At the end of a watch

I was reading about the bland first impressions of the OnePlus Watch. I can not help wondering what a smartwatch is, and what it is becoming.

I actually own one, and it is the worst of both worlds. It has a resting mode so a watch face should be visible at all times. Especially because it is borderline sluggish to wake up if you use the raise-to-wake function. And I would never want to raise my watch in a meeting to see what the time is! So far, analog comes out ahead.

Part of the problem is a legacy, it seems. This kind of watch sprang from what athletes used to wear. Running stats, GPS, heartrate, that kind of thing. And they were willing to pay. Now, I will go out on a limb here and voice my suspicion that couch potatoes outnumber them in brutal numbers. While I do not see myself as a fat slob… yet… I daresay there are things more interesting to the average user than tracking my fitness. Adjusting the Bluetooth settings for my headset, for instance? Checking the network? Answering the phone? Or maybe even telling the time? The feature mentioned in the article referenced above controlling a TV makes perfect sense for anyone not using the watch as a single-purpose device.

Of course, I do not know what an Apple Watch does. My work Iphone has truly convinced me not to ever acquire anything Apple. What I am interested in is the ecosystem and infrastructure around Android, which is likely to set a standard in affordable watches.

For that same reason, I am less interested in seeing it as a standalone watch than having it serve as an advanced remote for other devices. I am rarely without my smartphone, but it is often good to have a way to control it without taking it out of my pocket – or even my bag, since it is 6.7″ and not actually good for a pocket, even on a guy my size.

And so, it feels like there is a number of scenarios where a smartwatch would serve as a useful everyday tool and toy. It just feels like what would be useful for the most people was parked under a low priority.


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