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Smart Watches!

Methodician

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I knew it was coming soon but got a little shocked when I walked into Best Buy the other day and realized we were already in the second, perhaps 3rd generation of full-blown smart watches! Samsung has my eye at the moment.

Their Gear and Gear 2 have a camera, speaker, microphone, and high-resolution touch screen. It acts primarily as a companion to various Samsung branded smartphones (must be within bluetooth range for most functionality) but the Gear 2 has some stand alone functionality not to be dismissed.

Personally, I try to ride the wave of technology like a surfer (a flawed analogy perhaps because I've never surfed). I've been an early adopter of various technologies, even a late adopter of a few. I find it's usually best to wait until a new technology and its market is fast approaching maturity before jumping in; I ride just in front of the cusp of the wave. Crazy thing is that just about a year into the market it looks like we're there. If I hadn't just been laid off I may have ordered a gear/gear2 that same day. Some of these devices (the gear 2 in particular) are pretty mind blowing and Samsung, along with several other big players in the tech market, are racing to release better, more varied, and more powerful options.

Has anyone here experimented with smart watches yet? What's your take? Do these already have the potential to significantly improve quality of life (or at least technological convenience) or are they still in an infantile stage best suited for fanatical early adopters?

What's your take on the current market for smart watches?
 

Rook

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I don't use a regular watch, so I have no need for a smart watch.

I think their validity may increase if they are given more stand alone features, thereby removing the need for another device just to attain full functionality.
 

Methodician

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I don't use a regular watch, so I have no need for a smart watch.

I think their validity may increase if they are given more stand alone features, thereby removing the need for another device just to attain full functionality.

Just for the record I'm not asking about your opinion on the validity of smartwatches overall. If you're not interested though that's fine and you have the right to state your opinion. I'll even take the time to respond:

I haven't used a standard watch since I started carrying around a small computing device I feel so attached to that I must have it with me at all times. This device tells the time quickly enough and has a myriad of other functions I use daily and everywhere I go. I once read that the wrist watch was invented by the military because soldiers trying to synchronize their actions couldn't afford to pull a pocket watch out in the heat of battle. I'm not in battle, so if I really need to know the time I'll look at a clock or pull out my phone.

Then I pull out my phone for 100 other things each day. Check the weather, respond to a text, place a call, answer a call, check a notification, take a picture of some tag, item, person, or other thing I need to remember, etc... These things I could do without pulling out my phone. Hell, I could even go back to looking at my wrist for the time. The wrist-bound camera sounds particularly useful. There are plenty of times I'd like to snap a photo for documentation purposes but don't feel like digging for my phone and looking for the camera app.

If I really need to Google something or just need a little more screen real estate for a given task/activity, only then would I need to pull out the phone. At home, when the phone is charging in the other room, I could place/answer calls, text, check notifications, even read emails from wherever I sit. I have to say all this is pretty alluring to me. Dismissing it the same way most of us have dismissed a wristwatch may be a bit hasty.
 

Architect

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I've been studying and developing on them for about four years. I have the first pebble smart watch, which sucks. Didn't bother with the second, even though they learned enough from the first one to do it better.

Nowadays I use a Metawatch which I like. I think Android Wear is going to suck, and the iWatch will win the day.
 

Methodician

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Nowadays I use a Metawatch which I like. I think Android Wear is going to suck, and the iWatch will win the day.

Looking up Metawatch now. Hoping iWatch prediction is wrong because I have thus far resisted moving to the apple market simply because I like my variety of devices and don't want to get sucked into Apple. I don't want to buy an apple phone, computer, tablet, watch, tv, implant, etc... That sounds expensive plus I'm frequently annoyed by their micromanagement of the ecosystem (though I admit it often yields more refined results).


Question for all: What do you think about Rufus Cuff? I know it's huge but the design looks wearable and the functionality of a similar device could fully replace smartphones within a year or two at the going rate of technological advancement.

