Internet, such as Google’s Glass headset.
可穿戴设备通常分为三大类:像健身追踪器这样的复杂设备;像智能手表这样的智能配件(由于它们可以运行第三方应用);还有像谷歌眼镜这样完全自主、可以直接联网的智能可穿戴设备。

Estimates vary, but the research firm IDC projects that wearable tech will exceed 19 million units this year—more than triple last year’s sales—and will soar to 111.9 million units by 2018. Credit Suisse values the industry at somewhere between $30 billion and $50 billion in the next two to four years. But before that happens, the nascent market has that pesky wouldn’t-be-caught-dead-wearing-it hurdle to clear.
人们对于可穿戴设备销量的估计各不相同。研究公司IDC认为,这类设备今年的销量将超过1,900万件量,达到去年的三倍以上。到2018年,它的销量将会达到1.119亿件。瑞士信贷(Credit Suisse)预计,在接下来的2-4年中,这个行业的价值将会高达300亿至500亿美元。不过,在这一切实现之前,这个方兴未艾的市场需要摆脱人们对于“穿戴这种设备就是出丑”的成见。

The June announcement of collaboration between Google and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg to create a new line of Google Glass underscored Silicon Valley’s current strategy to enlist the fashion elite to sanction wearables as de rigueur.
今年六月,谷歌宣布与时尚设计师黛安o冯o芙丝汀宝合作,携手推出新款谷歌眼镜。这个举措凸显了硅谷当下的策略:招募时尚精英,赋予可穿戴设备以时尚内涵。

The line of prescriptive frames and sunglasses, named “DVF | Made for Glass,” costs upwards of $1,600. Google has already partnered with Luxottica, the eyewear conglomerate behind Ray-Ban and several high-fashion eyewear offerings such as Prada. It also hired fashion executive Ivy Ross, most recently the chief marketing officer of Art.com, to lead its Glass team.
这个系列的特制镜框和太阳墨镜以“DVF|为谷歌眼镜设计”为标签,价格高达1,600美元以上。迄今为止,谷歌已经和雷朋(Ray-Ban)眼镜的生产商陆逊梯卡(Luxottica)以及其他几家提供时尚眼镜的公司如普拉达(Prada)等展开过合作。它还招募了曾在艺术网站Art.com担任首席市场官的时尚总监艾维o罗斯来领导谷歌眼镜团队。

The company is hardly alone in its efforts to woo talent of a different sort. Earlier this year Intel announced a collaboration with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, or CFDA, kicking off a partnership with the high-concept retailer Opening Ceremony to design its smart bracelet. Tory Burch partnered with Fitbit to design pendants and bracelets akin to the Shine Tracker by Misfit Wearables. And Apple AAPL -1.03% has tapped a diverse group of people, including former Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts (to lead its retail efforts), former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve, and former Nike NKE -0.71% design director Ben Shaffer.
在牵手其他领域的精英这一点上,谷歌并非独家。今年早些时候,英特尔(Intel)便宣布与美国时尚设计师协会(Council of Fashion Designers of America,CFDA)和奢侈品零售商Opening Ceremony合作,设计智能手镯。时尚品牌汤丽柏琦(Tory Burch)也与Fitbit携手设计了与可穿戴技术创业公司Misfit Wearables的无线运动跟踪器Shine Tracker类似的吊坠与手镯。而苹果(Apple)也发掘了各行各业的人才,包括博柏利(Burberry)前任首席执行官安吉拉o阿伦德茨(担任零售主管)、伊夫o圣o洛朗(Yves Saint Laurent)前任首席执行官保罗o丹尼佛以及耐克(Nike)的前任设计主管本o谢弗。

These collaborations signal a moment where the cradle of innovation and the arbiters of fashion are finally embracing one another, says L2 research director Colin Gilbert. Style is not the only missing piece to the wearable puzzle, but it’s something to look forward to, Gilbert says. More than half of the report’s respondents want devices that feel more like jewelry while 62 percent would like more than wrist-worn devices.
L2研究总监科林o吉尔伯特表示,这一系列合作标志着创新的摇篮与时尚的发源地终于开始牵手。吉尔伯特说,要解决可穿戴领域的难题,缺少的不仅仅是设计这一种要素,但设计确实是这个领域期待的元素。这份报告的调查显示,超过一半的受访者希望拥有看上去更像珠宝的可穿戴设备,62%的受访者更喜欢腕戴式设备。

“Brands that are known for going it alone are partnering with unexpected allies,” Gilbert says. “If you dig into Apple’s investment, the special projects team reads like a who’s who list of some of the best talent in the world coming from every sector imaginable.”
吉尔伯特说:“那些以单打独斗闻名的品牌都开始与意想不到的伙伴合作。如果仔细研究苹果的投资,你会发现这个特殊队伍的成员名单,看起来就像是世界上能想象到的各行各业中最优秀的人才的名人录。”

