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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 @04:57PM (#47439421)

    No

    • all these android wear devices are not impressive. i'm holding out for an watch.
      • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @08:43PM (#47440417)

        all these android wear devices are not impressive. i'm holding out for an watch.

        Good news! You can buy watches now - and they come in quite a range of prices and styles!

        • by billstewart (78916) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @12:43AM (#47441053) Journal

          I haven't owned any of the current generation of cellphone-accessory smartwatches. The ones I have owned:

          -- Casio GPS watch - It was a gift from my wife, back before GPSs had taken over the world. It was big and clunky, got me all kinds of geek cred at work, didn't work very well as a GPS but the fact that it worked at all was amazing.
          -- TI EZ430-Chronos watch - programmable, using their MSP430 microprocessor set, had a reasonably flexible display. It didn't have a lot of sensors, and I didn't end up hacking it very much, but it was a lot of fun. It had a low-power radio link that let it connect to a heartbeat monitor band, so you could use it for things like watching your heart rate while jogging.
          -- Watches with various other functions built in, like moon phase, tides tables for surfing, that kind of thing. One of them had a screen saver for entirely no good reason, just because it could.

          In practice, I find that almost all of the time I'm either in front of a computer screen with a clock display in the corner, or in an environment with clocks around, or carrying a cellphone with a clock display on the main screen, or in an environment that's not very friendly to watches, or in a social environment where I don't really care what time the clock says it is, so I've stopped wearing watches most of the time.

          When smart-watches get smart enough to be the phone instead of being a peripheral display for the phone, maybe. But is a smart-watch phone that needs a Bluetooth headset and needs reading glasses to use more convenient than a cellphone with big text that can use a wired headset? For me, it's really not.

    • Yes (Score:2, Insightful)

      by CauseBy (3029989)

      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

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by YrWrstNtmr (564987)
        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.
      • I guess you haven't done much research, because the Sony smartwatch 2 can do all of those things already. The wireless child tether is a bit much, but it's technically possible with the SW2 if there's an app for it on the phone.
      • by unrtst (777550)

        FWIW, much of what you want has been available for years. Ex: http://www.aliexpress.com/item... [aliexpress.com]

        There's a slew of versions of bluetooth wristbands. They all seem to include:
        * alert when they go out of range of your phone (ie. you leave phone in car or it gets stolen, and it vibrates when you're 5m away)
        * time/date on display (for any of those with a display... some don't have a display)
        * caller id displayed (for those with a display)
        * vibrate on incoming calls
        * (optionally) vibrate on incoming sms/txt/notifi

      • I agree with your comment. I remember when I posted right here on slashdot in 2005 that phone displays were too small and that we needed touchscreen and voice UIs .. of course I got response that phones didn't need to have a big screen because people have TVs --seriously?

        Proof: http://hardware.slashdot.org/c... [slashdot.org]

    • by tehlinux (896034) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @07:47PM (#47440243)

      My initial reaction is no, but maybe if it could fit in my pocket...

  • A smart watch is a smart phone with less functionality that you have to wear around your wrist. I don't understand the appeal at all. Everything it does a smart phone does better, only a smart phone is not strapped to one of your body parts.

    • The smart watches I've seen aren't meant to be used independently - they're used in conjunction with a smartphone. I'm not sure I want one, but I can see the appeal of - you can read a text, see who's calling, and perform simple functions without pulling out your phone.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      Everyone I've seen use one uses it to remotely answer the phone, while they try to find where they last laid the phone. It's probably a better match for the tablet-sized phones people don't keep on them.
  • I can't think of any use for a smart watch, to be quite frank. Can't dictate things to it without everyone around me hearing me, plus all the speech recognition - things I've tried handle Finnish poorly anyways. Too small a display to do anything useful with. Too small battery, would lead to endless frustration. Clock? I could just use a regular watch for that. I don't doubt that those can be totally awesome things for some people, but I just can't see myself belonging in that group.

    • by Zocalo (252965)
      Same situation here. I can see how they *might* be useful, but none of the currently available models have a killer feature or, better yet, a set of killer features, that make me want to get one. Not even slightly. On the flipside of that, the one feature that they almost all seem to have that I most definitely don't want is that they are tied to a specific phone, or at least to a specific vendor. Maybe Apple can come up with somethings for them to do that everyone else can rip off for the whichever gen
      • Re:Not really (Score:4, Interesting)

        by binarybum (468664) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @07:17PM (#47440121) Homepage

        What do you mean a specific phone or vendor? The Pebble has been around for a long time and has no such allegiances.
        And ugly? Have you seen the Steel? It's more handsome than the majority of watches I've owned.

