Smartwatch – The new frontier

Posted Dec 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm in Threads > Opinions

Our everyday lives have been reshaped by the use and evolution of smartphones. For many of us, our phones act as the portal to work and social communities, especially when we’re on the go. Over the past year or so, some companies (more notable Sony and Kickerstarter star the Pebble watch) have decided the humble watch is more than just a time device and needs to evolve into a smartwatch.

Here’s Taylor’s review of the Sony SmartWatch –

The concept is in its infancy but many reports suggest this could be the next big thing.

My personal opinion is a smartwatch’s functions are currently limited. Beyond say keeping track of your physical activities like running and notification/reminder functions (and also tell the time!), I’m not too sure what other purposes a smartwatch can provide that our smartphones don’t already accomplish. Then again my non-creative brain never thought smartphones would advance to its current form. But if the market grows in popularity, more money will be thrown into developing a better device and the possibilities could be endless.

  • So will you jump on to the smartwatch bandwagon in the near future?
  • What are some of the features/functions you could foresee that would make a smartwatch useful?
  • Max.Steel

    Just about the stupidest thing I’ve heard since the Galaxy Camera.

    • MC_Android

      See that is what I said about the iPad (or tablets as a whole)…and look how wrong I was about that. I know I wasn’t the only person who had that belief.

      I personally like a classic wristwatch for the style and not for the features, but I wouldn’t disregard the idea that one OS unifying all our needs in the future. Who know knows, a future Android SmartMicrowave? Android Stove? It’s possible :)

    • tanman888

      The great thing about the Galaxy Camera is the ability to share high quality photos instantly (assuming the camera’s optics are superior). This may set the standard for compact cameras in the future, but I guess should be left for discussion on another thread.

  • heynomi4u

    I don’t see many people using a smartwatch.
    Project Glass maybe!

    • raichleb

      Agreed. I still wear a watch, but I’m an old fart. I can’t see folks who don’t wear a watch at all deciding to wear a monster-sized smart watch.

    • LucenNox

      This. Maybe if they would stick around for a couple years, but Glass or it’s competitors will kick them out watches before they have a chance to become popular.

  • pliu.2014

    The idea of taking out your phone is too hard. Really. First world problems

  • Teebor

    The Liveview was a nice idea but the device failed to stay connected after a couple of months, so this gives me no faith in sony doing a new device like this.

    Otherwise I think its a nice novelty concept

  • ibap

    This may entirely be a first world problem, but so is not having enough memory in your phone to load all the apps you want. This whole site is about first world problems.

    What drives me buggy is all these people walking around with their phone in their hand all the time. And then setting it down somewhere, and scrambling to find it. Or walking around with a headset on as though they are SO important the president might call at any minute and they don’t want to miss it. My phone is usually in a shoulder bag (so my hands are free), I’ve got an add-on bluetooth speaker in my car, and a smartwatch would be more useful, and less self-important than snatching my phone out when it squawks – I’ve got a child to worry about.

    So how about a smartwatch that doesn’t look as though it was intended to be strapped over an astronaut’s EVA suit? Just tell me who’s calling when the phone rings, and show me the last SMS’s for which I’ve asked to be alerted.

    • tanman888

      ibap thanks your constructive response. Your ideal smartwatch seems like a solution for the growing problem that correlates to rise of smartphones. There’s a lot of people who lose self awareness of where they are because their heads are buried into what’s going on within their phones. Often they would bump, run into other pedestrians but more worrisome could get themselves into a lot of trouble.

      If it can be done properly (sync seemlessly to the appropriate apps), it can be a useful and pratical app device for those short on time.

  • Puzzled by Choice

    Sure I’ll jump on the smartwatch train once a decent, affordable one comes out that offers me some convenience and cool gadgetry.

    Heck, you could put GoogleNow and GoogleNav on a watch and I think I’d already be interested. I use my phone almost continually all day for navigation ( I drive a lot), emails, sms, cloud storage access, calendar, calls, etc.

    I could probably offload a couple of functions to my watch. Bluetooth in audio for GoogleNow, GPS and Music.

    • kelltrash14

      I feel similar to your opinion there, PbC. I kinda miss having a watch sometimes, too. I just never bother putting mine on anymore. Maybe if it did a little more it would have a place again *shrug*

    • tanman888

      If it can sync via bluetooth to use your phone’s wifi/3G/4G data connection it makes a lot of sense to have some of the functions you have suggested. This would prolong the battery between charges. One of the most important things many would consider on a watch device is how long would it would last between charges.

  • breckdroid

    Yeah I’m going to have to pass on this one. As long as it tells time, I consider a watch to be smart.

  • cjleines

    I actually think its kind of a cool idea. “Smart watches” are already taking off with the Nike Fuel Band. This could be androids response to that trend, with the added functionality of being able to have access to all of your phone features. I know for myself, there are plenty of times when it would be impractical to get my phone out and a quick glance at my wrist would be much simpler.

    • jonstle

      Just give me Bluetooth connectivity to see who is calling. See text messages and play music. To complement many phone nor replace it.

      I think this could be done easily while still keeping watches stylish and comfortable.

  • lou2cool88

    I, for one, can’t wait to see what innovations the smart watches bring. The Pebble looks like it will be great.

  • jonstle

    Maybe this would be a good use for a flexible screen? Do far I have not seen a device that has enough style to be worn everyday. They don’t go well with a tie. Lol

  • Thomas Biard

    I know you’re asking about Smartwatch, but I’m actually gonna get a Pebble watch, and so is my sister-in-law. Check them out. Not as clunky as the Smartwatch and I love the development going on for it. Of course, they’re not being shipped yet, but I’m seriously optimistic.
    I do think they have a lot of useability and features that may not be for everyone, but are definitely useful for millions of people.

    Features I look forward to:
    Live displays of Run Keeper stats while running/biking etc.
    Text/phone call alert and readout
    Music control to my stereo across the house

    • Thomas Biard

      I just reread my comment and it sounds like I’m advertising for Pebble. I am not and in no way associated with them other than a Kickstater backer for their project.