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Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch? 427

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-third-wrist-to-carry-in-my-pocket dept.
An anonymous reader writes: I don't wear a watch. I never have. So, to me, the push for smart watches has always been a non-starter. But I was discussing with friends some of the features of Android Wear that Google demonstrated at the I/O conference today, and it got me wondering: what set of features would be required for a smartwatch to become viable? Obviously, this is different for everybody — millions of people wear regular watches even though they could easily pull out their phone and check the time there. Any smartwatch can also tell time, but it has advantages (apps that do other things), and disadvantages (needs charging). Clearly, there are some functions for which it's useful to have an object strapped to your wrist, even if that function could be served by the device in your pocket. Telling time is one, and lots of people use sundry fitness doo-dads to measure exercise. It makes sense to me that checking the weather forecast would fall into this category, and perhaps checking notifications. (Conversely, other functions do not translate at all, like taking photos or playing games.) Thus, two questions: if you already wear a watch, what would it take for a smartwatch to replace it? If you don't wear a watch, what features would motivate you to get one?
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Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @06:23PM (#47319367)

    I suspect much like current watches, this will mostly fill a cosmetic need vice a practical one. Sure, having a wristwatch is handy in some situations, but I wear my skeleton because I’m a geek and I think seeing all those gears doing their thing is badass. Despite being made obsolete by digital technology, a well made mechanical wristwatch is still a marvel of technology.

    It’s a toy and a fashion statement. Some people will have fun with it, a lot of people will think it’s stupid, a handful of people will actually find it fills a legitimate need they had but lets not try to invent reasons we need one.

    This whole thing reminds me of the home automation craze (which google appears to be trying to bring back). It sounds really neat and has some serious gee-wiz appeal to it. I’ll admit back in the day I bought into it (and went with x10... a system I wouldn’t wish on an enemy) but you very quickly realize that after lights, temperature, and maybe the coffeepot, there are very few practical applications. Sure some people will go on about how their curtains automatically close when they flush the toilet, but it was mostly a toy for geeks.

    Personally I won’t likely buy one, but I’m not going to berate someone who does.

    Thanks for reading and have a happy Wednesday :)

    • wireless, several hours battery time, over 4 gig. everything else is on my smartphone, the new fogey's pocket watch.

      • by arth1 (260657) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @08:19PM (#47320279) Homepage Journal

        Several hours battery life? I would want at least several weeks, so I can go on vacation without a charger.
        My normal watches run for years, so a few weeks is really not too much to ask.

      • Inspired to... meh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by fyngyrz (762201) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @08:27PM (#47320323) Homepage Journal

        Until it can sit on my wrist for a year or so without needing my attention, it's not a watch, it's an annoyance. I'm so unwilling to fuss with stuff like that, I bought a deep water capable tritium watch that is illuminated (glows) all the time, numbers, hands and outer ring.

        I think this is how smartwatches will go over with just about everyone else. Less function than the phone, which we already have, twice the annoyance (have to take it off to charge it.) Not likely to fly. Google glass (which I *despise* but anticipate the success of) is a much more functional wearable (and you could easily shoehorn med sensors in there, too... just a little more integration, etc.)

        As for the medical/sports aspect, it's a pretty lame "sport" (croquet?) that would let a watch get by unscathed, and medical sensor suites are already available, and with considerably longer time-between-charges, too.

        Just gonna go ahead and call this the Segway of wrist thingees. :) Sounds good, looks good, isn't good.

        Semi related, when is someone going to market a solar-cell surfaced skullcap? I mean, heck, if you're going to wear a computer on your face, you might as well wear a power supply assist on your head. Maybe a little propeller for when the wearable's batts and the skullcaps reserves are fully charged. ;)

    • by mythosaz (572040)

      While I'm not entirely sure I'm the market for these, they can fit a useful niche -- not keeping your phone on the table in front of you all the time, opening the screen for notifications.