            Calendar alerts, live weather, caller ID, and text messages all have made me a fan of my Pebble. Try one for a couple of weeks - I'm pretty sure you'll become a convert. I'm sure it varies based on style, but I've discovered that I probably only respond to about 30-40% of text messages (some are ignored, others are received ends of conversations). The rest can be viewed on my watch without having to ever mess with the phone.

          With a watch and a blue tooth head set soon enough the question will not longer be who needs a smartwatch, it will be who needs a smartphone - I think the mini-tablet will ultimately reign supreme and act as a hub for tiny peripherals. That's what I'm hoping for at least.

  • smartwatch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @04:59PM (#47439439) Homepage

    I'd like a very *simple* smart watch...

    * Simple caller-ID and memo display, programmable shortcut buttons, nothing else.

    * Very long charge life comparatively (2 weeks would be okay) and/or very easy charging (put it on a charging pad).

    • Re:smartwatch (Score:4, Informative)

      by Mr_Silver (213637) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:15PM (#47439525)

      I'd like a very *simple* smart watch...

      * Simple caller-ID and memo display, programmable shortcut buttons, nothing else.

      * Very long charge life comparatively (2 weeks would be okay) and/or very easy charging (put it on a charging pad).

      Closest I can think to those requirements are the Casio G-Shock Bluetooth models [g-shock.com]. Two year battery life and notifications for most of the common things you'd want. A comparison chart can be found here [g-shock.com].

      Unfortunately they don't really go so well with a suit - although I don't suspect that will be a problem for the majority of Slashdot readers.

      • by Carewolf (581105)

        I'd like a very *simple* smart watch...

        * Simple caller-ID and memo display, programmable shortcut buttons, nothing else.

        * Very long charge life comparatively (2 weeks would be okay) and/or very easy charging (put it on a charging pad).

        Closest I can think to those requirements are the Casio G-Shock Bluetooth models [g-shock.com]. Two year battery life and notifications for most of the common things you'd want. A comparison chart can be found here [g-shock.com].

        Unfortunately they don't really go so well with a suit - although I don't suspect that will be a problem for the majority of Slashdot readers.

        Great idea, but why does they have to look like SHIT? The shape looks like something big and rubbery made for toddlers, and the display for 13-year old boys with a 1980's fetish.

    • by Intron (870560) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @06:04PM (#47439757)

      I'd like a very *simple* smart watch...

      * Simple caller-ID and memo display, programmable shortcut buttons, nothing else.

      * Very long charge life comparatively (2 weeks would be okay) and/or very easy charging (put it on a charging pad).

      I would like mine to also tell time.

    • smartwatch (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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).

      • Re:smartwatch (Score:4, Informative)

        by Langalf (557561) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @06:25PM (#47439845)
        I agree. I have a Pebble, and with Bluetooth on and about 15-20 notifications a day, I get a solid week on a two hour charge. I use watchfaces that only update once a minute, and I could not be more happy with this device. With the vibration and the notifications on screen, I can deal with 90% of what I receive without ever pulling out my smartphone. The phone is always on mute, and I rarely miss anything important.
        • by Jhon (241832)

          I like how my Pebble tells me I have an incoming call before my phone rings.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Google Now, or something like it. Forget about messing around with shortcut buttons and apps, I just want something that tells me what I need to know when I look at it. For example, as I get up to leave work I want to vibrate and notify me of traffic on my usual route. When I get to the airport I want my flight info displayed with the gate number.

      Throw in some basic health monitoring (steps, maybe heart rate), a round face (square just looks stupid for some reason) and wireless charging. Most importantly it

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If a smartwatch served as a secure Bitcoin wallet, I'd buy one!

  • by simplypeachy (706253) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @04:59PM (#47439445)

    I'm on my fourth watch and this one even has a date window. I cannot comprehend how a watch can get even smarter!

    Full disclosure: I am the son of a jeweller / watchsmith.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Frosty Piss (770223) *

      I'm on my fourth watch and this one even has a date window. I cannot comprehend how a watch can get even smarter!

      I agree. 10 years ago, I thought about all the money I had spent on cheap watches that I later destroyed or that simply stopped working. The next time I needed a watch, I purchased a $500 Seiko, which has served me well as a watch for the last ten years, it's really a nice time piece.

