What is the appeal of smart watches?

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paulsiu
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What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by paulsiu »

When we first met, my wife wondered why I don't wear a watch. The reason is that all of my device has a built-in time and date. Why wear a watch unless it's for show? Besides, a watch is a hindrance when typing.

Jump forward to today. There is supposedly a huge market for smart watches, but I am not seeing the appeal. There are exercise band devices, those do make sense, but smart watches?

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Louis Winthorpe III
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by Louis Winthorpe III »

paulsiu wrote: There is supposedly a huge market for smart watches,
I think there's debate in the tech world about that. I don't think any smartwatch has sold well to date, and I don't know a single person who owns one. There's a lot of hope that the Apple smartwatch will sell well, but it will be several months before we can tell.
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Leif
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by Leif »

The Apple Watch, to come out next year, is a combination time piece, exercise band, communications device, when paired with an Apple iPhone. It will be interesting to see if it is popular. I will buy one, but I rather doubt it will be popular. I had a watch that cost me $10, which recently died. I cannot complain however. It was the original battery and band and lasted about 15 years. The reason I bought that watch 15 years ago is that my previous watch band broke. This watch was cheaper than buying a new band.
texasdiver
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by texasdiver »

I can see the Apple Watch as viable alternatives to existing fitness watches such as the Garmin Forerunner https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/into-sp ... 22785.html for distance runners and cyclists who want to track heart rate, distance, time on course, etc. The Apple iOS 8 is no doubt a far superior OS than the clunky systems that Garmin has. But distance athletes are a pretty small niche market.

No one really NEEDs a smart watch. I'm guessing whether they succeed or not will really depend on the extent to which people (especially young people) take to them as a fashion statement. Apple (along with Nike) is perhaps the single best company on the planet in being able to turn its products into fashion statements. So I wouldn't bet against them.
jridger2011
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by jridger2011 »

As I get older, I realize that checking my watch while talking to someone in a professional setting is less rude than taking out the phone and looking at the time. It is just my personal opinion, but I feel like I can glance at my watch quickly for time while in conversation without hitting a switch on the phone to see the screen.
gronkman
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by gronkman »

I wear a watch for 3 reasons.

1) I like being able to glance at my wrist to see what time it is, rather than pull my phone out of my pocket and pressing the lock/home button. Especially if it might be inconvenient to use my phone, like when I am on the move or driving. For the same reason, I could see a smart watch being useful.

2) When conversing with someone, I think that I can make a subtle move/look towards my watch to check what time it is. Pulling my phone out and glancing at it would be a pretty noticeable move.

2) I know this is personal opinion, but I like the look and feel of having a nice watch on my wrist. I'm a big fan of mechanical watches.
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GerryL
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by GerryL »

Before I retired from high-tech, I was bemused by all the excitement around "wearables" -- especially smart watches. One more way to sell lots and lots of semiconductors. I am definitely not the demographic they are targeting. That said, I did buy a sort-of-smart watch in order to track my sleep. It is/was(?) the only wearable on the market that tracks REM, light and deep sleep. I also use it as a pedometer. I have no interest in the other fitness features and resist all the reminders to set my personal goals.

So I head off on my multi-state drive and no sooner do I get a few hours from home than my watch is refusing to upload my sleep data to my phone. It suddenly wants a password -- for the first time since I set it up months before. Well, I don't have that with me. So I cross into Montana, and still can't upload my data and I also cannot update the time zone. What a PITA. I also had to bring a recharger with me because it requires juice every 3 days or so.

