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Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch? 381

Posted by timothy
from the does-it-shoot-deadly-darts? dept.
Watches that do more than tell the time have been around for a long time. (And in fiction, James Bond, Dick Tracey, and Michael Knight all had notably high-tech watches.) The new smart watches from Samsung and LG, without a phone connected via Bluetooth as backhaul, can still serve to show the time and to serve as alarms (and Samsung's can measure your pulse, too), but all the magic features (like searching by voice via the watch) do require a connection. They can't play MP3s or take pictures on their own, and they don't have built-in GPS. Even so, compared to the polarizing Google Glass, the new breed of smart watches are wearables that probably are an easier sell, even if this far the trend has been to replace watches with smart phones. (Android Wear has gotten a lot of attention, but Microsoft has their own upcoming, and Apple almost certainly does, too.) Are you interested in a smart watch, and if so, what uses do you want it for? If they have no appeal to you now, are there functions that would make you change your mind on that front?
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Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

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  • Betteridge answers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by danomatika (1977210) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @03:57PM (#47439421)


  • Sure don't! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ddt (14627) <> on Saturday July 12, 2014 @04:01PM (#47439453) Homepage
    Don't want it for the same reason I got rid of my cell phone. I was servicing it more than it was serving me, and it's redundant to my portable computer anyway.
  • by epyT-R (613989) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @04:05PM (#47439477)

    NO. How many more stories are going to ask this question?

  • Device convergence (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dbrueck (1872018) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @04:21PM (#47439551)

    No thanks. The watch is just another device on the long list of separate things that got consolidated into my phone (mp3 player, camera, calendar, ebook reader, flashlight, GPS, alarm clock, etc.). As with all those other things, the version on my phone is so far into the "good enough" range that having a separate device for the same functionality just doesn't offer much appeal.

    Too many of the smart watches seem to try to move functionality back off the phone, which seems pretty pointless (until at such time as it could completely replace everything on my phone, which case I might be interested. You know, some sort of holographic magic screen that replaces the need for a large physical screen, or maybe interfaces with some futuristic contact lenses that project a HUD that only I can see).

    Anyway, that seems to be the core problem - these watches just don't do anything worthwhile compared to what I'll already be carrying with me. I don't want a watch as a status symbol, I don't need a watch to just tell time, and I don't need/want a watch to do a bunch of stuff my phone already does.

    An exception would be for highly niche purposes. I have a kid with type I diabetes. If he could have a watch that could monitor is blood sugar levels and dispense insulin, I'd buy it.

  • No (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 12, 2014 @04:21PM (#47439555)


    1) Yet Another Device To Keep Track Of
    2) Yet Another Device To Charge
    3) Yet Another Device To Perform Monthly Patches On/Worry About Being Infected By Malware
    4) It's simply not that hard to take my phone out of my pocket.
    5) I've gotten very used to not wearing a watch, or cleaning it every month from all the skin/sweat stains they accumulate
    6) The user interface is destined to be either disappointingly useless, or useful but too-big-to-be-practical.

    I have exactly 0 interest in smart watches.

  • Re:Sure don't! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ddt (14627) <> on Saturday July 12, 2014 @04:29PM (#47439593) Homepage
    By servicing, I don't mean it was broken. I mean charging, paying a monthly premium for bandwidth, enduring dropped calls and poor reception, checking it like some kind of animal expecting a treat or an addict hoping to find a leftover hit in his pocket, getting phantom vibrations on my leg when it wasn't ringing, missing vibrations when it was, and then finally, noticing that I was getting angry when people called me out of the blue without scheduling an appointment. That wasn't my first relationship to phones. Before the internet, when the phone rang, I'd run to answer it and be excited to hear who it might be. It was communication from the outside world! They changed. I fell out of love.
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @04:30PM (#47439597) Homepage

    Changing the name from Ask Slashdot to Slashdot Asks seems a rather telling display of your character. You see yourselves as Slashdot, and the commenters as ... what, customers? the audience?

    The next Beta Sucks is coming, it is only a matter of time. Until you realize that we, the commenters, are the site -- that we create the value you sell to the readers -- you will never be out from under that hanging sword.

    Do me a favor; go to YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Ars, and half a dozen other sites, and read some comment streams. Do you see how vacuous they are? Do you see how much chaff you must wade through to find one or two poignant insights?