      For me, there just isn't enough screen real estate on a watch no matter how much computing power it has. Sure, I often look at my phone for the time, but my Seiko is a mighty fine and quite accurate piece of "man jewelry". I re

      • Just checked my £30 Timex and it's lost two seconds in about a year. That's what I get for buying cheap. It was worth a bit more retail value - Timex sold me this at wholesale price by way of apology when they couldn't repair my previous Timex. It was 15 years old and they didn't have the parts any more. That cost a whole £40 in 1996.

        • by AuMatar (183847) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @09:59PM (#47440611)

          Two seconds in a year!?! That means in a mere 30 years you'll have to adjust it by a minute. In your life you'll have to adjust it 3 times! DO you know how much effort and time you'll save by buying a $10,000 high end mechanical watch? You'll only have to adjust it once- that's got to save you 2 minutes over the course of your lifetime. Isn't 10K a small price to pay for that?*

          *Math void if anything heavier than a feather ever touches it, as it may break the delicate alignment of gears.

  • Sure don't! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ddt (14627) <ddt@davetaylor.name> on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:01PM (#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.
    • if you were servicing your smartphone a lot then you had a crappy smart phone. i suggest an apple phone.
      • Re:Sure don't! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ddt (14627) <ddt@davetaylor.name> on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:29PM (#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.
  • A thousand times No.

  • A "smart watch" is as much a watch as a "smart phone" is a phone. And many people have quit wearing a watch because ... they get the time from their smart phone.

    The question should be, can a smart watch replace your smart phone?

  • by epyT-R (613989) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:05PM (#47439477)

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

  • I had somewhat smart watches before (timex datalink), but I love my metawatch.

  • by wjcofkc (964165) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:09PM (#47439509)
    With a flexible OLED display that wraps around my entire forearm. Not sure where to put the battery, but I would not be surprised if that turns out to be a future tech.
  • by hansson (886936) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:17PM (#47439533)

    I signed up for a Pebble on day 2 of the Kickstarted campaign. When I finally got it, I spend many hours loading watchfaces, apps and exploring all the features. Nothing really klicked for me. Kept it on my arm anyway for a week - just for show and tell - and now I'm totally hooked.
    The killer app is the alerts. Not having to pull out the phone 500 times every day is what keeps this ugly thing on my wrist.
    Forget all the music control, runkeeper, navigation and whatever they try. Camera - that's just stupid. That's all done better on the phone, but the *alerts* are golden! Several friends went through the same process. Initial disappointment turned to must-have. I never use the buttons - just a quick glance when the thing buzz. Android or iOS in the watch is nonsense. Pebble got the idea right, but could scale down on the features and focus on the looks.
    So get me a "moderately clever" watch...

    • by Jhon (241832)

      I completely agree. I have a pebble and just being able to glance at it while on the road to see who is calling or texting/emailing is a huge convenience. Or in a theater where it makes virtually no noise and I can see it without lifting my arm up and the "glow" is next to non-existent but readable.

      I STOPED wearing a watch over a decade ago because I had a phone which told me the time. Oh how things have come full circle.

      Forget the apps -- it's the alerts that make it useful.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You don't need a watch, you need a life!

      You've obviously made the trade off to give up your freedom to be connected 24x7, I am not judging you, its just not a choice that I would make for me.

      500 alerts a day? That's over 30 alerts an hour assuming a 16 hour day. An alert every 2 minutes? Wow... Just wow.

      How do you have time to have a life? I am serious about this. Are these alerts coming from work? From social media? Text Messages from friends?

      So during a 2 hour dinner or a movie or anything else y

  • Better fitness watch (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bodhammer (559311) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:18PM (#47439537)
    I would like a better fitness watch that tracked pulse rate without a chest band, respiration rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood o2 levels, as well a movements such as swimming and riding, not just waking and running. I would like to to use the GPS in my phone and not have one built in.
  • Only if it's as high tech as they've promised. [macrumors.com]
  • Device convergence (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dbrueck (1872018) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:21PM (#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

    No.

    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.

  • No, no, (Score:3, Informative)

    by reboot246 (623534) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:24PM (#47439563) Homepage
    and hell no.