My opinion is that these gadgets appeal to people who want to be on the cutting (bleeding?) edge of technology. I'm happy to have the ability to track my sleep patterns, but I'm not swooning about any new wearables that are capturing headlines.
Millennial
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by Millennial »

texasdiver wrote:I can see the Apple Watch as viable alternatives to existing fitness watches
I really wish this were true, but the device doesn't have it's own GPS. I don't know a single distance runner who brings a phone with them running.
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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee »

From my perspective, we've gone back more than a century to 1885, to the third Anglo-Burmese War, anyway, replacing modern wrist watches with archaic pocket ones.
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rj49
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by rj49 »

I use a Pebble smart watch, which has an e-ink screen, so the battery life is long enough not require nightly charging, and it mostly just does notifications of email, calls, and other things from my iphone, so it's not a major techie distraction. That means I don't have to constantly check and turn on and off my iphone to have notifications, and it means I can decide if a call or email is important by glancing at my wrist (if I weren't retired I'd think it would also help my professional image, by not showing extreme cell phone distraction). It also reduces the rudeness factor (not lighting up a phone screen during a movie or play), and I feel less like a text-addicted teen who has to check a phone every 30 seconds. The Pebble also now has an app that tracks steps and serves as an exercise motivator, and it somehow monitors sleep (including deep sleep), so I can have a general idea of my sleep patterns. Finally, as a biker it works as a bike computer screen when I'm riding, so I don't have to strap an iphone to my bike to see how fast and far I'm going.
neatep
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by neatep »

A friend of mine is in a lot of meetings and receives a lot of emails.

His watch is synced to his mail, so everytime an email arrives, he can discretely look at it via his watch to see if he can ignore it or not.
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Leif
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by Leif »

In a way the Apple watch reminds me of the very first electronic watches. Those watches consumed so much battery power that the screen was blank until you pushed a button to display the time. I do recall seeing Tim Cook with just a black blank face on the watch as he walked around. I understand it may be a bit more convenient in that it turns itself on if you raise your arm to look at it. But, I like to just glance down at my watch to see the time. If I need to do more than that I will not buy the watch.
PS241
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by PS241 »

I have several co-workers who have smart watches. Right now it is mostly a novelty item, and they mostly use it as a pedometer which syncs to their phone. One had an onboard camera which he could use to take pictures, but he had to hold his wrist at an awkward angle to do this. He said he could use it to check email, but it didn't look very functional for that purpose. The other semi-useful item was using it to skip or pause the music he was listening to while keeping his phone in his pocket.

Maybe I am getting too sci-fi here, but I imagine in the future with improvements in flexible displays you will be able to purchase a sleeve type device which will cover your whole forearm to give more screen space.
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vitaflo
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by vitaflo »

Everyone I've talked to who is jazzed about the Apple Watch (or has a Pebble, etc) say they like it because it means they don't have to take their phone out of their pocket to see whatever alert they just got.

Apparently we've become so lazy as a society that reaching into your pocket is simply too much work that we're willing to pay $350 to relieve us of this crushing burden. Thank god that all those alerts, pings and messages we're inundated with all day will no longer go ignored because we have a fancy new watch that will finally allow us to attain the distraction level we've always dreamed of. /sarcasm
Tanelorn
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by Tanelorn »

I agree with other comments that it is less rude in a professional setting to glance at one's watch than to take out or starting fiddling with your phone. I have also been in situations where I wouldn't want those around me to know I had an expensive smart phone for safety reasons but where I wanted to know the time (traveling for instance). These are good times to have a watch, although it doesn't need to be a smart one. Ala some sci-fi stories, perhaps they'll build a basic watch into our smart contacts lens down the road so we can see the time without anyone knowing we're looking at it.
Ignatious P. Daily
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by Ignatious P. Daily »

My wife and I are both going to get the Apple Watch. Our reasons:

- Health Monitoring Ecosystem. The watch isn't just good for tracking exercise - which we will use it for. It is also good for tracking your movement and heart rate throughout the day. With an open application development platform we will see a proliferation of apps that can better inform us of our health trends etc. These will inform lifestyle choices and hopefully improve our health incrementally.