      I certainly advocate just getting fewer notifications [IDNGAF that you posted a new picture of your lunch to twittergram], but there are notifications that I want, and that I'd like to see without "risking" my phone out constantly. Also, with things like Google Now getting more and more useful (if you buy into the Google

      • by fyngyrz (762201)

        Much more practical: earpiece that gives you your notifications privately, passes through audio outside the earpiece (transparent, sonically speaking.)

        No display, only a mike and a tiny sound transducer, so it can run off minimal power. Right there in your ear canal too, so temperature, pulse, and motion sensors will work great. Add my brilliant idea for a solar skullcap and, viola! Nerdgasm.

    • by houstonbofh (602064) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @06:51PM (#47319645)
      This is dead on. I have a rather nice and somewhat expensive watch. Yes, it is nice to be able to check the time riding my motorcycle, or to know how long I have been scuba diving. And yes the new watches can do that. But I have had my watch for 14 years, and it is still a nice and stylish piece of jewelry. I also have a very nice watch I inherited that is significantly older. Performs a time keeping function, but is mostly jewelry. But I would have a hard time investing a few grand in a watch that would be obsolete in 2 years, and would need a new battery (or charging) every night. So for me, the answer is "It ain't happening."
      • > But I would have a hard time investing a few grand in a watch

        Wow, a few grand? These watches will be a couple of ton, maybe a monkey max.

    • by sl149q (1537343)

      When I can get it as an electronic tattoo. No charging and don't need to remember to put it on or take it off.

    • I think you are being a little closed/small minded about this. You are limiting the domain to historical uses of watches when these are capable of far more.

      In my opinion a technology's true value (after the hype cycle has stabilised) is defined by its utility, cosmetic appeal and price. (there are probably others but they are less important)

      You have artificially limited it to one of those (appeal) and I think this is unfair - especially considering most people no longer wear watches.
      Having said that I perso
  • Only if... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scotts13 (1371443) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @06:24PM (#47319383)

    I could make phone calls on it without carrying a separate phone. Beyond that and telling time, I can't think of any other use for a screen I'd want to wear on my wrist.

    • by LoRdTAW (99712)

      I thought the same thing, it should be its own phone. But then it isn't an accessory but a standalone smart phone that you wear on your wrist. But in addition to calls and time, navigation and sports apps would be a great addition. GPS readouts, music player interface, etc.

      Taking my phone with me on a bike ride is annoying as I want to travel as light as possible. I only take a bit of cash, drivers license (for id) and phone. It would be nice If I can glance at my watch and see that I have ridden for x mile

    • And you think your battery life is bad now...
    • Re:Only if... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @07:04PM (#47319733)

      I could make phone calls on it without carrying a separate phone. Beyond that and telling time, I can't think of any other use for a screen I'd want to wear on my wrist.

      I basically agree. Here is how I see it: the thing on your wrist should do things that make sense for something on your wrist to do.

      Making telephone calls is one. Without any other device necessary. Fitness and sleep tracking are also obvious functions.

      But for just about everything else, you can have a tablet. Tether it to your phone (watch) via Bluetooth, or whatever.

      But the point is, I think current "smartwatch" efforts have it backward. Rather then trying to put everything on your watch, powered by your telephone, put the phone and health apps ONLY on your watch, then tether your tablet to that.

      Best of both worlds, rather than the worst.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        "Making telephone calls is one. "
        based on what?

      • I can't imagine using it for voice calls.... that would just feel... ridiculous.

        For what it's worth, my possible uses would be more in line with viewing incoming texts, messages, and email (sender and subject only). Maybe it's not really that much of a hassle to pull out your phone when it buzzes; still it would still be a bit more handy just to glance at your wrist.

        Another good use I could see would be Google Wallet, scan and pin credit card transactions. Put a thumb print scanner right on the face to act

    • How would a telephone call work on a watch? One can put it near either the mouth or a ear, not both, and in any of those situations, it's quite an unconfortable position.