    Is that clear enough?
  • Some look OK (Score:4, Interesting)

    by chuckugly (2030942) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:26PM (#47439577)
    Some of the smart watches out there look OK; for instance the Martian Watches Passport SmartWatch [amazon.com] looks like a reasonable timepiece, has a reported 1 week battery life, and does some simple Dick Tracy stuff while still managing to be a wristwatch.

    If it had a separate power supply or some way to use the last bit of the main supply strictly as a watch with a 6 month reserve for essential functions I'd probably buy that.

    But most of them are little phone gadgets for your wrist that will require charging daily, or nearly daily. Useless.
  • by jargonburn (1950578) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:29PM (#47439589)
    No, not really.
    I'm inundated with tech. It's what I do for a living (not uncommon, on this site). If anything, I'd prefer easier ways to disconnect rather than add an additional stream of information.
    Until they're ready to override my optic nerve or provide (nearly) seamless Augmented Reality, I am perfectly happy to live without. I still enjoy seeing the progression, but I just think I'm still happier not using most such things.
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:30PM (#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 [soylentnews.org] 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 NF6X (725054)

      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?

      I don't think the owners of Slashdot care. I think they only care about eyeballs per advertisement.

  • by Gravis Zero (934156) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:31PM (#47439603)

    I would love a smart watch but it would be more like computer on your forearm. the problem is the requirements are has, a highres display that flexes in three dimensions, sticks to your arm using the van der waals force (like gecko feet), uses heat from your body for power, weighs less than a 10 grams and is 1mm thick. It's not impossible, my idea is just an expression of several "almost there" technologies.

    that is the smartphone i really want.

  • by MindPrison (864299) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @05:40PM (#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.
    • by lord_mike (567148)

      The Timex Data Link USB was a very nice smartwatch for it's day (i.e. 5 years ago). It was even programmable, if you could decipher their bizarre assembly language and could fit your app in 900 bytes (yes, bytes) or less.

  • Smart watches are misnomer, really. They can't do much on their own because of the form factor. Typing? No way. In reality, smart watches are dumber than dumb terminals.

    What I do want is a nice looking, not too big, watch with a full color LCD matrix screen, maybe touch enabled, where I am able to customize the interface and make my own "themes". This, and being able to sync the time via NTP, would be the only reason for it to have WiFi or BlueTooth (unless a micro SD card could be squeezed in, then it

    • by Jhon (241832)

      Do you REALLY need a color screen?

      I get over 1 week on a single charge with my pebble. I think THAT makes it a huge difference in any other "smartish" watch out there. Add color would mean more power. Add sound, or more "two-way" functions and again, you require more power.

      • I wonder why they don't make one with color e-ink? It's more expensive, but it's certainly out there.

        • by Jhon (241832)

          My guess would be end-cost and interest. Would enough people buy it? My pebble runs about $150. I would NEVER spend that much and certainly not more for something like this.

          I received it as a gift -- and love it. I MAY replace it if it breaks or something. I'm unsure. But I really like the notifications on the wrist.

  • No, I do not want a "smart watch" any more than I want any other "smart" jewelry. Purely functional timepieces are obsolete. If all you want is to know the time, your phone already solves that problem for you - hence the decrease in percentage of people wearing watches. A modern wristwatch is a piece of jewelry where its functionality (and the means of achieving it) are part of the beauty. "Smart watches" have enhanced functionality, but universally at the expense of beauty. The aesthetics are terrible
    • by Jhon (241832)

      "If all you want is to know the time, your phone already solves that problem for you "

      I haven't owned/used a watch in over a decade for that very reason -- until recently. I got a pebble. And my opinion has completely changed. I LIKE not needing to take my phone out every a few dozen times a day. I like seeing who I calling an sending them to VM or not without taking out my phone.

      As far beauty goes, the pebble isn't the fugliest thing around. It actually looks half way decent. And the newer versions a

  • Sorry no, seems completely pointless and total waste of money.

