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Hardware

People Still Aren't Buying Smartwatches -- and It's Only Going To Get Worse (businessinsider.com) 331

An anonymous reader shares a report: Wearable technology still isn't catching up. Despite a year full of exciting new smartwatches, tech-enabled clothing or jewelry, and fitness activity trackers galore, the growth of the wearables market is still on the decline, according to a new report from research firm eMarketer. In fact, the entire category is being overtaken by smart speakers, at least during the 2017 holiday season. "Other than early adopters, consumers have yet to find a reason to justify the cost of a smartwatch, which can sometimes cost as much as a smartphone," eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu wrote in the report. "Instead, for this holiday season, we expect smart speakers to be the gift of choice for many tech enthusiasts, because of their lower price points."
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People Still Aren't Buying Smartwatches -- and It's Only Going To Get Worse

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  • by skam240 ( 789197 ) on Monday December 25, 2017 @11:03PM (#55807183)

    Maybe it's because I don't want an accessory on my wrist that offers almost no advantages over the cell in my pocket, meanwhile costing the same as a nice watch but looking like an 80's calculator wrist watch.

    • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Monday December 25, 2017 @11:07PM (#55807197) Homepage

      If smart watches actually did look like 80s calculator wrist watches, I might actually get one!

      Instead I just wear my 80s style Casio G-Shock. Because it's dorky-retro and I love that.

      • by skam240 ( 789197 )

        You're right, I insulted 80's calculator wrist watches which definitely had their own level of awesome.

        Smart watches generally don't look retro though. They generally just look like cheap plastic garbage.

        • by mikael ( 484 )

          The first thing I look for in a digital watch is a metal wristband. A basic image search will show whole screens of smartwatches with black plastic wristbands. Search for Casio watches and they all look classy with silver or gold metal chrome. Even their calculator watches are gold, and the batteries are designed to last 10 years.

      • Nothing wrong with the 80s style G-Shocks. They do a certain function, and do it extremely well. I've seen first-hand things that those watches have gone through and survived.

        I wouldn't mind an 80s style calculator watch. These days, something like that would be great for storing TOTP 2FA codes, passwords and other items that you don't want on an always-online device. Perhaps with some small camera for QR codes.

      • I would rather have another HP-41C. Damn, what a machine.

        But no, current smartwatches offer no compelling feature for me. I can teach Google Now to hear me through my jacket. It can dial my mom's* number for me, open the sports radio* app I prefer, and set a timer for the steaks on the grill. When it compels my nearest Starbucks to actually make all 4 of my mobile ordered drinks within
        15 minutes of actually ordering them, I will kiss it on the lips*.

        * - trollbait - warning: these words and phrases are known

    • by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Monday December 25, 2017 @11:14PM (#55807219)

      Maybe it's because I don't want an accessory on my wrist that offers almost no advantages over the cell in my pocket, meanwhile costing the same as a nice watch but looking like an 80's calculator wrist watch.

      And something that is only in style for about 6 months... I have a Tag from 2001. I have a Rolex from 1966. A 4 year old iWatch is trash... Not a good investment or accessory.

      • by skam240 ( 789197 ) on Monday December 25, 2017 @11:26PM (#55807275)

        I have a watch given to me by my grandmother from a grandfather I never knew. It's "only" gold plated and "only" has a plastic face rather than crystal but it's one of my most precious things. Why would anyone want an old smartwatch, regardless of who owned it?

        • Function vs heirloom. I have several watches more valuable than my Apple Watch that sit in my dresser because it is more useful to have ready access to selected information of my choosing. Don't get me wrong... I miss my old watches from a style and uniqueness aspect, and I am not sure what the hell to do this week for a timer this week as I go scuba diving.

          But... I can't get the current temperature, stock ticker, text messages, or a host of other info on my awesomely simple Welder.

        • by sonamchauhan ( 587356 ) <sonamc@gmail . c om> on Tuesday December 26, 2017 @03:40AM (#55807885) Journal

          Ah, the build quality, of course. The low-capacity (and slightly-swollen) battery, PCB with tin whiskers, chipped bezel, unresponsive OS, temperamental Bluetooth, 'retired' cloud service, flaky sensors, compatibility issues with your hardware devices, tatty plastic band... All these add a degree of authenticity.

        • by houghi ( 78078 )

          I have two pocketwatches. One from both my grandfathers.I took them when my sister and myself emptied the house.

          I took them because they look nice on a wall. As a watch, they are useless to me. No idea what their value is, but it ain't priceless. I just can't be bothered to sell them.

          And I am sure people would give money if a smartwatch was owned by somebody famous.