  • by carlhaagen (1021273) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @06:25PM (#47319391)
    The Android-based things we've seen so far need to be recharged at the very least once a day. I can't even stand the thought of owning a smartphone model that requires recharging every day.
    • by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @07:04PM (#47319731)

      The Android-based things we've seen so far need to be recharged at the very least once a day. I can't even stand the thought of owning a smartphone model that requires recharging every day.

      Back when I wore a watch, I had a Casio that was supposed to be "solar-assisted". It was so well assisted that I think I only used 1 set of batteries in 10 years. So definitely I would resent having to rush back to the power well daily or even more often.

      Also, I don't want to wear a 5-pound brick with a 21-inch bezel on my scrawny little wrist. When I want a big screen, I'll find a device that has one.

      • by rahvin112 (446269)

        I currently wear a Citizen Eco-Drive watch. I think I bought it 10 years ago. The watch face is a solar panel that charges itself when it's exposed to light. The watch also has a perpetual calendar (don't have to set the date), it has stop watch and chronograph functionality and it looks like jewelry.

        But the two single most important features for me were the never having to change the battery and the perpetual calendar (never having to set the date, even on leap years). I just shake my head at this "smart"

    • by dpidcoe (2606549)

      I can't even stand the thought of owning a smartphone model that requires recharging every day.

      What's so hard about plugging it in before you go to sleep at night?

  • The only thing I can think of are the fitness metrics. It would be exciting if a smartwatch could measure not only heart rate, but vo2 stats as well as blood pressure.

    That'd be almost exciting enough to plop down 100 bucks on it.

  • by istartedi (132515) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @06:28PM (#47319405) Journal

    Built-in A/C and UV light to compensate for the sweatiness and tan-marks that come from wearing a watch. This is the no. 1 reason why I would never consider wearing a watch again. Obviously I'm joking with the subject line. It ain't happenin', "smart" or otherwise. Now that time and a bunch of other things are in my pocket, they ain't goin' back on my wrist.

    Oh, and bands that snag the hair on your arms. Ouch. Never again.

  • by rogoshen1 (2922505) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @06:28PM (#47319407)

    I think it's rather novel that Google is figuring out how to *sell* tracking bracelets.

    Previously the government, and of all its marketing prowess -- had to actually convict people of a crime in order to drive sales, let alone get people to wear them after the 'newness' factor wore off.

    Was the key change to make them in a wristwatch format vs ankle bracelet? I suppose that's why they get the big bucks eh?

    So kudos to Google, real men of genius.

    • by jareth-0205 (525594) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @06:35PM (#47319471) Homepage

      Yes yes very good. How's being clever going for you?

      Since that this "tracking bracelet" requires a GPS from the phone you're carrying and the network connection from the phone your're carrying... it's of course nothing to do with a dumb screen on your wrist.

      • Yes yes very good. How's being clever going for you?

        Since that this "tracking bracelet" requires a GPS from the phone you're carrying and the network connection from the phone your're carrying... it's of course nothing to do with a dumb screen on your wrist.

        Location services via the telephone network (trilateration) is only guaranteed to within about a kilometer and then only if enough towers are available. When a phone or other device says "GPS", it's literally getting read-only data from the GPS satellite system. Location services is an abstraction where it's possible to select at the programming level what location service provider you select. Trilateration takes less power but is less accurate. GPS takes more power (= battery life) but has a much, much bet

    • by zlives (2009072)

      may be a smart collar is the way to go. You know it makes a statement or some such

  • I stopped wearing a watch when my last one broke over 10 years ago. I am surrounded by time - on my computer, the TV guide, cell phone, clock on microwave, clock on stove, clock on standard phone, time is everywhere. Why would I want to strap it on my wrist?
    • by Anrego (830717) * on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @06:39PM (#47319521)

      It's useful in a very small handful of circumstances. The main one that comes to mind is checking the time in a meeting or other situation where it would be inappropriate to haul out a phone (although the social expectation of not playing with your phone in these situations is eroding fast).

