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September 07, 2014

Comments

bill

Isn't the watch industry about making us "need" their products? Isn't any industry?

The tech industry thinks that, like Apple, they can only grow or perhaps only survive by introducing the Next Big Thing. They may be right. Consider the fate of companies like Blackberry or Palm which only had one great product.

The smart watch is just an attempt at the next big thing. I don't see the attraction to it, but I see where it is coming from: The cutthroat competition of the tech industry, the need to come up with something completely different or die. Read the press releases and you can smell the terror.

bill

By the way, if you want cynicism, I nominate the watch industry. Most of the innovation in this industry is at the low end of the market. At the high end you have luxury watches which are living off legendary brand names. They quite deliberately use obsolete designs and production methods to make a watch which is no better than your grandfather's, and then charge the price of a car for it. And if somebody thinks that's silly, they sigh self-righteously and say "Oh well, you just don't have enough of a soul to understand."

The tech industry at least thinks they're going to change your life by giving you abilities no human had before. In the case of the smart watch I don't see any such new abilities, which is why I think it will fail. However, they've changed our lives many times in the past, so at least it could happen.

herculodge

I agree with the general premise that all consumerism is based on false "needs"; however, the gadget industry, like smart watches, is attempting to make specific lifestyle changes so I find them more pernicious or helpful if the changes are for the better. I got my first smartphone a few months ago and I'm not a fan of it. Perhaps if I were a business man, I might see its necessity.

Angelo

Dateline, early May, 2001. Starting a new job, I was advised by the person who hired me to buy a Palm Pilot, stat. Can't function without one. Makes you more efficient. Can't live without it. Everybody is using them. Well, about $200.00 later, I had one, and started the job. I tried very hard to like it---honest I did. It ended up collecting dust. My girlfriend at the time (who I later married) told me----"Wow, I wish I knew you needed one. I used my technology allowance at work to buy the most expensive one and it's just sitting in a drawer---ended up not needing it." Well, I ended up not needing mine either. At this point, I think it's in my basement somewhere, scattered with my kids toys. When he was about 6, I gave it to him to play with. I find far more value in wearing a wristwatch----for whatever reason----to tell the time, as jewelry, because I like it, whatever. And they're loading up our cars with all sorts of "tech" that is just another thing to go wrong---that does nothing at all for most drivers.

Keith Beesley

The article is right on the mark. "Tech" doesn't begin and end with digital devices.

Ulysses

Smart-watches generally are useless outside a few specific tasks. However, the first company who creates a smart-watch that can accurately monitor blood glucose levels using a laser will sell millions and become extremely rich (or richer) overnight. People have been spreading rumours that the new iWatch might have such a feature but don't count on it. The technology is still in development and currently requires hardware the size of a shoe-box - and Apple don't do "hard" research.

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