After getting into the smartphone and tablet markets, some companies that have seen success have decided that they should get into the next best thing: smart watches. This head-first dive strategy was what put companies like Samsung on the map in the first place. But was the dive in vain? Perhaps not. Still, there are a few reasons why we really shouldn’t be browsing for smart watches – at least not until the technology has become more viable.
1: They’re Clumsy
I’m the kind of person who wears a watch for a reason: I want to check what time it is without having to do anything fancy. Unfortunately, smart watches don’t really offer this experience. You have to “unlock” the watch as you would a smartphone. With that kind of impediment, you might as well carry a phone in your pocket and end the story right there. Smart watches are little more than oversimplified versions of smartphones anyway, and some of them even need to be paired to a phone in order to tell what time it is.
On top of all this, some of the watches’ screens have trouble with visibility under sunlight.
If you still like the “real watch” experience, maybe you’d like the Martian Passport Watch (that is, until you’ve discovered how much it costs).
2: They’re Just a Smartphone’s Shadow, Without The Actual Phone
The screen real estate on a smart watch is limited to a very tiny space just above your wrist. Obviously, this means that it won’t be able to do as much as the 4-5-inch phone you carry in your pocket.
Aside from that, there are very few apps that currently have explicit compatibility with smart watches. This isn’t a big deal, though, since this niche market won’t be ignored. App developers will always be in ample supply, so we can expect that smart watches will get some attention in that department.
The biggest problem comes in the form of utility. There are many things that your smart watch still needs your phone for. Among those is talking to other people and typing comments on Facebook. This just isn’t possible on such a tiny platform, unless you want an exaggeratedly tiny keyboard to type on.
3: Smart Watch Battery Life Is Nowhere Near What Regular Watches Have
Unless you’ve been living with a mechanical watch all your life, you’d know that many battery-operated watches last at least six months before you replace their batteries. What if I told you that you now have to charge your watch every week? That’s pretty much how life is with smart watches, for the time being.
My suggestion would be to squeeze as much battery life as possible by finding ways of generating power other than through a USB cable. For example, a smart watch could charge itself through your body heat and/or the natural motion of your wrist (like automatic watches do). You could easily squeeze in an extra week of battery life with this and a combination of other battery-saving techniques, like allowing the user to put the watch into a “watch only” mode (like you would if you were going to sleep, or you simply know you won’t use the watch for an extended period of time).
Should You Get a Smart Watch?
After thinking for a long time, if you feel that you need one of these gadgets, go ahead and buy one. But be warned: The technology is at its infancy, and manufacturers have lots to learn about how to appeal to their customers. At this point, there are probably more reasons not to buy smart watches than to buy them. If you’re making this decision, think long and hard about it. Make sure it’s not an impulse purchase. Other than that, I hope this technology will be one you can make use of and enjoy!
If you feel you have anything to add to this, leave a comment below!