      Mainly though, it's a piece of jewelry. I know some people are repulsed by the very idea of wearing anything more than the most utilitarian of cloths, but I like wearing one. Mine has a clear faceplate showing off the intricate mechanical workings, which is something I find cool and suits my personality. Other people get something out of the workmanship that goes into those $2000 watches.

      Not everything needs a practical purpose. Some stuff is just cool.

    • Nah. Each one of those clocks are showing their own time, that may disagree by minutes or entire hours... I don't use a watch, but only use the computers and telephone clocks.

    • by Sloppy (14984)

      Maybe what you need is an anti-watch that uses anti-time: not only does it not tell you what time it is, but suppresses other clocks around you.

      "What time is it?"

      "It's time for me to press the 'temporary disable' button on my anti-watch. Ah, according to Big Ben, it's 10:38."

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by arth1 (260657)

        Maybe what you need is an anti-watch that uses anti-time: not only does it not tell you what time it is, but suppresses other clocks around you.

        I have one that lacks hands, and the dial says "now".

        The problem is it's always late. I want an upgraded version that says "then" instead.

  • Something useful? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RoknrolZombie (2504888) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @06:29PM (#47319419)

    I would need it to do something useful that would either not be available on my smartphone, or completely replaces my smartphone.

    I doubt that I will be able to (or WANT to) talk on the phone using a smartwatch...while Dick Tracy *looks* neat in comics, It's essentially putting everyone on speaker phone which I think is pretty retarded. With that as my initial stance, it would have to do something other than what my phone does.

    I'm currently in the market for a blood pressure monitor, and I've used the gimmicky pedometers/calorie trackers before. These are things that my phone doesn't do (or doesn't do well), so I guess more or less sets the bar for me.

    I don't care that they can do "neat" stuff. I need it to do *useful* stuff. Simplify my life, don't complicate it even more.

  • I already have one (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I already a sweet Casio that's wp to 100M, has an altimeter, thermometer, and various time-keeping functions/features. And it was $50 bucks.

    Until, you can give me a Leila-style forearm-puter with a flexible 6-7 inch touch screen...I'm happy with my Casio.

  • I want to be able to walk to cafe, hold my watch over sensor, and have my home, school, or work station popup. When I walk away my desktop goes away.
  • by sir-gold (949031) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @06:37PM (#47319487)

    If you are the kind of person who pulls their phone out just to check the time, then you aren't the type of person that would benefit from a smart-watch in the first place

    I wear a basic timex digital watch, not because it's some sort of fashion statement, but because it's easier to look at my wrist (especially while driving) than it is to pull my phone out, without dropping it or getting it dirty.

  • it is made by Patek.
  • Phones are barely big enough to be usable for apps as it is - while I would like to move to a smartwatch to avoid hauling a phone or tablet around, it needs a way to have a large display on demand and simple user interface that isn't audible (for privacy and security reasons). Until we get a neural or perhaps google glass style interface, I don't think it's possible to solve that problem. And all that with a 24hr battery life.

  • it would take billions more to make me wear it daily.

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      You stole my response.... Smart watch???? You mean that thing that requires another device to actually DO something?

      I'll keep my old analog watch because it takes no batteries, keeps reasonable time, and is going to work when all else fails...

      • by geekoid (135745)

        "You mean that thing that requires another device to actually DO something?"
        no. An independent device that can do it's own set of things AND couple with other devices to do more things.
        I'm surrounded by clocks. And if EVERYTHING FAILS knowing the time is the least of you problems.

        • by bobbied (2522392)

          Then this "smart watch" isn't a watch. I carry a watch to tell the what time it is, when I'm interested in knowing. Why wear a "smart watch" if that's not what it's for?

          When all else fails, Knowing the time may not be a huge problem, but it will be nice to have one. It makes it a lot easier to do a lot of things like getting around, cooking and living a well regulated life in the face of everything falling apart around you. You can time how long you boil that water you collected so you know it's safe, or

  • I am working all day with computers, and there I have the time somewhere in a widget or just a command away. The car has a watch. There are watches all over town. Thus, I don't need a wristwatch, and in the few situations where I need to know the time and there is no watch around right now, I still can pull out the mobile and check.