Link: http://www.gizmag.com/rufus-cuff-smartwatch/31268/
 

scorpiomover

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Won't bother. I remember all the smart watches with lots of additional functions in the 80s. Turned out to be way too big and chunky to wear on the wrist. Also the buttons had to be so small that even using them as a simple calculator was a nightmare.

I've been studying and developing on them for about four years. I have the first pebble smart watch, which sucks. Didn't bother with the second, even though they learned enough from the first one to do it better.

Nowadays I use a Metawatch which I like. I think Android Wear is going to suck, and the iWatch will win the day.
Only one that looks decently usable, is the iWatch, and that's because it's not a watch, but a bracelet:



I'm sceptical. But I could be wrong. So I'll wait and see what happens.
 

Methodician

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Right but isn't the iWatch all grapevine rumor right now? Did Apple even confirm they are entering the market? If course they'd be crazy not to. Especially considering they have a ready made market share dying to lap up whatever they roll out...

Wrt odd school pre-smart-phone smart watches... Yeah I hade one in jr. High and got good use of it until I picked up my first old school PDA with the pixilated grey screen and the beeps and bloops. I kept upgrading PDA's until I got my first semi-smart-phone. People thought I was crazy spending my hard earned money on that stuff for years but now we all do it.

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Methodician

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Also what makes you think that's the form factor the iWatch will take? Isn't that a random stock photo?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
 

Methodician

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I have to say: I don't think Android Wear will be what I'm hoping for out of a smart watch. :facepalm:

However, it may be what we really need most.

http://www.gizmag.com/google-wear-smartwatch-platform/31262/

Glancable info before you even ask for it is a little annoying on the phone. It could be nice on your wrist though. Quick and easy voice control for specific inputs, simple swiping to change the data displayed...

Throw in a camera and a few must-have 3rd party apps and I'll probably bounce for an Android Wear based smart watch first.
 

Kuu

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"Smart Watches" are really, really dumb overhyped garbage IMO. "Smart watches" is the most dumb marketing gimmick I've seen in a while, like born out of some brain-dead marketeer or scaredy-cat investor committee thinking a wearable device would not sell unless associated with a well known object. A solution looking for a problem, trying to sell underpowered phones as modern jewellery while pretending to be useful, trying to be the "next big thing" and failing.

So yes, "still in an infantile stage best suited for fanatical early adopters". And will likely remain so unless the hardware has very useful and specific features not available in your regular smartphone (like advanced health tracking sensors, which makes it more of a medical device than a "watch"), then there's really no advantage other than the really minor one of not having to take a phone out of your pocket. Or hardware that actually takes advantage of its position on the body, like a myo wristband (which then again, doesn't market itself with the meaningless "smart watch" label, being a sui generis device). And the form factor means less screen space (the essential part of these devices being interface), not to mention you can only control it with one hand. Voice control? Tedious, annoying and not discreet.

I've nothing against wearable computing, but slapping an underpowered smartphone on my wrist when I already have a more useful smartphone? Waste of money. I'll wait for when augmented reality glasses start to roll out, bringing the benefits "smart watches" wish they had and much more, thank you very much.
 

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I'd love to have a wearable device that replaces a smartphone. However, as Kuu points out, this smart watch thing is bullshit.

I just want a better designed smart phone (processing power equal to or better than the average tablet) that I can wear comfortably and is durable enough for me to wear feasibly. I'd like it to have a projectable screen so that I bring up a larger display when needed. These are things that I see being possible soon. Actually, these are things that are already possible just not very affordable yet.
 

Architect

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"Smart Watches" are really, really dumb overhyped garbage IMO...


I'd love to have a wearable device that replaces a smartphone. However, as Kuu points out, this smart watch thing is bullshit.



Have you ever used one for an extended time?
 

Methodician

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I'm amazed by the strength of the opinions of the nay-sayers on this topic. As architect insinuates, I doubt you have much (if any) experience with smart watches or wearable computing in general. Not to assume you're all wrong, but how can you assume you're right about a technology in its infancy?

