Skip to comments.Does Anyone Outside Silicon Valley Even Want a Smartwatch?
Posted on 07/14/2014 7:32:33 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
In the past week, Ive been called Inspector Gadget twice, had a near-calamitous accident involving spray-on sunblock, and felt my arm vibrate so often I started treating it as a phantom limb.
All because Im part of the latest tech trend, a bona fide phenomenon in Silicon Valley that is inspiring the kind of pants-wetting excitement usually reserved for new iPhones and Grand Theft Auto games. Im talking about smartwatchesthe tech worlds quixotic attempt to mount minicomputers on your wrist. Ive been wearing two smartwatches for several days apiece, and so far, its been an enlightening experience. Though not necessarily a hopeful one.
First, some context: Viewed from a certain distance, todays tech industry resembles a group of aging, hyperambitious tycoons not entirely sure where to direct their massive piles of cash. Google, once a mere search engine, has decided it wants to invest in same-day-delivery trucks and connected home appliances. Amazon, which used to be content with e-commerce, is making phones and experimental drones. Facebook recently spent $2 billion on a maker of virtual-reality headsets. And Apple is trying to fix health-care data while it works on the iPhone 6. The competition between tech companies has never been more fierce, but the players themselves seem to be peering at the future through very different sets of binoculars.
And then theres the smartwatchthe gadget nearly every big tech company is betting on in unison. Googles new operating system for watches, Android Wear, was the star of this years developer conference.
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besides fitness purposes I see absolutely no value to this trend. We just spent two generation moving away from wearing a wristwatch. I don’t see the mass potential to return.
Agree. Watches are dead.
Not interested at all.
I’m still a fairly young guy, can’t pry my smartphone out of my cold dead hands, but this watch thing, or the Google glass. Just looks silly and cumbersome.
Putting your smart phone in your pocket isn’t the answer. Putting it in a pouch clipped to your belt isn’t the answer.
Maybe strapped to your wrist is the answer?
Someone come up with the answer is going to make someone a lot of money.
Announcer: Someday, everyone will own a watch like this. Now, it is available only for the privileged few. The Mogasaki Corproration of Tokyo is honored to announce... Kromega III. [ lightning strikes ] A watch so complex, it takes two people to make it work. One hand wears the watch. The other hand presses the buttons that activate the 100% solid state multi-function digital quartz crystal micro-computer unit. And now, you’re ready for the third hand to trigger the light-luminating dial to give you an alphanumeric readout accurate to within 9 a year. It’s that simple.
KROMEGA III. Command-crafted in impact-resistant crushed chrome. It’s no wonder that professional skiiers prefer Kromega III over any ordinary timepiece.
Woman’s Voice: And I love Lady Kromega III. The sleek, space-age styling compliments any outfit. [ Woman’s other hand presses one of the buttons ] And the clearly displayed perpetual calendar helps me to remember my many appointments. Would you mind? [ other person brings in a spare hand to operate the Lady Kromega III ] Thank you.
Announcer: Kromega III. It’s like asking a stranger for the time.
They may be but I have worn a wristwatch since high school and I don’t plan on stopping.
I don’t even have a smartphone and I don’t see the need of one.
RE: I dont even have a smartphone
How about a basic cell phone?
Read a review of Android Wear/Galaxy Gear Live last night.
In the author’s opinion the new OS, while being a considerable leap forward, will not be enough to drive sales in the general market.
Perhaps if they start resembling actual watches....
Silicon Valley is about trying out new ideas and concepts.
Google Glasses and Smartwatches will fail.
The technology to make these portable devices really small will succeed.
Maybe for the younger generations.
I suspect that I will always have an ironman on my wrist.
As for smartwatches, ehh. I can’t see a market aside from the same people who wear google glass.
I could see the NSA sponsoring a giveaway so that every citizen can have one.
Then comes the embedded chips under the skin.
Yes, I was a geek.
I was a Pebble kickstarter backer. Once you have one, you never know how you lived without one.
don’t have a cell phone - figure I save ‘bout $600.00-$1,000.00 per year as a result.
(Of course, no one likes me, so I don’t exactly miss the calls either.)
My everyday Submariner won’t be replaced with one of these.
I dont even have a smartphone and I dont see the need of one.
I can change that idea in a heartbeat with a simple question:
How do you browse FR when you are having lunch at Del Taco?
I had a Blackberry for about two years before giving it up about three years ago. The problem? The smart phone got dumb. The very excellent encyclopedia, weather forcasts, games, dictionary and news got dumbed down. Instead it became advertising, lousier services, and more geared to contacting people constantly. It's gotten so the phones control the people
Life is much better without a "smart" phone. I have a $10/month cell phone (minutes extra) which shows the time.