    Thus for me: Currently nothing could convince me to buy a smart watch.

  • I live in Thailand. In 1992 I was going to visit the USA. so I bought a watch. A month later I was in the US. A month after that I lost the watch. A watch feels too much like a handcuff. Be there then, race the clock, step in time, step in time, step in time. No thank you. My heart made the choice. I haven't owned a watch since then. If I want to know what time it is I reach in my pocket and pull out my new Sony Smartphone. It tells me the time, and connects me with other people and the world's schedules.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Your topic made me think you were going to tell a whole other kind of story. But it got me to thinking. The obvious answer is handcuff key. A little knife blade would be nice, too.

      I'm not wearing a wristwatch until a holographic computer can pop out of it, and that's the whole thing. Not in this lifetime.

  • A screen the size of my Galaxy note 3.

  • by YukariHirai (2674609) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @06:48PM (#47319607)
    There is nothing that would motivate me to get a smartwatch. Everything they can possibly do is done better by a smartphone, with the sole exception of the convenience of being able to tell the time with a glance at your wrist, and that is offset by the inconvenience of having an uncomfortable chunk of metal strapped to your wrist. One might possibly be able to make a case for Google Glass or something like it, but not a smartwatch.
  • by uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @06:49PM (#47319631)

    called "Google Private", where they take a subscription fee from you for services and in return, they send noise data to their marketing customers about you while providing you with a list of all entities that make user-specific queries about you.

  • Glucose Monitoring (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @06:50PM (#47319637)

    I would buy a smartwatch and wear it--at least at certain times a day--if it provided some sort of blood sugar monitoring. The next release of the iPhone is rumored to have this. If the iPhone 8 has a consistent and/or reliable glucose monitor, I will buy one the first day and start wearing a wrist watch again. (I quit wearing a wrist watch in ~1990 because they ate my shirt cuffs. I wore expensive, for the time, dress shirts to work everyday and my dive watch chewed them up like candy.)

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @06:52PM (#47319655)

    Firstly, like in an ordinary watch the battery life should be measured in years and it should require no other maintenance.
    Second, people should be openly admiring of it - both as a technological marvel and as a timepiece.
    If it could do anything else than keep good time, that would be nice but not necessary.

    Personally, I consider the first of these needs to be the most achievable.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      "Second, people should be openly admiring of it - both as a technological marvel and as a timepiece. "
      wow, you are such a douche. You must have what 5? 6? Trilbys?

  • Frankly, I stopped wearing a digital watch because I noticed when I forgot it class passed by much more quickly and enjoyably than when I was counting away the minutes until it was over. Also, it lead to the rude habbit to be checking my watch when conversing or keeping company with someone, as if I was just waiting to get away.

    Having technology always at the ready is at least mildly antisocial, especially when it's visible to others. If I'm sitting down to do work then I want my full laptop. I will carry

  • I still wear an old school Casio DataBank (150 model) watch. I do not use mobile phones. I'd like a smartwatch to replace my old watch since it is difficult/hard to find another one. I do not want to buy a phone. I just want simple features like scheduler, times, address book, etc. Nothing fancy. I have disabilities so I can't hold mobile devices well. Watches are perfect. They cannot be big and heavy since I have thin arms and other issues with my old weird body. :( Anyways, it seems like the current and u

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Nothing will meet your needs. You are way out on the edge of the bell curve.

      http://www.casio-usa.com/produ... [casio-usa.com]

      apparently you need to be a scarf wearing tattooed douche bag to wear them. Hmm Interesting marketing there Casio.

      • by antdude (79039)

        Yeah, hence why the difficulities. Too bad they don't carry that 310 model anymore. :(

  • Don't know why, just bugs me to wear them, and I keep bashing them on things. Before I got a cell phone, I wore a carabiner watch on my belt and it was pretty cool...they were built with cheap springs though, had a tendency to stop staying clipped after a year or two, and after I lost one down an elevator shaft while disembarking I pretty much swore off timepieces (coincidentally that's around when I got a cell phone and stopped needing them).

