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NerdyKeith's avatar

Are smart watches not a bit pointless?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5464points) May 10th, 2016

Maybe I’m a bit biased here. But to me, a watch doesn’t need anything beyond a digital interface to tell the time (and possibly the date).

As much as I enjoy and appreciate Apple products, I just never got the point of the Apple Watch. Some people claim its supposed to act as an extension to your iPhone. Can’t I just use my hand as an extension instead? Or the media control buttons on the ear pods? I don’t get it.

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14 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

My fitbit surge sure is handy. Can’t speak for apple.

Mariah's avatar

Several of my friends in tech have them and it feels like more of a status symbol than a useful device, to me.

Buttonstc's avatar

To me they’re pointless.

But I’m assuming they did advance consumer research to see if there would be a viable market for these products. Apparently there is.

DoNotKnowMuch's avatar

I have a Pebble Time Round, and it is quite useful.

Seek's avatar

A few situations where I could see they are useful:

It works as a fitness tracker. I have a low-budget version of a fitness tracker and it’s pretty cool, but the band broke so I’m not wearing it these days. I’d like to keep it up again.

You drive a lot. It is easier (and safer) to answer a phone by touching your wrist to activate the bluetooth connection of your phone to your car speakers than it is to dig for your phone and try to find an on-screen button while driving. Shouldn’t be wearing earpods in the car.

You’re a heavy sleeper. The alarm vibrates on your wrist, which helps some people wake up better than a noisy beeping thing. My brother likes his Microsoft smartwatch for this reason. In high school I used to have to physically dump him out of bed.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Wow great answer @Seek

DoNotKnowMuch's avatar

Here’s how I use my Pebble.

- I have 3 kids, a full-time job, and my wife works 3 out of 4 weekends. I have delegated all concerns and scheduling to my phone (Nexus 6p). When I’m out with my kids and I get a reminder notification, rather than have to take my phone out to make sure we’re not supposed to be at soccer, I can glance at my wrist. If my wife texts me, I can reply with a single touch of the watch – again, no need to pull out my phone.

- When I am at work (or at home) I really dislike people allowing their phones to beep out loud. I keep my phone on silent, but still get all of my notifications and calls because my watch vibrates.

- I spent years without wearing a watch, so the move back to a smartwatch wasn’t to view the time. But now that I have the watch, it is convenient to not have to pull out my phone to see what time it is. The current watchface I have also has the current forecast as well. If I’m starting a hike with the kids (and the dog), a quick glance at my watch will tell me if rain is predicted for the next couple of hours.

- If I want to text someone, set a reminder, or dismiss a call, I don’t need to take out my phone.

So, I basically use it as a notification device that minimizes the times I have to pull out my phone.

kritiper's avatar

I thought the Watch was a great idea. Along with telling time, you can receive a phone call, see who it is, answer it, all without ever taking your phone out of your pocket. Or purse. Or holster. Or cleavage. Or where ever one would store it. Keeps one less likely from dropping it into the toilet, or watching it hit the pavement and break.

rojo's avatar

A bit, yes. I feel the same way about my old regular non -smart watch since my phone tells me the time.

gorillapaws's avatar

I was waiting for Apple Watch version 2.0, but that probably wouldn’t happen until later this year. Instead they announced a price drop. I had some Amazon points banked up, so I bought one a few weeks ago. If a new one comes out this fall and it’s a must-have for me, then I can give this one to my girlfriend and buy the upgrade for myself.

It’s got a heartbeat sensor (that’s supposedly pretty damn accurate). I’ve always felt tachycardic but my MD’s haven’t seen it as a very big deal. Now I have proof with several weeks worth of data that my pulse is abnormally high at rest. This generated a visit to a Cardiologist and we’re going to run some tests. That alone seemed really valuable to me.

Also from the day I received it, I had completed the daily activity challenges every single day (until the cardiologist told me to stop using the exercise bike until we have a better idea of what’s going on). It’s weird how something so stupid (filling up 3 rings) can actually be motivating, but it worked for me. That in itself is really valuable to me.

Finally there are the notifications. When I’m at work, I leave my cell phone in my drawer on silent. I can quickly glance at my wrist to see who is calling. When I’m driving, I don’t have to fumble for my phone to see who is calling, I can quickly glance at my wrist to decide if I need to answer the call. That feels much safer to me. Is it revolutionary? no but it’s convenient.

I’ve also got an awesome to-do app for “getting things done” (omnifocus) and it’s pretty convenient to get notifications on my wrist, including gps-based ones like when I get within x feet of the grocery store and my watch reminds me I need eggs (a to-do item I added several days earlier and associated with the grocery store location).

The other nice feature is the ability to customize the watch face “complications” (i.e. a watch industry term that refers to the the little numbers that display info other than the time, like the weather, your next calendar event, progress on my daily fitness goals, date, etc.)

The biggest criticism is that 3rd party apps are ridiculously slow to launch. I suspect improvements in this area are underway, but they are obnoxiously slow. Also charging it up every night when I go to bed is a bit of a hassle, but not a huge deal.

The Apple Watch is far from a “must-have” device, but I’m glad I purchased mine.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Wearable devices are the future.

One can choose to get on board now, or choose to wait.

Seek's avatar

We are Borg. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Lol we are certainly slowly turning into the borg. They even want to make a phone that is installed under our eye iris. Like on that episode of Futurama when they spoofed the iPhone… or should I say the eyePhone.

kritiper's avatar

When phones become implantable devices, I hope they are also equipped with universal remotes for the TV.

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