As far as these new devices? People will embrace them. The human drones will love whatever it is advertisers tell them they're supposed to "have to have".
Mygosh, and wearing the thing? Can you imagine how great that'll be for monitoring everything you can imagine about people?
I can sea it now. A phone call: "Prentisia, come in to the health drop-in center for medication. Your blood pressure is too high". Etc
Not really, they're fashion accessories, mainly for women. Guys not so much but for women they are an important statement.
I have no idea whether this will catch on or not. My record on tech predictions is poor. I’m the guy who thought putting a camera on a phone was the dumbest idea ever. Now I use mine all the time.
But I do have a notion of what the eventual system will look like.
1. Core “smartphone.” Most if not all data and data processing will take place in the phone. You always have it with you so you’ve always got what you need.
2. Smartwatch or something similar to control the phone without having to dig it out of your pocket or off your belt for most uses.
3. Bluetooth ear thingie.
4. Possible Google Glass type device.
5. “Dumb” tablet to make it easier to work than on your phone’s smaller screen.
6. Laptop or equivalent to do actual work.
Some of these may be combined or deleted. But I’ll be surprised if we don’t wind up with a similar system over the next 10 years. Thereafter, of course, advances will involve direct neural connection.
But you should always remember my tech prediction record. :)
Same here,,,,I got a Gshock for Christmas and I have a Seiko that needs a battery. But the Seiko has a gas filled case and it needs to go back to the factory. last time it cost me 100 dollars.
Read (well, actually listened to) a book recently. Written in 1999 and was trying to predict the future, especially in tech, 15 to 20 years out.
Got some things right and some wrong.
Absolutely nailed the smartphone phenomenon. But they thought it would be your watch that would fill this role. :)
Back in the early 1990s I traveled regularly to NYC for business. I used to buy those $20 fake Rolex watches from street vendors. They worked as well as any cheap Timex and were good for pissing off people who were wearing real $10,000 Rolex watches.
I don’t see how one could live without wearing a watch. And right behind that, not having a knife on them at all times.
I’m waiting for one with a cloaking device that will make me invisible.....
I hated the trend 10-15 years ago when cell phones were getting smaller and smaller. It got to where I could could barely make out the screen let alone use the buttons.
To me and my middle aged eyes, the best thing about smart phones is that they have been getting bigger every year. My current phone is an HTC One M(8). I will consider trading it in when they come out with a model that is thinner, lighter and has a bigger screen. I will never trade it in for anything with a smaller screen.
I have a samsung smart watch. I’m not an early adopter of new technology in general. However, with a parent in the last months of her life, I had to be near my mobile phone for text updates/emergencies 24/7, so my husband bought me one for Christmas. It’s been incredibly helpful.
Being female, clothing with pockets is not standard like it is with males. I’d set my phone down and spend 10 minutes trying to find it. Now I can have my phone in my purse all day and just glance at my wrist when it buzzes to read a text. I don’t have to carry my phone from room to room at home or carry it in my hand when I’m out.
I can reply by voice on my wrist (if I’m home. If I did that in public I’d look like a moron. It’s ok to look like a moron at home.) If I get a call, I can answer if on my wrist (at home) or dig for my phone in my purse and answer it. Or ignore it. And best of all, if I can’t find my phone, I can make the watch signal the phone to ring - even if the phone’s ringer is off. It has a camera, a pedometer, a timer for my kid’s games, and will pop up calendar reminders if you sync it with your phone calendar.
Oh, it also tells the time and temp.
All good points. Would, however, be at least equally well-handled by a Glass or equivalent.
The issue with mobile devices has always been input/output. The larger the device the easier input/output is. But the less mobile it is.
Somebody who finds a way to make input/output easier while also being more portable is going to make a LOT of money.
Save it for later!.......................
15 years ago I got a Citizen Eco Drive Solar powered watch. I have bathed and swam with it, and it still works and keeps time and I have never, NEVER, replaced the battery or taken it to the shop.
Speaking of less portable. Ran into a friend last week whose new phone has a 6.5” screen. That’s .5” smaller than my wife’s tablet.
Looks very strange indeed talking into it. But maybe in two years the guy with the little 4” or 5” phone will be the one who looks silly.
I haven’t worn a watch daily since I left my last job in 2002. I have a couple of nice watches for special events, but I don’t need it. My smartphone has the time on it, if I need to know the time I just glance at it.
Smartwatches won’t coax me back.
One more thought on the issue.
Nobody has a great record, to my knowledge, on predicting which tech will take off.
I remember reading multiple articles on why the iPad would never go anywhere. And others on how nobody would ever be able to compete with Apple on smartphones.
ok, that’s pretty funny
those comic book ads were the best..............until you laid out the money, waited 8 weeks, and then opened up the box only to be highly disappointed.