    I guess if I was working in a physical, mobile job...where takin

  • by hurfy (735314) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @07:00PM (#47319715)

    Probably not good I had to think so hard to come up with just one answer.

    Universal remote control

    I can't find a pro that would overcome the cons. The only thing I'll use a smartphone (when I get around to one) is a better camera, it could do remote Credit Card transactions for 10 days a year(meh), and it could monitor the office security system. I can't see anything about a smartwatch to compensate for the losses.

    The poor call quality and battery life have so far kept me from even getting the smartphone yet. No way is a watch going to help either of those, so really, none.

  • Honestly, I may occasionally joke about wanting an actual PipBoy, but the truth is, I don't want to wear anything on my arm, even a small thing. Maybe an upper arm/bicept device, but, not wrist or forearm. Possibly even a small pendant device, especially if it could be belt attached or pocketed as needed....but it would have to be a pretty clever device to overcome my suspicion that its going to end up left behind in a drawer forever in 3 weeks.

  • I wear a shock resistant dive watch. Quite unlike my smart phone, I don't worry about dropping it, hitting it against solid objects, or getting it wet because it shrugs these things off like it was nothing. I don't worry about losing it because it comfortably resides on my wrist regardless of what I am wearing.

    I want a smart watch that is like that.

    However, much of that advantage is lost if I still have to carry around a cumbersome, unattached, and fragile smart phone. It is fine to augment the smart pho

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seriously, why is /. letting Google do their market research here? Pathetic.

    To answer the question NOTHING will get me to use Google products if it can at all be avoided. They've already broken the web.

    Don't feed the Google beast!

  • Mandatory features: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Miamicanes (730264) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @07:09PM (#47319767)

    Mandatory features of any smartwatch that costs more than $100:

    * Acceptable aesthetics.I'm setting the bar pretty low here, but it has to at least look rugged & utilitarian, if not actually attractive. If it looks like a Fisher Price toy or some cheap piece of plastic junk, it's not happening.

    * Ability to use normal wrist straps, absent some compelling and good reason to the contrary.

    * Glass that's either independent of the screen & can be replaced when cracked by me for $10 or so worth of parts and an hour of time, or hardened enough to survive getting repeatedly scraped against rough concrete walls. I destroyed dozens of watches growing up by accidentally getting too close to a wall/concrete pillar/whatever and scraping or smashing the glass.

    * MINIMUM 36-hour battery life

    * At least two tactile hard buttons that can be easily pinched independently of one another and used as a modifier key with the other. I hate HATE ***HATE*** touchscreens in general, and a watch would be the worst touchscreen environment of all. The only way to make it random-touch-resistant would be to add latency and sample delays that would make it feel laggy & slow.

    * Rootable & reflashable as I see fit. Android would be nice, some Linux variant would be OK, and frankly I could live with an Atmel AVR as long as I can personally reflash it.

    * Real, honest-to-god e-ink (not LCD-based "e-paper") display that takes a cue from the DSTN LCD displays of yore & has two or more independent controllers that can update different parts in parallel (doubling or quadrupling the time to redraw the display). Enough framebuffer ram to do full-blown double/triple-buffering with *really fast* DMA (to let you compose changes, then propagate them to the actual display in an instant instead of 200-400ms) would be even better. There's no technical reason why an e-ink display HAS to be glacially slow... they've just been slow up to now because they were designed to minimize component cost and conserve battery life. But since they'd only consume power while being actively updated, the power budget difference between e-ink with parallel controllers and e-ink with one slow controller would be fairly small (think: race to sleep instead of always running slowly).

    * If it DOES have a touchscreen (in addition to the aforementioned pair of diagonally-opposed hardkeys from a few points back), that touchscreen needs to be capable of AT LEAST 120 samples/second (if not with stock firmware, at least the hardware itself when reflashed to a custom ROM). A tiny screen NEEDS a high sample rate to get any kind of acceptable resolution from a capacitive sensor.

