Okay, so I am sitting here at 6AM, and came across yet another Apple Watch post. Cool. Apple has its own Smartwatch. Great! No, I am serious. This means that Android and Pebble have solid competition to help drive forward development, and evolution of the platform.
However, what are my thoughts on the current state of said platform? It is definitely in its infancy.
I am not being harsh, but very truthful. This is not a bad thing, either. Every technology platform MUST start somewhere. Already, thanks to the landmarks that Pebble created with their branded smartwatch has opened up doors, Google and Apple are able to walk through with very little effort. I am not a Pebble user, however, I have recently jumped onto the Android Wear wagon with the ASUS ZenWatch. A move that I have only begun less than a week ago, and am enjoying rather thoroughly…especially for a guy that swore off watches when he got the first Motorola Droid from Verizon.
I dare say that Apple may have even inadvertently created the smartwatch movement with the 6th generation of the iPod Nano. This was a square little iPod that was roughly about the size of most smartwatches out right now. However, that device was not a watch, nor was it ever intended to be. When the first watch band…case…was created for it, it took off. Kind of. It was a nifty concept, and displayed potential for the market. It was just a tad bit too early for such a revolution to take place, especially since Apple wanted nothing of it at the time.
Where smartwatches stand currently is interesting. There is not a huge level of support for the devices in regards to applications. I suppose it has a lot to do with the fact that developers may not know exactly how to meld into the platform yet. So far, the concept appears to be “glorified notifications”. This may not seem like a lot to the casual onlooker, but keep in mind that casually looking at your watch during a conversation is still considered “okay”. To casually look at your phone during the same conversation is considered rude, and in many respects, antisocial.
The smartwatch allows you to see that incoming email, or text without having to appear rude to your conversation partner. You can choose to answer or ignore an incoming phone call with but a swipe of your finger on your watch without being distracted. It allows so many options in those regards.
Smartwatches are having additional technology integrated into them so that we are able to trim down the devices that we carry. In the more common aspect, pedometers and heart rate monitoring are available in solid apps such as Google Fit, and ASUS’s Wellness apps. With these, along with numerous others, you can monitor your activity levels while making sure you aren’t over exerting yourself. As someone with a severe blood pressure issue, I am able to monitor my heart rate at any moment. Now only if there was a method to measure my BP on the device!
Not to sound all “Big Brother”, but you can even allow the device to track your location. This is a great idea if you are a parent. As one, I want to monitor my children’s locations to ensure they are safe… and where they are supposed to be.
If you are one of those that are hesitant about jumping aboard the smartwatch train, I recommend giving it a whirl. Check out the devices in person, read the reviews, find one you like. If you are an iPhone/iPod user, get yourself an Apple Watch. If you are invested in the Google Android ecosystem, get an Android Wear device. If you don’t particular care one way or the other, get a Pebble (there are apps to support it on iTunes, AND Google Play).
If you do decide to get one of the several Android Wear watches, a Pebble, or the new Apple Watch, please comment below to let us know what your experiences have been.