The “cool” factor isn’t the only issue. Security and privacy, particularly around the management of consumer data, remain a concern as the tech industry seeks to bring more of our body parts online. As The Economist notes, the glamour of developing sensors and algorithms for wearables is distracting everyone from glaring missing elements, “standards, interoperability, integration and data management” and “intellectual-property rights and regulatory compliance” among them. All this in an environment where paranoia remains over the National Security Administration’s activities.
要让产品显得很“酷”并不是唯一的目的。科技行业如果想让我们身体的更多部位连上网络,那么安全问题和隐私问题,尤其是顾客数据管理问题,依旧需要慎重考虑。正如《经济学人》(The Economist)所说,蓬勃发展的传感器的魅力,以及可穿戴设备的算法,分散了人们对于其他要素的关注。这些关键的其它要素包括:“标准、互通性、一体化、数据管理”,以及“知识产权、执行标准”。对国家安全局(National Security Administration)而言,这些技术发展都必须以网络安全为前提。

Atlas Wearables founder Peter Li says battery technology and user retention are two more obstacles facing the wearables market. Some use cases require significant improvements to battery technology for a compelling experience, he says, and there’s always a balance to be struck between wear time between charges and processing power and features.
可穿戴设备公司Atlas Wearables创始人彼得o李表示,电池技术和用户的保守是可穿戴市场面临的两大障碍。他说,在一些情况下,电池技术需要有足够大的改进才能实现足以激发用户兴趣的体验,而在穿戴时间、充电时间、处理能力和产品特点上,各家公司也需要做出平衡。

The pace of innovation has been rapid. Fitbit has released five or six distinct models since the company launched in 2008, and Samsung released three or four variants of the Galaxy Gear in a nine-month period. Sony SNE 0.77% , Pebble, Google, and Facebook’s FB 0.25% Oculus Rift are positioned to follow.
这个领域的创新速度非常快。自从Fitbit于2008年成立以来,各家公司已经发布了五到六个完全不同的产品。三星(Samsung)则在九个月内发布了可穿戴设备Galaxy Gear的三到四个衍生产品。索尼(Sony)、Pebble、谷歌和Facebook的头戴式虚拟现实设备Oculus Rift也紧随其后。

“It’s very easy to see the leaders in the current market are in a fairly tenuous or precarious position right now,” Gilbert says. “That’s evident by how quickly they’re innovating on each new device type.”
吉尔伯特说:“我们很容易看到,在当下的市场中,领头羊们都处在相当脆弱危险的地位。看看他们在每款新设备上做出创新的速度,我们可以很明显地发现这一点。”

Interest in wearable technology isn’t limited to technology companies. Mercedes-Benz is porting its mobile experience to a wearable device, while Virgin Atlantic is exploring the customer service aspect of Google Glass on a trial basis. Kenneth Cole is also using Glass as part of a marketing campaign.
对可穿戴技术有兴趣的不止是科技公司。梅赛德斯-奔驰(Mercedes-Benz)正在将移动体验移植到可穿戴设备上,而维珍航空(Virgin Atlantic)正在试验性地探索谷歌眼镜在顾客服务上的应用。

Continued experimentation with wearables is important, but the near-term requires a conversation “about whether current wearables, driven by a combination of organic efforts and corporate tech efforts, are really adhering to customer needs and wants or if companies need to explore a different set of partnerships to push wearables beyond early adopters and into the mainstream,” Gilbert says.
吉尔伯特表示,对可穿戴设备的不断试验十分重要,但是现在短期内,人们还需要探讨一下:“技术的演进以及企业的研发力量共同推动了现有可穿戴产品的发展,但它们是否真的能够满足用户的需求;各公司又是否需要探索不同的合作模式,让可穿戴设备不仅限于早期使用者的圈子,而是被主流人群所接受”。

The winter holiday season will help thin the herd, but the true litmus test will be when a company can introduce a wearable that passes the “turnaround test,” Gilbert says—when a person walks a few steps from their front door and decides to turn around to retrieve a forgotten wearable device like they would a forgotten wallet, keys, or phone.
吉尔伯特称,冬季假期会让这个领域的热度降低,但真正的试金石在于各家公司能否开发出可以通过“返回考验”的可穿戴设备——如果人们已经走出了家门好几步,依然决定返回去取忘带了的可穿戴设备,就像他们去取忘掉的钱包、钥匙、手机一样,这个设备就成功了。

“Right now the fitness tracker isn’t on that list,” he says, “but the next generation of wearables has the potential to pass that critical milestone.”
他说:“目前为止,健身追踪器还不属于这类产品。但是下一代可穿戴设备有潜力跨越这个至关重要的里程碑。”


 

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