Forget Phones! BlackBerry Is Working on a Smartwatch

The company's CEO says it's looking into wearable technology.

BlackBerry is the butt of many a tech joke. Once the pinnacle of personal mobile technology, it became the phone that some people say they don’t want to be seen using. But the company isn’t giving up. It reported some surprisingly good numbers earlier in the summer. And now CEO John Chen is talking about taking a leap with the big players into wearables.

Speaking at the Super Mobility Conference in Las Vegas this week, Chen said the company was doing some research into the possibilities for things like smartwatches and smart glasses.

Of course, some people have jokes.

“[U]nder the leadership of Chen, who began as CEO in November, the company has been attempting a comeback by doubling down on efforts to reach customers in emerging markets, appealing to those who want smartphones with physical keyboards and ramping up its app offerings through a partnership with Amazon,” writes Mashable.

The question is whether people will believe that the brand can pull this off. If they can’t make it in the smartphone business, why are we to believe that they’re “smart” about anything else?

But the fact is they have no choice. When your brand has taken a beating for being irrelevant, you have to inject yourself into the conversation. No one would be more convinced about BlackBerry’s ability to catch up to Samsung and Apple if they only concentrated on phones while the other companies have moved on to the next technology.

So BlackBerry has few alternatives for reviving its business besides tackling the latest in personal technology. And for now, that’s wearables. The bar will be high for them; their task now is to show customers why they should pay attention again. But it could very well be that the company will make all the comedians take a seat.