- Communication. We like the speed and ease of sending a quick tap or drawing by simply lifting your wrist and "go." I also tend to be mobile and have my email / text go off maybe 50-100 times per day. Each time reaching into my pocket, authenticating with finger print, navigate to mail or text, and read. Having much of this accessible on the wrist is a connivence.

- Apple pay. Just cool.

- Conversation piece. I run a book of business for a big data & analytics company. The Apple Watch is a good conversation piece with executives to discuss trends in personalization, self-service analytics, and rapid development platforms. All of which i sell. :)

- We like the look.

- We are tech geeks.
rotkam
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by rotkam »

Personally for me.. I want a smart watch that I can use to track my running and cycling. More importantly, if it could track my heart rate while doing cardio in Gym, that would be cool. The final icing on the cake will be it it had ability to tell temperature.
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Chan_va
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by Chan_va »

1995: What is the appeal of email?
1998: Who really needs the internet apart from tech geeks?
2002: Why text when I can call someone?
2007: Who needs a phone that's "smart"?
2009: A tablet that's connected to the internet? What's the appeal?
2014: Who would wear wear a smart watch?
stoptothink
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by stoptothink »

Millennial wrote:
texasdiver wrote:I can see the Apple Watch as viable alternatives to existing fitness watches
I really wish this were true, but the device doesn't have it's own GPS. I don't know a single distance runner who brings a phone with them running.
This. Possibly for a cyclist, who has already has an existing mount on their bike, but for any other fitness activity it makes zero sense.
nordlead
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by nordlead »

Chan_va wrote:1995: What is the appeal of email?
1998: Who really needs the internet apart from tech geeks?
2002: Why text when I can call someone?
2007: Who needs a phone that's "smart"?
2009: A tablet that's connected to the internet? What's the appeal?
2014: Who would wear wear a smart watch?
I should put together the same list and then throw a flop on the end. Like the CueCat. Just because you put a list together and put a smart watch on the end doesn't mean they will have even a fraction of the impact that any of the others did.

Much like PDA's were semi-popular for a while and then died off, smart watches could serve as a stepping stone to better technology, or they could completely flop, or they could take off. It is too early to tell, and at this point their best argument for them is "looking more professional".
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Chan_va
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by Chan_va »

nordlead wrote:
Chan_va wrote:1995: What is the appeal of email?
1998: Who really needs the internet apart from tech geeks?
2002: Why text when I can call someone?
2007: Who needs a phone that's "smart"?
2009: A tablet that's connected to the internet? What's the appeal?
2014: Who would wear wear a smart watch?
I should put together the same list and then throw a flop on the end. Like the CueCat. Just because you put a list together and put a smart watch on the end doesn't mean they will have even a fraction of the impact that any of the others did.

Much like PDA's were semi-popular for a while and then died off, smart watches could serve as a stepping stone to better technology, or they could completely flop, or they could take off. It is too early to tell, and at this point their best argument for them is "looking more professional".
True. But I believe that wearable (and soom implantable) technology will have the same impact as the rest on that list.
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House Blend
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by House Blend »

Chan_va wrote:1995: What is the appeal of email?
1998: Who really needs the internet apart from tech geeks?
2002: Why text when I can call someone?
2007: Who needs a phone that's "smart"?
2009: A tablet that's connected to the internet? What's the appeal?
2014: Who would wear wear a smart watch?
1978: Is quadrophonic really better than stereo?
1992: Do I really need an Apple Newton?
1995: Are 500 (cable) channels better than 4 OTA?
2000: Why do I need to buy toothpaste online?
2013: Why do I need a 3D TV?
2014: Why do I need a toaster oven connected to the internet?
Alex Frakt
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Re: What is the appeal of smart watches?

Post by Alex Frakt »

Locked. This is why general comment threads are off topic here, a large percentage of them turn silly or nasty or go off on a tangent.

If any of you want help choosing a smart watch, go ahead and post along with your requirements and desires. I'm sure you'll get meaningful responses.
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