There’s been a lot of talk of smartwatches, but as much as they might make me look like Inspector Gadget, I’m not buying. I’m not buying any of the arguments for them, nor will I be buying any from the shops.
Our Tech Researcher Mike Plant last month made his plea for wearable technology.
He didn’t necessarily argue that smartwatches would be the future, but he did say he thought wearable tech of some sort would someday be as essential as a smartphone.
Sure, I could see smart glasses (or smart contact lenses?) becoming more prevalent. But smartwatches? Not on my watch.
Battery life suffers
Last week I had a go with the Sony Smartwatch 2. Linking it up to my Android phone was a simple, yet relatively time-consuming process as it required me to individually download the features I wanted onto my phone. Want calendar reminders? Want emails? You’ll have to download each of those features separately.
However, once I was all set up, I did see the small advantage of having my next meeting or my latest email right there on my wrist. Yet, if I actually wanted to act on those emails, I’d need to take my phone out of my pocket or hop back to my desk.
As for battery life, the watch performed relatively well, lasting a good couple of days. But my phone couldn’t keep up. The Sony Smartwatch 2 requires you to have your phone with you at all times, linked up via Bluetooth. And if there’s one thing Bluetooth’s good at, it’s draining your phone’s battery. My one-charge-a-day phone turned into a two-charges-a-day phone. And I’m sure you know how much I hate poor smartphone battery life.
Finally, let’s talk about the social faux pas that smartwatches promote. In a meeting I was getting buzzed by my Sony Smartwatch with new emails, and as I sneakily looked down to check the message, my colleague candidly asked; ‘is there somewhere you need to be?’. He had a point – looking at your wrist equals checking the time.
It will take some time to retrain people into believing that such behaviour means someone is checking their emails, tweets, heart rate or whatever other ‘smart’ features manufacturers want us to exercise.
Not so smart watches
‘Smart! What makes it smart, nothing I can see. Just another device or devices that are advertised to seem essential, to continue growth in the gadget sector. This time I don’t agree it’s progress, just gadgetry.’
‘In the interests of security and the detection of crime it looks like carrying a Core device should be made compulsory. Transponders concealed in every geographical micro-cell would be able to emit an alert signal if anyone passed it who was not wearing one or if it was deactivated. Concert promoters could verify that all the attendees were bona fide ticket holders. Tesco Clubcard points could no longer be spent if their owner was somewhere else. The continuously updated biometric data could make passports (and the scams that hang on them) redundant.’
*Shudders*. Where are we heading? Where will we end up? I love technology and the future it offers, but smartwatches have no place in it as far as I’m concerned. What do you think?