It's surprising. I thought this topic would be met with enthusiasm and brain storming. Instead I find myself defending a technology I haven't even adopted. Like I pointed out above, people thought I was a fool to carry around pocket-friendly computing devices in the early days of PDA's and Pocket PC's. My last pocket PC was a Dell Axim X51V. It ran Windows and was comfortably pocketable. I used it a LOT. People thought it was silly to carry a computer around in your pocket when you could have laptops and desktops... but I knew better. I can't wait to experiment with a wrist-bound computer. If you all are right, it will stop with one. More likely, I'll keep upgrading until the next big shift in wearable computing occurs just as I discontinued my line of pocket PC's when I got a phone with half its ability (though today my phone is more capable than my last pocket PC).

Architect: Would you care to describe your experience with smart watches?
 

Kuu

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Have you ever used one for an extended time?

I don't need to waste my time and money on one to realize it would be a waste of my time and money.

They have no features useful to me that my phone doesn't have already. Will the "smartwatch" hardware magically morph into a super-powered, super-intuitive useful killer device better than my phone if I wear it for a month or two?

:rolleyes:

Has anyone here experimented with smart watches yet? What's your take? Do these already have the potential to significantly improve quality of life (or at least technological convenience) or are they still in an infantile stage best suited for fanatical early adopters?

What's your take on the current market for smart watches?

Just for the record I'm not asking about your opinion on the validity of smartwatches overall.

Contradiction much?

Question for all: What do you think about Rufus Cuff? I know it's huge but the design looks wearable and the functionality of a similar device could fully replace smartphones within a year or two at the going rate of technological advancement.

If I wanted to strap a smartphone on my wrist I'd... OMG... strap my smartphone on my wrist!

Why would one want to get an entirely separate device to perform redundant functions that a phone already does? :confused:

In fact I do have an armband for my phone which I use on the rare occasion I go for a jog. It looks a bit silly (though I don't really care, exercise clothes are already stupid-looking IMO), is awkward to wear with some clothes, and is awkward to have just one hand to operate it.

If I were one of those fitness people, then i'd buy one of those fitness armbands that are specialized for those tasks and perform far better than any phone. But I'm a lazy bastard, so no.

People thought I was crazy spending my hard earned money on that stuff for years but now we all do it.

Except we didn't spend our hard-earned money on half-baked barely-usable devices for years?

I'm amazed by the strength of the opinions of the nay-sayers on this topic.

Oh yes, do handwave away our criticism by labeling it opinion. What did you expect, a research paper? Uncritical adoration? Cry me a river.

It confounds and vexes me when people make threads and after getting one or two criticisms they whine that other people have the gall to disagree with them, or give answers to the questions they made.

I'm amazed by the strength of the opinions of the yay-sayers on this topic. It's not the "next big thing". It's redundant. It's trendy. It's niche. The smartphone will reign supreme until it's replaced and/or integrated into truly useful and game-changing tech like AR glasses. Why? See below.

Not to assume you're all wrong, but how can you assume you're right about a technology in its infancy?

A) Smartwatches are not a "technology". It's a device typology that integrates a variety of technologies. I think "form factor" is the word used for electronic gadgets. These same technologies are also found in other form factors (see smartphones).

B) Form follows function.

Q: Why was the ipod the first massively popular digital music player when other players had been in the market for years?
A: ease of organizing / loading music into it; simple, effective interface both in software as well as hardware (clickwheel).

Q: Why was the iphone the first massively popular smartphone/PDA when there had been other devices by RIM, Nokia, Sony-ericsson and Palm in the market for years?
A: ease of accessing functions and loading music into it; simple, effective interface both in software as hardware (dump tiny buttons and tiny screen in favor of large, super responsive capacitive touchscreen).

Q: Why did netbooks / ultraportables flop? (If you think this is controversial then you're delusional).
A: underpowered, awkwardly small screens and awkwardly small keyboards, with OS designed for desktops. They were promptly dumped for tablets for the exact same reason the iphone became smartphone king.

