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February 18, 2015

Comments

jonnybardo

You may be right, Ulysses, but I thought similarly of the tablet. I mean, dialling back a few years, who would have thought some device was necessary "between" the smartphone and laptop, especially with laptops getting smaller? Clearly I was wrong.

I will never underestimate people's desire and ability to consume gadgets.

Angelo

Jonny: I do think consumption of gadgets will give this smartwatch an initial push. Ulysses second paragraph is exactly how I envision this to run its course. But for a product to have legs after the first excitement ends, there has to be something more than consumption of gadgets to drive it. Two things at play: The tablet is a more convenient, lighter size that offers a lot of the same utility as a laptop and some notable advantages over a smaller format phone. It does slot between the two---but has inherent advantages over both. And I'm sure it's stolen sales from laptops. The watch is another matter though---it's something people wear, not carry. It seems to offer less than a phone ever could----and people are all carrying a phone anyway.

bill

The center of my skepticism about smartwatches is that they are accessories to other products, not products in themselves. If a watch could replace your cellphone that would be another thing, but the watch by itself is only marginally more useful than a Bluetooth folding keyboard by itself- and that only if the smartwatch can tell time independently and keep running for a reasonable time without recharging.

Ulysses

A tablet is an extension of the smart-phone. Identical functionality but in an easier-to-use (i.e larger) form-factor. The smart-watch on the other hand is more like the reverse - a device emulating phone functions but with a smaller screen. Functionality has to be removed and interfaces simplified. I guess you could design a watch of some sort that had push-buttons around the edge, making it easy and quick to access a limited set of commonly used functions. Oh wait...

It could be useful like a modern-day pager, and as with Google glass, for special purposes would be handy (in industry or hospitals for example), but for the general consumer who has no specific requirements i'm not sure it will set the world on fire. It has been shown that for fitness-tracking purposes smart-watches are in no way superior to smartphones, and most of these are not really accurate enough to derive meaningful information from. Sleep-tracking is one of the more dubious uses i've heard about - no, you cannot accurately deduce which of the five stages of sleep the human brain is in based on wrist movements.

I could picture such devices monitoring the health of the elderly or serving as alarms that summoned assistance for the vulnerable. Outside of that, I cannot say.

Gary

My understanding is that the Apple Watch requires a companion iPhone to give it full functionality.

Stan

You can fool all the people some of the time.
You can fool some of the people all of the time.

There are a lot of people in the bottom category.

StarHalo

Eh, we went through all this when the iPad was introduced; back when no one could speculate on what it would be used for aside from Air Hockey, since Windows PCs were so great..

If you've go two grand to spare on a phone and a two year contract, another three hundred so you can see all your incoming messages, notifications, reminders, etc. without having to reach for anything is entirely realistic.

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