    • Agree with you on lots of these. Interesting about the battery life - why 36 hours? You mention e-ink - but mirasol looks better. Color, high res, high frame rate, great outdoors. With you on the touch screen - I prefer buttons. Could be okay though, but you still have the glove issue when it's cold.
  • A Phaser.
    A Tricorder.
    A real time universal translator that operates transparently while conversing with people of other languages.
    The ability to respond to voice commands no matter how obscure.

    also it would need to keep time

    Ok i could do without the phaser and as long as it could always get time from gps or network connections i dont mind if it doesnt have an internal clock

  • It needs to be a complete phone with all the bells and whistles, just with a small screen.

    Extra credit, it should plug into a bigger display for things like maps, chat, pictures, and email.

  • as soon as it generates its own power from my movements, like my 30 year old mechanical one does.

  • I already have a smartwatch, but if I didn't these would be the reasons today I would get one:
    (These are all real, existing apps.)

    App that ..sends slow-scan video to watch from phone or takes and displays pictures ..sends nav screen to watch ..can display forecast, barometric pressure, wind direction and velocity ..gets full weather report ..lets you activate watch features based on a value on the internet e.g. **buy alert** goog is at $450
    or "new post on your blog", etc. ..lets you know your phone needs ch

    • by geekoid (135745)

      The market of people who want to slap somehting o there wrist is still shrinking.
      We have two generation of people where wearing a watch was not a necessity.

      Unless that have an actually killer app or tech(holographic display) there value doesn't warrant the limitations.
      Obviously there are specialty area for a watch to be worn. I can't think of one where you would want a smart watch due to is fragile nature.

  • The only advantage of a smartwatch over a smartphone is that it can't be that easily stolen/lost/broken. I would therefore like it to take over more critical functions that, however, require a minimum of interaction with the smartwatch. Have it automatically unlock/lock my house/car using proximity sensors, for example. Of course it should provide all sorts of time-telling functions, like time-zone conversion and it should have calendar reminders. It should be 100% waterproof so I can wash my hands without

  • To make it worth it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jarik C-Bol (894741) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @07:20PM (#47319847)
    The key features to make a 'smartwach' worth my money, in my mind, starting from the hardware side:

    1. E-ink display. Easy to read in daylight, can be illuminated from the side for low light use, extremely low power use.
    2. Inductive charging. I need to be able to take my watch off and set it down on a stand, and pick it up in the morning knowing its charged, no fiddling with little connectors that get corroded by my personal humidity.
    3. Decent water resistance. This is an extension of number 2, but vital. I need to be able to sweat, wash my hands, slosh a drink, and not be worried about ruining a multi hundred dollar piece of hardware strapped to my hand.

    as for software features, I desire:

    1. Show me the time without having to screw with it. - I don't want to be pressing buttons on my watch just to see the time during the day. At night, yes, a button for a light, but I need it to be a 'at a glance' function.
    2. caller ID function, and ignore call function. This thing is linked to my phone, so most of its point is to be able, at a glance, to see who is calling me, and ignore the call if desired. Single dedicated button for this function would be best.
    3. Volume control for headphones attached to phone. - say, I have my phone in a pocket/arm case, using headphones to listen to music or make calls. digging the phone out to change volume, or fiddling with tiny buttons on the side of my head at my headset sucks, It would be nice to be able to use a volume control on my wrist to adjust the volume of whatever i'm using. Remember, this 'watch' is supposed to be an extension of my phone. basic pause/play/skip function would be nice also.

    Honestly, thats about it. The main thing that makes me dislike the current smart watch offerings is bulk, charging, and over-feature. There are very few things I will want to do on a screen small enough to fit on my wrist comfortably, and as such, I see the smart watch as more of a peripheral device, not a primary interaction vector for my devices.
  • Probably some sort of brain seizure of something that suspends my belief that technology is support to serve a purpose, and is definitely not a method to sell trinkets.