Q: Why aren't phones and laptops becoming smaller anymore even if all their components are getting smaller and better?
A: The device typology has reached a usability optima. Our hands aren't getting smaller and our eyes aren't becoming microscopes. Making them any smaller makes them less useful, not more. With weight loss associated with miniaturization and price drop of scaling technologies there was even a bounce to larger phones and laptops (even to ridiculously inconvenient large sizes) because in the touch-screen interface paradigm less is certainly not more.

Q: Why aren't smartwatches going to replace smartphones?
A: Outside niche uses for the small-screen, low power variety, there's not much to gain from putting a device of that capacity in your wrist as opposed to handheld, while you do lose the ability to handle it with either hand, or both, and to give it to other people. One handed typing sucks, and typing is absolutely fundamental for most of the common and useful smartphone functions like texting, e-mail, notes, social media, and general internet browsing. Until someone invents an input method that's faster and more intuitive than typing (say, BCI...), keyboards are going to continue to constrain device forms. (Voice commands, while they are now technically feasible, are apparently just weird for the majority of the population. Most people don't like talking to tools, and certainly don't like everyone else knowing the content of their messages). Combined with the media consumption / interface usefulness of a decent-sized screen, the phone-size touchscreen paradigm is staying for a while.

Question: So, tell us all-knowing Kuu, what's the future?
Answer: Flexible screens/electronics will actually make smartphones kill this silly smartwatch trend, making one capable of bending the phone into an armband, and easily removing it, thus getting the best of both worlds (revolutionary, they'll say!). The more convenient and powerful device will swallow the less convenient, underpowered one, and certainly not the other way around! I sure as hell hope the rumored iwatch is actually a flexible iphone, because that's the only thing that makes any sense, murdering both smartwatches and other smartphone competition in a single glorious integrated interface-design-hard-software climax that only Apple can deliver—but I digress...

Slightly further into the future, these devices, if there is a deity in this universe (unlikely), will be renamed to something more sensible like communicators, wearables, or just mobiles, since nobody my generation and down actually phones more than texts, and smartX is just dumb. Regardless of that, they will gain actually useful new features due to integrating more hardware like myoelectric sensors, turning them into personal, universal, intuitive controls for all other wireless devices.

A bit later than that, AR glasses will begin to replace most uses for these large mobile touchscreens (and a bunch of screens on other devices too), though these glasses would probably still be dependent accessories tethered to the main mobile device due to other conveniences of the handheld/wrist form, particularly more battery/processor space (because nobody wants to wear clunky stuff on their face except for that EyeTap guy) and text input (unless subvocal-recognition technology or some other non-invasive BCI is sufficiently developed by the time AR glasses go mainstream). Unlike silly smartwatches, however, AR glasses are actually a giant paradigm shift in computing interface with a myriad of killer apps, and will therefore sell like pancakes when the tech is mature.
 

Architect

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Architect: Would you care to describe your experience with smart watches?

I've had an ongoing Cyborg experiment for five years including watches, Google Glass, physical monitoring (e.g. Fitbit and others), and others. The smart watches have been one of the best. Mainly because they most seamlessly fit into your life & body and are the most comfortable. The technology must disappear. Glass is a headset so you are highly aware of it, a phone must be carried around, and smaller recorders must be tended so you don't lose them. The biggest issue with all of these is battery.

With wearable technology how precisely the software and hardware work together is critical, much more so than a phone and vastly more than a computer. I think Apple is the only company that can pull it off properly, so I'm looking forward to the iWatch.
 

Methodician

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I've had an ongoing Cyborg experiment for five years

Wish I had more access to those early technologies to experiment with. What's your take on Glass? Any other particularly notworthy wearable/cyborgian technology to think about?
 

Methodician

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I don't need to waste my time and money on one to realize it would be a waste of my time and money.

They have no features useful to me that my phone doesn't have already. Will the "smartwatch" hardware magically morph into a super-powered, super-intuitive useful killer device better than my phone if I wear it for a month or two?

