I have a watch. So does everybody else unless you belong to that group of people that just don’t wear watches. I also have a mobile phone. And so does everybody else.
The watch I have is many years old, I bought it last century some time and it has been working well for me. Every few months I have to adjust the time a little bit, the watch tends to run a little fast. Time and date show up nicely though, a glance at my write with no buttons to press and I know if it’s time for lunch or to pack up for the day and head home.
Recently, somebody claimed that they re-invented the watch. It’s the next big thing, everybody touts. So what does it to? It shows time, no big deal, right? But it does so much more, they are telling me.
“Like what?” I wonder.
Well, it lets you pay when you’re shopping. “I see.” I say, but I do most of my shopping on-line, so there’s not big help there. And most of the other stores I buy things like groceries, don’t accept that particular method of payment. My credit card works just fine.
It measures your heart beat. Hmm, OK, my doctor does that too, every time I visit and blood pressure and heart beat are always doing great. No need for that.
The battery lasts all day, they tell me, this is so much better than other watches. How can that be? My current watch runs on solar power, no need to recharge. A full charge lasts three months. My other, even older, watch has a battery life of three years. And it lets me know when the battery needs to be replaced way in advance, so I can make plans to have it looked at.
Yes, but you can do all this other stuff, I am told, again. I can see my appointments and make phone calls and see notes and and and – but all that requires a mobile phone and then I can do it on the phone, much better due to the much larger screen.
So what’s my point? The point is that there is no need for a smart watch, regardless of brand. At least not until the watch has the phone built in and then only for people that can deal with the tiny screen.
And last not least: Here I have a 25 year old time piece. It was built in Switzerland and has lots of tiny gears, stuff that the Swiss are very proud of. It’s “timeless” in style and function. I will still have it in 10 or 20 years and it will still look great on my wrist.
On the other hand I have a piece of technology that is obsolete and replaced in a year when a new model with twice the speed, better screen and a slightly smaller size arrives. Needless to say that all the accessories that are needed for smartwatch 1.0 don’t work with the 2.0 version.
1987: I sit in a meeting and I have a notepad and a pencil with me and I’m scribbling what ever I can on a piece of paper in the hope I can later read any of this. Later, I sit at my computer and copy all the stuff that’s relevant, that I can read and maybe add one thing or another that didn’t make it on to the piece of paper.
1991: I sit in a meeting and I have a laptop with me. I try to take notes using the keyboard but my typing isn’t fast enough and it disturbs the meeting and I can’t concentrate on what’s being said and what I’m typing.
1995: I sit in a meeting and I have my Newton (MP120) with me. I can scribble on it and it tries to figure out what I’m doing. Some stuff is not identifiable and doodling isn’t working too well either. Later on, I transfer my notes to my desktop/laptop. Life is good.
1999: It’s more or less like 1995, except that the Newton has been replaced with the more powerful MessagePad 2100, the last model Apple has ever made.
2003: Back to the dark ages. I’m now using an HP/Compaq Ipaq. It’s horrible and it’s missing all the great built-in stuff the Newton had. Handwriting recognition is useless. The Newton is no longer an option, since it got axed and there is no longer any support for OS X.
2007: The iPhone arrives, but at this stage, it’s not helping much when it comes to note taking.
2011: The iPad is now around for a year. Scribbling notes is nowhere to be seen. Handwriting recognition – what’s that? Typing notes using the on-screen keyboard is even slower than in 1991. And an external keyboard isn’t the answer either.
2015: I sit in a meeting and I have a notepad and a pencil with me and I’m scribbling what ever I can on a piece of paper in the hope I can later read any of this. Later, I sit at my computer and copy all the stuff that’s relevant, that I can read and maybe add one thing or another that didn’t make it on to the piece of paper. If this sounds familiar, look at 1987. We now have Siri and we can use it for dictation. But that doesn’t work very well in a meeting.
Does it really have to be like this?