  • While I can use my Note2 for all things digital, I still wear a watch quite often, a Casio G-Shock. The main feature that it has that keeps it on my wrist is the compass, although I use the alarm and timers more often.
    I would like to see what the email/text/whatever is that I just got so I can decide if I need to read it now or later. I would like to have biometrics like pedometer, pulse, etc. Customizable watch faces are a must. Working with the phone GPS to display waypoint direction would be great.
    Has to

  • Watches are still way too thick. You still can't find a digital watch (except for some ridiculous e-ink devices) less than 5mm thick.

    While they're at it, why do dial watches still have crowns? You should be able to hold them up to a computer screen to set the time and date like those old databank watches. All they need is a sensor or solar cell and a tiny bit of logic.

  • I mostly stopped wearing a watch because my phone does that now. I only need a watch in secure areas where phones (and smart watches) aren't allowed.

    Pocket watches went out of style when miniaturized and rugged wristwatches became cost effective. Now pocket watches are "back" in the form of a small computer in a pouch - aka a smart phone. A wristwatch can't have enough of a display area to be useful as "the" mobile computer a person carries around. And there's no real reason someone would want to carry two.

  • Any one or more of:
    Time Travel.
    Teleportation.
    Anti-gravity.
    A pricetag of $0.

  • My dumbwatch's battery lasts about 2 years, and when that battery dies, I can go to a store and buy another one for a few bucks. When the watch itself eventually dies, I can go to a store and buy a whole new watch for about 25-30.

    I would buy a smartwatch when those things are true of smartwatches. Until then, I'll stick with the watch I have, thanks. I don't really *need* a watch to do anything other than tell me what time it is and have an alarm on it, after all - in fact, doing other things would probably

  • by Snotnose (212196) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @07:43PM (#47320021)
    Sexy enough so a hot 20 year old would hop into bed with my fat 56 y/o self when she sees me wearing it.
    / make that a hot 20 y/o female
    // human female
    /// I have no explanation as to why she would wander into mom's basement to see me wearing it tho.
  • I probably wouldn't get a fully featured smartwatch, but the Nabu Smartband from Razer is about as close as I'd personally get. Mostly for the annoyance factor my phone tends to garner when it's constantly going off with Hangouts, GroupMe, Twitter, Facebook, Skype, and many other applications that cause my phone to make noise. With the smartband, the annoyance is isolated to just myself and the vibrating band on my wrist, allowing me to permanently turn down the notification volume.
  • $100 / day, paid in full by google, direct deposit, and I'll wear a stupid fucking smart watch.

    I don't have to use it, do I?

    PS: I already wear a watch.

  • my last watch went 14 years on one battery, my current watch is about 3 years old.

  • by geekoid (135745)

    holographic display; instead of a watch so bulky it looks like the people selling them aren't comfortable wearing one.

  • Already posted, but got a better idea. Combine it with that Myo thing that measures your tendons or whatever so it can tell what hand or finger motions you're making. The hell with touch control or voice control: Make it something you can operate by only moving the hand it's strapped to, without touching anything. Use with Bluetooth earbuds, put your thumb against your third and fourth fingers, 'swipe' up to start/stop your music, or down to skip track...maybe something to answer or hang up a phone call

  • We already grant that the person wearing the watch has a phone, so why not just keep the watch simple (and thus power-stingy) and slave it to the phone?

    That way, if there's a feature you want on the watch, get the phone app to do it.

  • this is a solution searching for a problem that doesn't exist. I still wear a nice watch, mainly as a backup for when my phone has a flat battery or is in an awkward to reach place. my current watch does everything I need it to do, it tells the time, is water proof so I never need to be concerned where I am with it and doesn't need recharging more than once a year, maybe one day a smart watch will also be able to do all those things, but what's the point!

  • n/a
  • a smart watch that used a regular dial and had a siri-like but massively expanded voice prompt system, and it needs to use a kinetic charger or an induction charger so I never have to plug it in to anything for any reason.

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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