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The case for smartwatches

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:00 AM

Post your comments for The case for smartwatches here
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#2 User is offline   ZombieReagan 

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  Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:03 AM

"it’s annoying, too. I have to slide out my phone, potentially implying to the people around me that I’m rudely ignoring them.... a notification about an interesting email or tweet might further distract me.... I want to tell the time more subtly and inoffensively again."

First world problems. Worth throwing $300 at?
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#3 User is offline   LexFriedman 

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  Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:23 AM

I'm not sure Macs, iPhones, iPads, or most other luxury items do more than solve first world problems.

I use my Mac to get my work done. But writing for Macworld is a first-world problem: Since I don't hunt and gather my own food, I need to make a living to earn money to buy food at the store instead.

Telling time, in fact, is a first world problem.

#4 User is offline   ZombieReagan 

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  Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:18 AM

Point taken, Lex.

I still think that the smart watch is an expensive solution for relatively miniscule problems. There are products like the Nike Fuelband which at $149 offer real functionality not duplicated elsewhere (designed and suited for a small audience), but a more generalized watch product costing significantly more whose primary functionality is slightly faster access to a(n already expensive) phone just inches away seems like a solution in search of a problem.
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#5 User is offline   PugetBill 

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  Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:45 AM

It's interesting to read all of the ideas and presumptions people have about what a "smartwatch" will / should be. My desires and assumptions are different from many I have read so far.

I don't want a smartwatch, I want a wristphone. And a good wristphone does not need to support every feature available on today's smartphones. I want a phone that is small and light enough to wear on my wrist - but can still make and receive phone calls and text messages without relying on wireless linking to any other device "in my pocket" (or on my eyes or in my ears.) I don't need to take pictures with my wristphone or watch movies on my wristphone.

Since most mobile (dumb) phones are currently much more massive than most wristwatches, I imagine the engineering challenges for a practical wristphone are extreme. And we may not yet have reached the point where the necessary technology exists to make a practical / desirable / affordable wristphone. The radio transmitter must be light yet powerful and the battery would need to be extremely light and efficient. Antenna(s) of necessary length(s) could possibly be integrated into the strap if necessary. I suspect (back or front) lighting would be too demanding on the necessarily minuscule battery so a passively lit (e-ink type) display is probably called for. I am presuming a wristphone will/should support a touchscreen with a face no larger than typical wristwatch faces today. Text input would be Palm-Pilot-graffiti-like rather than virtual-keyboard-like. Speaker and microphone placement are critical and could involve using the (semi-) integrated band or band clasp. When I think of how I hold a smartphone today when talking, my mouth is always only 2 or 3 inches away from my wristwatch band clasp - so this seems a reasonable posture for wristphone calling as well. A 2 or 3 microphone 'array' in the case and/or band could be used to capture only the wearer's voice while eliminating other nearby noise). If I were the manufacturer, I would not hesitate to build (and charge for) a premium device. I do not envision a successful wristphone as being a cheaper alternative to a full size phone. I see the wristphone as a (justifiably) more expensive device that gives me 99% of what I NEED in a phone, in a package that is always with me - on my wrist.
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#6 User is offline   gk_brown 

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  Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:51 AM

I agree with PugetBill. I don't need a "smart watch", or even a "smart phone" for that matter (I don't currently own an iPhone). I would, however, be interested in a "wrist phone"; i.e. something a bit more convenient to carry and use than my existing feature phone.
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#7 User is offline   gk_brown 

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  Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:54 AM

I should add that I would definitely NOT be interested if such a device required an expensive voice/text/data plan in order to work. Voice - yes. Text - maybe. Data - no. A watch isn't big enough to display any meaningful amount of data anyways.
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#8 User is offline   gk_brown 

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  Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:56 AM

OTOH, it would be cool if it worked with FaceTime, which would require a data plan. So maybe wi-fi/mobile broadband only, no voice/text.

I'll stop talking now. :-)
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#9 User is offline   himbo 

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  Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:48 AM

Quote

"it’s annoying, too. I have to slide out my phone, potentially implying to the people around me that I’m rudely ignoring them.... a notification about an interesting email or tweet might further distract me.... I want to tell the time more subtly and inoffensively again." First world problems. Worth throwing $300 at?

I see a $150 price tag on their website. Where does $300 come from?
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#10 User is offline   ZombieReagan 

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  Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:12 PM

I was referring to a presumptive $300 price for an iWatch, given the speculation that it will contain a Bluetooth module to connect to iPhones, and the $200-$400 prices of today's Smartwatches. I was comparing that price to the $149 for the limited-functionality Fuelband
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#11 User is offline   schmegs 

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  Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:53 PM

Quote

It's interesting to read all of the ideas and presumptions people have about what a "smartwatch" will / should be. My desires and assumptions are different from many I have read so far. I don't want a smartwatch, I want a wristphone.


I have no experience with this (or any financial interests, etc. in it), but something like this?

http://www.midnightb...lboxtabs=0#back
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#12 User is offline   paternostermonica 

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  Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:09 AM

These are pretty weak arguments. Couldn't Apple feed you anything better than this?

It is not going to be a winner. Wearing one will be an embarrassment.
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#13 User is offline   AdamB 

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  Posted 23 February 2013 - 08:03 AM

Great article. I'm excited, I just ordered one. I wonder how long the wait is going to be?!?
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