:rolleyes:

This nicely illustrates your ignorance on the topic. These aren’t intended to replace your phone. The vision saturating the industry is more of an accessory to your phone. A future oriented thinker like myself recognizes that today’s smartphone is the PC of the future. It’s more than capable of carrying all the hardware required for daily computing needs, even fairly graphics and processor intensive requirements (this fact will become overwhelmingly apparent in the next couple years). One day we could put all that in a watch but I don’t think we will. We’ll carry around a small device like our smartphones that will extend to different form factors and interfaces on an as-needed basis. Imagine having something like an Asus Padfone, extendable to your desktop environment when you’re at home, capable of playing all your games or whatever you do, but also talking to you through your wrist while you’re on the go. It will connect to your big-screen TV, integrate to your desktop, plug into a tablet-esque interface, or talk to you through wearables.



Contradiction much?
Not really.

A> Have you used them? (though your opinion remains relevant either way)
B> I didn’t ask if they were a valid device class but, as stated, I welcome the debate.

If I wanted to strap a smartphone on my wrist I'd... OMG... strap my smartphone on my wrist!

Why would one want to get an entirely separate device to perform redundant functions that a phone already does? :confused:
Further illustrates your ignorance. Do a little research next time before publicizing such an in-depth rebuttal. It's just another way to access functions already on the phone.


Except we didn't spend our hard-earned money on half-baked barely-usable devices for years?

Half-baked and barely-usable? DID YOU TRY ONE? The device was extremely well-crafted and highly effective. It did most of what my smart phone does and some things it doesn’t. I used it frequently and fruitfully even with my desktop in the same room. And when I whipped it out, plugged it into a projector, and did a full on presentation displaying speaking notes in hand and slide shows/videos on screen (a number of times) nobody could deny its impressive utility even if they'd never seen one or considered its purchase. It was basically an early tablet. But then even my old-school PDA’s got plenty of daily use. Just because you didn’t adopt the technology doesn’t mean it wasn’t useable

Oh yes, do handwave away our criticism by labeling it opinion. What did you expect, a research paper? Uncritical adoration? Cry me a river.

I’m not handwaving anything away. Opinions are relevant but I prefer them to be well-formed and backed by something more empirical. All this forceful rejection of an idea from someone who doesn’t even understand it strikes me as… annoying, I must say.

It confounds and vexes me that I feel so inclined to take the time to craft my own rebuttal to your surprisingly ignorant one. But I suppose this sort of thing does help formulate and strengthen my own position. Sometimes people unlike yourself manage to enlighten me in these little debates regardless of who is "right" or "wrong"...

I'm amazed by the strength of the opinions of the yay-sayers on this topic. It's not the "next big thing". It's redundant. It's trendy. It's niche. The smartphone will reign supreme until it's replaced and/or integrated into truly useful and game-changing tech like AR glasses. Why? See below.

You have one thing right here: the smartphone will reign supreme for a while. Your mistake is in assuming that smart watches are intended to replace them. I suggest, in fact, that the smartphone may replace the personal computer such that your desktop computing environment taps into it just like a smartwatch does. Imagine sitting down at a public/work computing terminal and experiencing it no differently than your own desk at home. While you’re on the move, it may be best to interact with it by voice or experience it at-a-glance on your wrist. This is mobile, always-with-you personal computing at its finest (until a far more significant shift in technology comes along).

A) Smartwatches are not a "technology". It's a device typology that integrates a variety of technologies. I think "form factor" is the word used for electronic gadgets. These same technologies are also found in other form factors (see smartphones).

You make a partially valid point here. The underlying hardware is nothing new, though the miniaturization wasn't commercially feasible until recently. The technology, though, is new. A way to interact with your pocket computing device without pulling it out. A way to get on-the-fly updates and info without activating and thumbing around on a phone.

Q: Why did netbooks / ultraportables flop? (If you think this is controversial then you're delusional).
A: underpowered, awkwardly small screens and awkwardly small keyboards, with OS designed for desktops. They were promptly dumped for tablets for the exact same reason the iphone became smartphone king.

Well color me delusional...