  • Full-fledged computers can barely even keep track of time on their own without constantly pinging a network time server, there's no way in hell I would want my watch--of all things--to be absolute shit for timekeeping. Also, all I need my watch to do is show me the time and date, nothing else, and light up on the somewhat-frequent occasions that I need to see it in the dark. Not to mention, a cell phone can barely last a day running a modern "mobile" operating system... does anyone really think these "smart

  • by NF6X (725054)
    I have zero interest in having a smart watch. I haven't worn a wrist watch regularly for at least a decade, and I don't miss them. If I ever change my mind about wearing a watch, it'll probably be something older than I am. Something may come along that makes me no longer want or need to carry a smartphone in my pocket, but at this time I don't foresee it being in wrist watch form factor.
  • I'd rather keep my mechanical / automatic watch. It's durable, looks nice, keeps excellent time, never needs charging and will still be nice 20 years from now. Show me a smart watch that can do that and I might be interested.
  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @06:02PM (#47439739)
    Is if it came with a red LED display and looked cheaply made. The people who wear watches anymore seem to be,"Hey look at how much money I have." so looking like you're going in the opposite direction would be art as fashion... if it didn't cost a lot of money. So maybe I'm thinking it is time to go invest in a 1$ LED watch off ebay to be a smart ass. Oh even better would be to leave it blinking 12:00 all day.
  • Nope (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AdamStarks (2634757) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @06:04PM (#47439753)

    I barely need my smart phone, why the hell would I want to spend hundreds of dollars on a second, feature-pared screen that has a terrible battery life?

  • I have never found a need for a wearable watch. So, no.

  • by RR (64484) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @06:15PM (#47439801)

    As with the existing technological hassles in my life, I would use a smart watch only if it did something significantly new.

    In the old days (1980s), my laptop would go weeks without a battery charge. Now, my laptop barely makes it through a day, if I'm not actually using it much during that day. But my new laptop is vastly more capable, with high-DPI IPS display and 802.11ac WiFi and the ability to run a C++ compiler many times in a single hour.

    In the less old days, my phone would go a bit over a week without a battery charge. Now, my phone usually makes it through a day, but not if I'm using its GPS or its processor extensively; and it's much bigger. But my new phone has a camera that doesn't entirely suck and a lot of apps, some of them useful, and visual voicemail. Still, I wouldn't have bought it if it didn't have another compelling feature: Really cheap unlimited plans. [republicwireless.com]

    That's 2 devices that I have to plug in every day to keep using. A smart watch would be a third. So far, I haven't heard of any compelling features. The current crop has what? The ability to show notifications. Which my phone already does when I leave it on the table next to my mouse, and which I'm already consciously choosing to ignore when I want to maintain focus. And Samsung's watch has its trademark heart rate sensor, which works only if you're not exercising.

    I can imagine some uses for a smart watch, in concept, if it could do stuff independently of the phone. A camera that you don't even have to dig out of your pocket (or purse, if you have a Samsung). A communications device that you can carry without pockets. A security/control device (if it doesn't come from Google, Apple, or Microsoft, and runs free software). The concept is interesting. It just needs good execution.

    • In the old days (1980s), my laptop would go weeks without a battery charge.

      I guess if you didn't turn it on, and I'm calling BS.

      As someone that worked on the Original Thinkpads (IBM 755cx and the 701C (butterfly [wikipedia.org]), I guarantee you that no laptop in the 1980s could run for weeks without a charge, unless you claimed systems that were more calculator than laptop (intel 386/486 type CPU).

      Note that the 755CX sold for about $6000 [google.com] back then.

      • by Arker (91948)
        "I guess if you didn't turn it on, and I'm calling BS."

        I had a laptop of that era that lasted me days between charges at times, and the battery on it was old, I could easily see it going weeks with light use and a fresh battery.

        It had a low power monochrome display, and was mostly solid state. The only moving disk was the 3.5" floppy, the OS was built in on ROM, it had 2mb RAM so there was plenty for ramdisk. The only thing that really hit the battery at all was the floppy, and with the ramdisk that didnt n
  • Unless its something like they had on ARK-II back in the 70's, ( and that would not be too practical ) a smart watch will always be a gimmick, unless there is some sort of way to make the screen appear bigger than it is.

    Not being a Luddite, or not 'thinking outside the box', its far to small to be really useful other than for telling time. Just from the proliferation of larger screen phones you can tell that going smaller is not the direction people want to go for usability or functionality.

    Sure, you can h

  • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @06:34PM (#47439895) Homepage Journal
    I want to be able to call my self-aware trans-am to save me from gunfire
  • I loved consolidating my watch, PDA, phone, and media player into a smartphone. Yo make me go the other way, a gizmo would have to provide very strong utility. Not alerts, not exercise data, not a duplicate of the remote that's already on my headset, not a teaser of stuff that I need to go to my phone to really use/act upon.

    I've narrowed it down to either universal ID (for logins, PINs, locks...) or doing what my smartphone does, only hands-free. Not holding my breath...