      • Even older Casio and Timex watches are useful. There are Pac-Man watches from the early 1980s which will still function with a battery replacement. A four year old Apple Watch is damaged by the way it is opened (with the waterproof gasket being destroyed), while virtually any other watch out there can have a battery replaced, even if it may require some tools that a jeweler has, fairly easily.

      • by Nexion ( 1064 ) on Tuesday December 26, 2017 @02:26AM (#55807715)

        "And something that is only in style for about 6 months... I have a Tag from 2001. I have a Rolex from 1966. A 4 year old iWatch is trash... Not a good investment or accessory."

        As someone who is wearing the latest watch from apple I would trade it with this gentleman for his Tag in a heartbeat. I have this watch knowing full well it will be shit in 2 years. The next watch I buy is a Tag or something that has old school gears in it. There is something timeless about a device built to precision that is nothing more than metal gears synchronized to perfection.

      • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

        I have a Tag from 2001. I have a Rolex from 1966. A 4 year old iWatch is trash... Not a good investment or accessory.

        And what vintage is the hatorade? Replace the battery in the old iWatch and it will run circles around the Rolex as long as it's functional.

    • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Monday December 25, 2017 @11:14PM (#55807225)

      A couple of coworkers have them. The screens are so small as to be nearly useless. The prolific texter frequently gets frustrated and gets his phone out because he can't reply on the watch with any accuracy. Without good interactivity they do not appear to be any more useful than as a timekeeping device. I suppose if one reads a lot of RSS feeds or twitter feeds or the like it could be a more convenient way to keep current, but when I'm at work I'm supposed to be working so I shouldn't make it even easier to get off-task.

      We're at a weird crossroads with technology. We pushed for faster and higher resolution for a very long time, and now that often is at-odds with portability. I'm typing this on a very upoptioned XPS 13 with the 3200x1800 display and honestly this computer has moved a little too far in the direction of screen resolution, without scaling it's unusably high-res, and its battery life is OK but isn't astounding (admittedly with Linux). Not sure exactly what the resolution on these watches is, but on something that's one or two square inches anything over good old fashioned VGA is probably unusable, but most applications are designed for higher res than that even for smartphones. Not sure how they're supposed to overcome that for watches.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Smart watches need to be dumber.

        Give me a smart watch with reliable, always on heart rate monitor and step counter, plus a vibration motor and one line LCD for notifications. One week battery life minimum.

        That's all. A normal clock face is fine.

    • I think people view them as the toys they are. After tablets became popular and everyone realized they're not actually that useful beyond entertaining kids, I think people are more wary of the "usefulness" of technology... the Echo/etc stuff falls under this too imho... it's kind of neat but not really that useful. It's not like people couldn't play music before.
      • by Bongo ( 13261 )

        I think people view them as the toys they are. After tablets became popular and everyone realized they're not actually that useful beyond entertaining kids, I think people are more wary of the "usefulness" of technology... the Echo/etc stuff falls under this too imho... it's kind of neat but not really that useful. It's not like people couldn't play music before.

        True in a way, but what has also changed is the fact of "one computer". We are surrounded by computing devices, and they all have certain functions. It is "ubiquitous computing". And everyone can pick and choose what combination of computers suits their needs. And it gets quite subtle, actually.

        For example, I work out of the office a lot, I don't have a car, I sit on the sofa a lot at home, and I rarely go running or to a gym. I also like to read a lot online, and in books, and sometimes podcasts. So for me

    • Plus, like many devices, vendors tend to consider smart watches as the "gift that keeps on giving" them money. Everything requires you to send your data to them, and then depend on getting it back from them on their web site in their way, all the while being inundated with their offers and their promotions. The old school MP4 watches had more features - could watch a video on them, listen to music, read a book, or even record audio discreetly. You can still find them on Chinese web sites every so often.

      • Are they getting fed up? Does the average sheep care?

        Or are people just getting jaded about additional tech?

    • by ctilsie242 ( 4841247 ) on Tuesday December 26, 2017 @12:25AM (#55807445)

      It isn't like self-winding watch technology is new. For a C-note or two, I can buy a Bulova self-winder.

      We have all the parts of the technology here:

      1: Self-winding mechanisms.
      2: Very low power ASICs.
      3: e-Ink screens that are available in a watch form factor.
      4: Batteries or capacitors that can hold electricity.
      5: Flexible solar panels for the watchband.
      6: Low power Bluetooth.

      We can take any/all of these and make a self-winding smartwatch that never needs physical charging. No, it may not have OLED or 3D graphics... but it would have enough CPU, RAM, and storage to do basic functions like medical device data, pedometer, and what one expects from a Fitbit type unit.