This is just all wrong. Macbook air is my girlfriend’s primary computer. Mine is a Dell XPS 12. Both could be classed as netbooks/ultraportables. We both ditched our desktops for these devices, which frequently get plugged into a variety of external monitors, keyboards, mice, etc… or just used comfortably on the couch. If you think netbooks flopped, you’re delusional. They have essentially replaced the desktop in every literal sense for anyone who knows how to integrate technology in their lives. Netbooks and ultraportables function flawlessly as a complete desktop when used with peripherals but are still light and portable enough to go anywhere with you.

Q: Why aren't phones and laptops becoming smaller anymore even if all their components are getting smaller and better?
A: The device typology has reached a usability optima. Our hands aren't getting smaller and our eyes aren't becoming microscopes. Making them any smaller makes them less useful, not more. With weight loss associated with miniaturization and price drop of scaling technologies there was even a bounce to larger phones and laptops (even to ridiculously inconvenient large sizes) because in the touch-screen interface paradigm less is certainly not more.

You’re pretty close. I think, in fact, the standard smartphone will end up being a little too big because that’s just the optimal form factor. Something like 5 to 8 inches. And why would you want to pull that out just to see what the weather’s like or read a text message or get directions when you could look at your wrist and say “respond: I’ll be there soon” or “OK Google, walking directions to Quick-E-Mart”. For that matter, why would you pull that heafty thing out to see what time it is? I tire of that task even with my little GS4 phone.

Q: Why aren't smartwatches going to replace smartphones?
Null: further illustrates your ignorance on the subject. See above.

Question: So, tell us all-knowing Kuu, what's the future?
Answer: Flexible screens/electronics will actually make smartphones kill this silly smartwatch trend, making one capable of bending the phone into an armband, and easily removing it, thus getting the best of both worlds (revolutionary, they'll say!). The more convenient and powerful device will swallow the less convenient, underpowered one, and certainly not the other way around! I sure as hell hope the rumored iwatch is actually a flexible iphone, because that's the only thing that makes any sense, murdering both smartwatches and other smartphone competition in a single glorious integrated interface-design-hard-software climax that only Apple can deliver—but I digress...

You're kind of onto something again BUT... Before we can cram sufficient computational hardware under a flexible screen, these too will just be accessories to the gadget in your pocket. They will be an evolution of the technology dubbed “smartwtch” today. Who knows what we’ll call it then.


A bit later than that, AR glasses will begin to replace most uses for these large mobile touchscreens (and a bunch of screens on other devices too), though these glasses would probably still be dependent accessories tethered to the main mobile device due to other conveniences of the handheld/wrist form, particularly more battery/processor space (because nobody wants to wear clunky stuff on their face except for that EyeTap guy) and text input (unless subvocal-recognition technology or some other non-invasive BCI is sufficiently developed by the time AR glasses go mainstream). Unlike silly smartwatches, however, AR glasses are actually a giant paradigm shift in computing interface with a myriad of killer apps, and will therefore sell like pancakes when the tech is mature.

This is pretty cogent. I’ll give you that. And certainly I recognize that smartwatches are merely the first leap into wearable computing. A leap I intend to be part of.
 

cooperbrown504

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I knew it was coming soon but got a little shocked when I walked into Best Buy the other day and realized we were already in the second, perhaps 3rd generation of full-blown smart watches! Samsung has my eye at the moment.

Their Gear and Gear 2 have a camera, speaker, microphone, and high-resolution touch screen. It acts primarily as a companion to various Samsung branded smartphones (must be within bluetooth range for most functionality) but the Gear 2 has some stand alone functionality not to be dismissed.

Personally, I try to ride the wave of technology like a surfer (a flawed analogy perhaps because I've never surfed). I've been an early adopter of various technologies, even a late adopter of a few. I find it's usually best to wait until a new technology and its market is fast approaching maturity before jumping in; I ride just in front of the cusp of the wave. Crazy thing is that just about a year into the market it looks like we're there. If I hadn't just been laid off I may have ordered a gear/gear2 that same day. Some of these devices (the gear 2 in particular) are pretty mind blowing and Samsung, along with several other big players in the tech market, are racing to release better, more varied, and more powerful options.

