The Smart Watch


All this talk about the Apple Watch has me wondering: what, exactly, would I use a smart watch for?

The smart watch – almost all smart watches, from Pebble to the Apple Watch – is advertised as a second screen for the phone, and to keep better track of your health. You can use it to check notifications, to check and respond to messages, to keep track of health related items. Instead of pulling out your phone, you just glance at your wrist.

But why, I wonder, does a smartphone need a second screen? Using it to keep track of your heartbeat and footsteps and all is a rather admirable, very useful purpose of the smartphone. I imaging apps that hug your bare skin will work better than ones that follow along behind me, inside my purse.

But for the rest – why not just take your phone out? If it’s so annoying, turn off your notifications or check them later. OK, so, using your watch to check your messages is less obvious than using your phone to do so. Even so.

Manners + Health = Not A Convincing Reason.

I don’t get it. If it’s cheap and a long battery life (like a week!), maybe it would be worth it. The Pebble’s color e-ink screen is supposed to last a long time and is relatively cheap. And you’re not going to watching videos or look at pictures on such a little screen, so an e-ink screen is fine.

Even so. I cannot quite picture myself using it. I surely cannot picture myself using one of the Pebble’s more expensive cousins. (Even if it looks a lot like a watch, like the Moto 360.)

A part of me is thinking that the smart watch could be the main phone – the thing you buy from the carrier, the thing you put the sim card in. And the smartphone/phablet/tablet could be tethered to it, so you get data on the go. So the watch would be more like one of the feature phones from the last decade.

But I don’t know if that would work, or even if the carriers would get behind the idea.

So I cannot think why I would get a smart watch. I am sure there must be some really compelling thing I can do it. I just don’t know what that could be.

(Using it like David Michael Hasselhoff used his watch in Knight Rider to give his car orders would be pretty cool.) But beyond that, what?

I don’t know. I just don’t know.


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