The case for smartwatches
Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:03 AM
First world problems. Worth throwing $300 at?
Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:23 AM
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.
Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:18 AM
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.
Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:45 AM
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.
Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:51 AM
Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:54 AM
Posted 20 February 2013 - 09:48 AM
I see a $150 price tag on their website. Where does $300 come from?
Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:12 PM
Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:53 PM
I have no experience with this (or any financial interests, etc. in it), but something like this?