Has anyone here experimented with smart watches yet? What's your take? Do these already have the potential to significantly improve quality of life (or at least technological convenience) or are they still in an infantile stage best suited for fanatical early adopters?

What's your take on the current market for smart watches?

I researched it when i first saw the commercials for it like half a year ago, it is completely dependent on your android phone, without an android phone to be connected to it cannot do anything. It plays media via your android phone, it answers phone calls via your android phone, it does everything via your android phone.

Maybe when these things evolve into something that actually performs like it is advertised to perform it will be worth looking into, at least for me anyway.
 

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I'm waiting to see Apple's take on it as current smart watches are more being first/early to market as opposed to how can we create a game changer. It's going to take a lot to make me ditch my analogs.
 

Methodician

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I'm excited to see what Apple does too but am concerned because I don't intend to switch to all things Apple and there for will not be able to fully enjoy any single product...

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I have a Pebble smartwatch. I'm liking it quite a bit... Basically it allows me to check things without taking my phone out of my pocket. Change song on the music player, dismiss calls, look up the weather, recieve GPS notifications and so forth. It also tells the time... :P
 

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Personally im not really interested in the way they are making smart watches. Mainly because i don't find any of them aesthetically pleasing. I mean when it comes to technology i usually don't care for looks but if I'm wearing it its a different story. I place smart watches in the same category as anything i wear so it has to look good for me to wear it. And i think that's were a lot of these smart watches are failing. They forgot that they are watches and are leaning to much to one side. Its different if the watch looks futuristic but none of them do.

However some people are starting to realize this and those are the watches I'm interested in. Watches like those designed by actual designers. For example Gábor Balogh's smartwatch concept. Now thats a smart watch i would wear.


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scorpiomover

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I've had an ongoing Cyborg experiment for five years including watches, Google Glass, physical monitoring (e.g. Fitbit and others), and others. The smart watches have been one of the best. Mainly because they most seamlessly fit into your life & body and are the most comfortable. The technology must disappear. Glass is a headset so you are highly aware of it, a phone must be carried around, and smaller recorders must be tended so you don't lose them. The biggest issue with all of these is battery.

With wearable technology how precisely the software and hardware work together is critical, much more so than a phone and vastly more than a computer. I think Apple is the only company that can pull it off properly, so I'm looking forward to the iWatch.
I prefer VISIBLE.

I learned a long time ago, that when technology becomes invisible, people stop thinking about it as a piece of technology that operates according to the laws of science. If they don't see it, they let their imaginations roam to whatever they want to believe. They start imagining that the technology can do magical things that the technology could not be capable of.

In addition, when technology is invisible, people tend to think of it only in terms of existing paradigms. Usually, the technology can do much more than what existing paradigms deem possible.

So usually, when technology is invisible, I find that people demand that the technology should already do things that it clearly cannot, and refuse to even consider that the technology can do many other things, or even achieve the same goals in slightly different ways.

This is a big problem with programming, because people don't SEE programs as visually presentable physical objects. I often have to tell clients that what they ask for is impossible or practically unfeasible, and then have to explain to them that their actual goals CAN be achieved, but require them to make certain changes to the way they live their daily lives.

As a result, I've discovered that the most important part of programming, is NOT coding, but management of client expectations.

Keeping the technology visible makes other people's issues with what I do with that technology quite easy to manage. So I'd rather the technology is something physical that can be touched.

Either that, or so intuitively designed that anything some complete idiot would ask it to do, it can do in mere seconds.

So until the technology achieves the latter, I'd rather the technology remain visible.
 

walfin

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Imagine having something like an Asus Padfone, extendable to your desktop environment when you’re at home, capable of playing all your games or whatever you do, but also talking to you through your wrist while you’re on the go.

Do you use a Padfone too? I thought I was the only one on INTPf.
 

Methodician

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No but I desperately wanted one. My cellular carrier didn't share my enthusiasm. How do you like it?

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Affinity

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I prefer VISIBLE.

