Is a smartwatch a watch or really a digital lifestyle enabler, crammed with a range of apps? Should it even be called a watch when telling the time – the sole, simple and elegant task of any timepiece – seems to be a forgotten, almost token function? This article raises questions on the appeal of smartwatches.
1. Do we have time for Apple smartwatches?
The countdown for the release of the next big thing – the smartwatch – has already begun, and a lot of people are marking time until they can get their hands on an Apple or Android watch in the new year. There’s been plenty of debate about the design, the range of apps the device will have, the affordability etc., but do we actually need smartwatches? Questioning the point of what is undoubtedly a smart device can make you sound like a Luddite, especially to early adopters, but consider the case against smartwatches.
2. Do we need more technology?
Smartphones already rule our lives and, although they have many benefits, they undoubtedly are also a major distraction. They’re greedy with our time too, always telling us we’ve got emails to attend to, texts to read or send – they’re always telling us something. Do we really need a slimmer version strapped to our wrist telling us more of the same stuff, every second of the day?
3. Do we need to be more connected?
Disconnecting for a while each day is not only smart, it’s necessary for our wellbeing. For the sake of our health, our peace of mind, and our blood pressure, we need to disconnect ourselves from the job and our responsibilities at some point in the day. At least you can switch off a smartphone, no matter how hard it is to do for some people, but it’ll be too easy to forget that smartwatch on your wrist is keeping you connected until it reminds you that you are!
4. Do we need to reinvent the wheel?
So far, the main developers, including Apple, seem to be placing more emphasis on the design of the new device, rather than the technology. Committed early adopters will care less about aesthetics – they just want a smartwatch – but to have wider appeal, the device has to look good. The technology already exists, but the challenge is to make the smartwatch look like a conventional watch, which sounds a bit like trying to reinvent the wheel. We already have watches that look like watches, because that’s what they are and have been for over two centuries. Perfect just as they are, our watches already tell us everything we need to know – what the time is.