Thoughts on Wearable Tech – Smart Watches

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Wearable tech is hotter than ever. So why the fuck don’t I give a shit?

Some of the coolest shit I can remember from my childhood can be attributed to wearable tech devices of the 80’s and 90’s. Was anything more bad ass than a fucking calculator watch? How about those old, cheap ass piece of shit Tiger video game watches? Sure, we all consider it fucking garbage now, and it certainly was. But to an 8-12 year old, that was the coolest shit on earth. A Ninja Gaiden video game (if you can call it that) you could “play” on your wrist, that was totally fucking “radical” back in the early 90’s. Wearable technologies are certainly nothing new, but interest in the technology has certainly seen a huge resurgence in the past few years.

I’m not much of a watch guy. I’ll wear one every now and then. But I am certainly no connoisseur of watches. I am obviously a huge technology geek. But I have absolutely no desire to acquire a smart watch. Where is the disconnect? Compared to the 80’s and 90’s tech described above, the difference is earth shattering. The technology is far superior. I should be fucking excited, right?

Usefulness

I guess I just don’t have a purpose for smart watches in my life. If you read my article on tablets, I think smart watches fill the same void. A void which does not exist. The last thing I need is another form of entertainment, which is not the intention of smart watches, but smart watches can be entertainment for some of you. I don’t need any more shit to plug-in every night. I don’t need help remembering shit, my phone does a more than adequate job of that. Being able to see notifications is great, but it’s not like it all that difficult to whip out your phone when you feel it vibrate. Don’t give me an excuse of “Well I can leave my phone in my pocket while I check my text and email at the company meeting”. No, you are still an asshole. Probably more so.

If you’re the active type, runners especially. I can see this being a good thing for you. GPS, music controls, heat rate monitor, stop watch, etc. All of these things are beneficial to an active person. Quick tangent. Did I miss a fucking meeting with the running? Since when did everyone one I know become a fucking runner. I work out, I just don’t run, there are plenty of other ways to get your cardio workout in. I don’t understand the run for fun, 5K, mini marathon, half marathon, color run, color me rad, smurf race, rat race, what the fuck ever, craze that is sweeping the nation. Don’t get me wrong, I support exercise and being active. It’s better than just sitting on your ass stuffing your pie hole with Oreo’s all day, but I fucking hate running, so I don’t do it. End rant. Smart watches, just might be great for you people, but other than telling you the time, what are the benefits to the normal person?

Style

I am a very normal dresser, nothing too flashy, normal business casual attire most days. So I am probably not a good judge of style. But I am a good judge of industrial design. One of my studies in college. While I can appreciate the technology crammed into such a small device. Some of the designs are just fucking fugly. I think that the designs are getting better as the technology advances, but some of these smart watches are just flat-out fucking ugly. I wont get into name calling, but I am sure you know what I mean.

Stylistically, the Gear Live is…Meh

That’s not to say they are all bad-looking. The Moto 360 is a beautiful damn smart watch, and actually looks like a watch. I am not a big fan of square/rectangular watches. 90° watch faces makes me think that the company designing the watch didn’t try all that hard. Square is easy, and less technically challenging. It’s quite obvious that the round watch face is by far, the more popular design choice. I understand that there are some of you out there that like the square faces, but I think you are the minority.

I also think that most smart watches are a little too large overall, but I know this opinion may differ quite a lot depending on who you ask, so I will just leave it at that. There is never going to be a perfect “one size fits all” smart watch, but I certainly wouldn’t mind a few more options.

On the other hand, the Moto 360 is a very attractive device.

Battery Life

This is probably one of the biggest turn offs for me personally. Maybe smart watches are too advanced and power-hungry for today’s battery technology. These watches pack some decent hardware and run some pretty sophisticated programming for such a small device. I understand how and why most smart watches can struggle to get through a full days use. There is a lot going on, and not much room for extra battery girth. I’m not saying there is anything we can do about it today. We can compensate by making the programming and the hardware more energy-efficient, and the watches a bit thicker. But that is simply a short-term solution. We will need another breakthrough in battery technology for us to get these bitches through 2+ days without a charge (with regular use). Like I said before. I don’t need yet another device to forget to plug-in every single day.

Conclusion

You may have the feeling that I have nothing but hate for smart watches. That is not true. I love the technology, I just don’t think it is very fucking practical for me just yet. I am going to hold off for a while and see where everything goes and wait to see what improvements can be made. Right now, it just not a “gotta have it” device like a smart phone. For the time being, I can only see minimal benefits, for most people. I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions. What do you use your smart watch for?

[Images: Google Play]

  • dertsch

    Very good thoughts ! :)

    What do you think about this watch ?
    igg.me/at/nevo/x/9219825
    Its part watch, part smartwatch, think its a good feature + the battery will hold longer :)

    • ETR

      I think that it is a step in the right direction. I like it.

  • mattarse

    Great review – I haven’t yet seen the point in smartass watches either. I did get a fucking garmin vivosmart – if you’re into a little fitness tracking with mild smartwatch features you might take a look. It’s actually not bad and the battery lasts about a week.