    The moderation and metamoderation systems here have generated a unique community (well, not entirely unique, with SoylentNews [] cruising along in the wings). It is the community of commenters that you have the privilege of monetizing. But only so long as you don't piss it away with your narcissism.

  • by MindPrison (864299) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @04:40PM (#47439643) Journal
    My first smartwatch was a Seiko Data 2000, it was released in 1983 - and had a 4-line dot-matrix LCD display that lasted surprisingly long. It had an external keyboard with induction technology to transfer the data from the keyboard to the watch.

    Since then, there has been numerous PIM watches released over the years, some with icons, some databanks etc. And 5 years ago - I bought a Chinese Watch-Phone with mp4 playback/recording, spy-camera, GSM-phone, Bluetooth (stereo) headset and a color touch screen with a mini stylus hidden in the wristband itself.

    I used it the first 2 weeks to show off to my friends, I had to make numerous phone calls with it because no one at that time would believe that it actually worked as a phone, but yes - it most certainly did...and this was WAY before the well-known brands came with their limited "smart" watches, this thing could already do more than their stuff today.

    I think I wrote...I used it for 2 weeks, gave it away to a watch-collector as a christmas present, because honestly...I'd never use it.
  • No (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 12, 2014 @04:48PM (#47439697)

    No, I do not want a watch that is meant to sell my private information to third party, ass-holes like Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc. etc. etc.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Intron (870560) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:03PM (#47439743)

    No, I do not want a watch that is meant to sell my private information to third party, ass-holes like Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc. etc. etc.

    I already have a phone to do that.

  • smartwatch (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:15PM (#47439807)

    Check out Pebble. I got it to last 2 weeks without bluetooth. If you turn bluetooth on, it's gonna last a solid week. And it's waterproof (I used it in a pool and daily in my shower).

  • Yes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CauseBy (3029989) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:37PM (#47439919)

    I want one. The specific thing I want my watch to do, besides be attractive manly jewelry and tell me the time faster than pulling the pod (cell phone) out of my pocket, is to vibrate or give alarms when certain things happen or to allow easier interaction with other of my nearby technology.

    Oh, I forgot my pod in my car when I went into the shopping mall? I'll know because my watch will vibrate when I'm 50 feet away from the car instead of waiting an hour and wondering why my wife hasn't called me with the dinner plans like she promised.

    Oh, I'm at a playground trying to manage multiple children safely? I'll know if one of my children starts to wander away, and the watch will point me in the direction they are wandering.

    Oh, I'm listening to a podcast in earphones with my pod in my tight jeans pocket, and someone calls me? I can answer the call in one second by touching my watch, instead of trying to fish the pod out of my pocket and missing the call. I can also use the mic on my watch for better audio quality.

    Oh, I want to take a 'selfie' from farther away than my arms reach? I can put the camera on a flat surface, go pose, look at my watch to see what the camera sees, get it framed up right, then touch my watch to start a three-second timer on the camera.

    All you people saying NO have no imagination. You are the same people who would say "Why would I need my cell phone to have a big screen on it? All it has to do is show phone numbers and my flip phone already can do that." Have you guys paused to consider that there might be applications beyond your current imagination?

  • Re:Sure don't! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Noah Haders (3621429) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:38PM (#47439923)
    thoreau himself asked if the farmer owns the ox, or if the ox owns the farmer.this is not a new issue.
  • Re:Yes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:46PM (#47439967)
    I can easily imagine all the things you mention, and more.

    But do I want/need to do them? No
    So no, I don't want a 'smart watch'. My life is not diminished by not having one.
  • by CauseBy (3029989) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @06:55PM (#47440267)

    "Have you paused to consider that there might be other lifestyles than your own?"

    Sure. I know there are ascetics. Then there are the other vast majority of us. You know, people without your magical 100% perfect memory, people who listen to music [or podcasts], people with children, people who take pictures, and most important people who have myriad other problems not discussed here because their needs are outside my imagination, and yours.

    "Why would [using a mic on my watch] be better than the [mic on my] phone?"

    Because the phone is in my pocket, as stated in the hypothetical. Before you ask your next question, here's the answer: for the same reason it's more convenient to have a phone in my pocket rather than tethered to my kitchen.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming