Smartwatch. Must have?

Sep 23, 2014
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The Smartwatch era has arrived. Attempts have been made by companies like Samsung, but anyone who has one of those probably can’t remember where it is now. The original releases were bad. But that doesn’t mean we should write them off because of a couple of false starts.

Google threw their weight behind wearables by releasing a version of Android called Android Wear. This new operating system has been adopted by pretty much all major Android manufacturers. Even companies like Sony (who produced the Smartwatch 1 and Smartwatch 2 running their own OS) have switched to Android Wear for their Smartwatch 3. Motorola recently produced quite possibly THE standout Smartwatch for Android – the Moto 360 (sold out within a few hours). It looks like a watch rather than a small computer on your wrist – and with a standard strap size, you can do whatever you like with it style-wise. It too runs Android Wear and gives the wearer a suite of Motorola-designed watch faces (actually nice ones!) to choose from.

Moto-360

In my opinion, the first thing a Smartwatch needs to be is a watch. It needs to tell the time. Once you get behind the watch face you start to see what Smartwatches offer – a ‘portal’ to your phone. Notifications that arrive to your phone can be shown on your watch. This means that txt messages and Twitter notifications can be sent to your watch, but maybe not emails or Facebook notifications. It’s your choice. If you are in a meeting and your phone rings, you can manage the call on the phone by sending a quick “I’m in a meeting…” txt to the caller.

I wear a Sony Smartwatch 2 connected to my LG G3 phone daily. Over the past 6 months, I’ve found I’m not looking at my phone every 10 minutes. Big change. My watch passes on my notifications with far less effort on my part and interruption to others. My Sony Smartwatch 2 isn’t perfect (I don’t particularly like the hardware), but it has shown me how I would embrace a Smartwatch going forward (my Moto 360 will be here soon).

Enter Apple. The Apple Watch will be a great addition to the Smartwatch market. It gives a huge boost to the category and brings some new thinking to the interface. I’m sure it will still wow in true Apple style and quality of the build, but I prefer round watches (hence my excited anticipation of my Moto 360).

140909142343-apple-watch-620xa

The Smartwatch isn’t a must have for everyone, but for people who have notifications coming in from txt, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even email, it’s a way of handling the volume without spending the whole day with your face lit up by a phone display.

https://moto360.motorola.com/ Android only, purchased from eBay or local parallel importers
http://www.apple.com/watch/ Apple only, coming 2015
 

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