  • When I can talk to one, and it can talk back...
  • At least, for now...

    The general idea is appealing: An especially easy to see/access interface to one's phone, one that takes the role traditionally held by a wristwatch and builds on it.

    But, given the cost, and given the limitations of a postage-stamp-sized interface, I just don't see any "killer apps" for smart watches that justify that cost.

  • You can get "too smart" and they become difficult to use physically & mentally.

  • I don't want it require a mobile phone. It needs to be light and small. It also needs a long battery's life, have a scheduler, a phone directory, a calculator, alarms, etc. I still wear and use 150 model and need to find a good replacement for it since Casio doesn't sell these types anymore. :(

  • A Dick Tracy speakerphone feature... massively important for those who charge their phone a lot and sadly missing from all but Samsung devices. An open API and ease of programmability is also nice. Pebble has really hit the moon on that one. Some of the apps people have come up with have been simply amazing. Unfortunately, It will be interesting to see how Android wear stacks up. It's a shame that only Pebble is going with the "minimalist" approach with an old fashioned, low power LCD screen. There's no

  • If it could replace the need to carry a phone around with me, or have one clipped to my belt, or have a bag to carry it in, etc. It's far nicer to have nothing extra to carry, than to carry around an item.

    It would need a replaceable power source that holds a long enough charge so years from now when the battery doesn't have full capacity, it lasts all day and into the night.

    It would be nice to have a scalable sized display, perhaps projected if not holographic (there goes that power).

    Google Now functionali

  • You can have a smart watch. I want a smart ass.

  • Want and Have (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CrankyFool (680025) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @07:14PM (#47440111)

    I have a Pebble -- until recently, a Kickstarter-edition one, though it malfunctioned and the company quite helpfully replaced it.

    I originally got it as a geek toy, a whim, but it turned out to be hugely useful for me, given my constraints and work circumstances. Largely, this came down to three factors:

    I manage people, and at least at my current company that means that the vast majority of my time is spent in meetings. Having a Pebble on which to see what messages I'm receiving (just for text messages, not FB or email) means I can know when someone's texted me (a rare, but potentially important, occasion) and be able to see what I got without having to reach for my phone in my pocket; it also means that because being able to see the message doesn't necessitate using the tool with which I respond, that I'm less likely to respond immediately, which makes the process less disruptive to the people I'm in meetings with;

    I used to miss meetings often because I'd get in the middle of something (or another meeting) and forget to check where I next need to go. My phone quickly vibrating in my pocket was easy to miss. But my watch vibrating? For me, it's unmissable, and it makes me much more aware of where I need to go next.

    The other factor that's made a huge difference is not work-related. Being able to control music on my phone via my watch is a trivial improvement when I work out, but it's made another issue basically go away: The "What the hell did I do with my phone?" problem. If I can't find my phone these days, calling it doesn't necessarily work -- it's typically in quiet mode -- but using my Pebble to get some music playing on it, and increasing the volume, is usually immediately helpful in figuring out where the phone is.

    You could, of course, argue that these three factors are not, or should not, be relevant to the average geek -- maybe you don't have as many meetings, or are more disciplined about checking your calendar. And God knows we all found our phones before we could remotely start them playing music. But it's been very helpful to me.

  • Suuntu Ambit2 [suunto.com] is a 100m water resistant GPS sport watch that you can run apps on to custom process the data. It doesn't do things that smart phones do but it does not require a smart phone to function and it operates in environments where smart phones can't. It is heavy, expensive, and there are Linux compatibility issues. That is why I don't own one yet. But it is the right direction.

  • by DavidinAla (639952) on Saturday July 12, 2014 @07:37PM (#47440201)
    It seems to me that current wearable products are a case of technology looking for a problem to solve. There's nothing they do that matters to me that my iPhone can't do better, and the idea that it's a burden to pull my watch out of my pocket seems laughable to me. The Android Wear products are vaguely interesting as technology demonstrations, but I see nothing that they DO that I need done —and I don't want to wear a device on my arm and charge yet another device, too. It's theoretically possible that someone will release a new product that does something that I'm not even conceiving on, in which case I'll re-evaluate my opinion. But right now I can't see anything interesting about them. If Apple releases anything even vaguely similar (in function or anything else) to what the Android companies have been releasing, I'll have zero interest in it. I need products that solve real problems that I have. Nothing about what I see so far even attempts to address anything that I consider a problem to be solved.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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