I learned a long time ago, that when technology becomes invisible, people stop thinking about it as a piece of technology that operates according to the laws of science. If they don't see it, they let their imaginations roam to whatever they want to believe. They start imagining that the technology can do magical things that the technology could not be capable of.

In addition, when technology is invisible, people tend to think of it only in terms of existing paradigms. Usually, the technology can do much more than what existing paradigms deem possible.

You are saying two opposing things. One, that when technology is invisible people's expectations are too high and two, when technology is invisible people don't think outside the box. It shouldn't be up to your consumers to be doing the thinking, that's why they pay for a certain product, so the developers, designers, and hardware designers can.

Your end user does not need to know how it works, just that it does. Much like how most people don't know how a car works, just that it does. My car takes me from point A to point B, I expect my gadgets to take me from point A to point B. The less I have to think about the technology itself, the more effectively I can use it to extract what it is I need from it.
 

Methodician

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For the past few weeks I've paid closer attention to Amazon's "Lightning Deals" and there have been a huge number of conventional watches showcased and sold out. They also have the original Sony "Smart Watch" at a steep discount lately. I think I saw it at sixty-something dollars once! I've noticed a lot of indicators on Amazon that they're clearing out inventory of conventional watches and early-model smart watches in preparation for something new. Maybe someone recognizes an overreaching shift on approach.
 

walfin

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No but I desperately wanted one. My cellular carrier didn't share my enthusiasm. How do you like it?

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Technically excellent. Service and repair policy sucks, even though individual service staff are polite.

I always wished I could find a formal watch that was really smart (no, time zone and address book don't count). Something with a proper metal rather than rubber strap.
 

Architect

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I've been experimenting with these kinds of devices for years. Whenever there's a new form factor, tablet, Google Glass, big laptop, multi-monitor computing, I've been at the forefront of it.

Speaking broadly I've found that what works best for me is the extremes, that is the very large and the very small. I spend 90% of my time at either end. Most of the time I'm on one of my two multi-monitor beasts. I have a new Mac Pro with 3x27" Cinema Displays, and a monster PC with 3x monitors and GPU. For getting real work done they're hard to beat.

When I'm out and about (mostly at work) my phone gets the most use, and by extension my eWatch. I'll answer emails, check posts and other such work.

In between are the tablets and laptops, of which I have plenty. They don't get a lot of time frankly. I like the tablets for reading (I prefer the Kindle the best for this), and use the laptops for lighter use in the evening. I've tried using laptops as desktops but they're not enough and have various other problems. I've tried tablets as laptop replacements and same deal.

So, I upgrade my phone and desktops frequently, but rarely upgrade tablets (still use iPad 1 & 2) or laptops (older 17" & 15" MBP's).
 

Methodician

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I tend to find your posts reliably thought-provoking and often informative architect. I keep thinking I need a new tablet but when it comes time to shop I always find the purchase hard to justify. But each time newer and better phones come out I find myself drooling over the most subtle improvements I just can't live without. My life is very mobile at the time so my laptop is my main pc, but it spends at least half it's time plugged into various secondary and tertiary displays.

I also just made the discovery that both my phone and laptop are pre equipped to wirelessly project to any HDTV with miracast or whatever brand name wants to call it. Had to kick myself for not realizing this sooner. Then I ordered a little miracast dongle that makes any tv, monitor, or other display with HDMI immediately compatible. It's very easy to set up in seconds and we'll come in very handy in my travels over the next couple months.

Food for thought...

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Architect

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I keep thinking I need a new tablet but when it comes time to shop I always find the purchase hard to justify.

Back when I was heavily traveling for work (overseas every month in either Asia or Europe) I lived out of my laptop. An iPad would have been wonderful, god all the wasted time on those planes. Back then you had to depend on the airline for a movie to get you through the flight, and they were impossible to hear and see down the aisle. I haven't flown since iPad's came in vogue but am jealous of the tech that people have available.

The CEO of my company does all his work on a iPad from what I hear, so there are definitely cases where it makes sense. Basically if you're a media consumer and a wordsmith.
 

Methodician

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I'm curious what kind of company...

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