      Even then, finding a smartwatch that looks elegant and stylish is a problem. The Apple Watch does appeal to a certain demographic, but there are many others who will shell out $1000 for a timepiece because it will work the same as it did when it came out of the box, 50-100 years from now. This is the market smartwatch makers need to consider going after to expand.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      I still wear and use a Casio Data Bank 150 watch! I would like a smartwartch that is small, light, and last a long time!

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        I still wear and use a Casio Data Bank 150 watch! I would like a smartwartch that is small, light, and last a long time!

        Funny thing, I have the same watch with the Waveceptor thing (sets itself). Oddly, the battery suddenly died out on it one day (I wear it daily). I then realized the battery on it dated way beyond what it was supposed to be - I got it way back in 1996, and I know I've done 2 battery changes on it - about every 5 years or so. Turns out the battery was changed around 2008 or so, so the batte

    • I keep thinking that they’re pretty useless myself. I don’t get constant app updates or texts that need my immediate attention all day long and I have no use for a fitness tracker. Somehow Apple is selling a couple of million of these every quarter. A $2-$3 Billion a year business ain’t chicken feed.
    • Bingo. Compared to Dick Tracy & 007's watches, these things are glorified LED bracelets.

  • by damnbunni ( 1215350 ) on Monday December 25, 2017 @11:04PM (#55807187) Journal

    The Pebble hit it right - it did just enough, and the battery lasted a long time on a charge.

    None of the crap the fancier watches do is worth having to charge them so frequently.

    • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Monday December 25, 2017 @11:35PM (#55807311) Homepage Journal

      The Pebble hit it right - it did just enough, and the battery lasted a long time on a charge.

      Most of us are used to watches that last years on a battery charge if they use batteries.
      And you can tell the time with a glance, without touching it. That's why wrist watches won over pocket watches, and if you can't bring that level of convenience with a new product, it won't win either.

      Once I get a clock that displays on the inside of my eyelid, I may consider getting rid of my wrist watches. But until then, that's what I'll use for the sheer convenience and dependability, neither of which Smartwatches have.

      • You can tell the time at a glance on a Pebble without touching it.

        In the dark, even.

    • The Pebble hit it right - it did just enough, and the battery lasted a long time on a charge.

      Define "a long time". My current wristwatch lasts about 5 years on a single charge. Anything much less than that and the minor convenience gain of having your mobile phone accessible via your watch is vastly outweighed by the inconvenience of having yet another device which has to be kept constantly charged.

      • It's well over a week. I usually charge it after the last day of my work week and there's still 20% or so left. It charges in about an hour from a USB 2 port on my PC, faster if I use a phone charger.

        Compare to the Apple Watch, which is rated for 'All Day (18 hours)'. That's ridiculous. (And it drops to 3 hours if you're using some of the fancier features.) The Samsung Gear is 1.5 to 3 days depending on how it's set up.

        Longer battery life would be nice, but 'once a week' isn't onerous charging, to me. Daily

        • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

          Compare to the Apple Watch, which is rated for 'All Day (18 hours)'. That's ridiculous.

          It's not. Turn it off at night and it's easy to get two days out of a single charge, frequently three.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      And had serious screen tearing issues. I liked mine well enough otherwise.

      • Did you have the black and white or the color screen model?

        I haven't noticed any screen tearing on my Time, but I don't exactly do much fast-motion on it, either, so it might be an issue and I just haven't tripped it.

        • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
          The guys at Pebble were smart: they designed the new OS for the Time to have stylized animations that already feel somewhat like tearing (origami-like folding and various quick movements). This was done on purpose to almost entirely mask any tearing the screen may have had and it worked great.
  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Monday December 25, 2017 @11:12PM (#55807207)
    Based on supplier-estimates, so perhaps not the most precise way to measure potential sales:

    https://www.phonearena.com/news/Going-strong-the-Apple-Watch-is-en-route-to-set-another-sales-record-in-2018_id100638 [phonearena.com]
    • Well, when you double 20 people, it is a big increase... :) Seriously, their market penetration is so minuscule that it does not take much to show a lot of "improvement." But I do not see Tag, Rolex, or any other big watch maker worried.
      • by skam240 ( 789197 )

        If Apple ever make's their watches not look like cheap plastic garbage then maybe the big time piece makers will have a bit to worry over.

  • No thanks... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erp_consultant ( 2614861 ) on Monday December 25, 2017 @11:18PM (#55807245)

    I've got enough distractions without another one on my wrist. One that I have to charge up every day. One that doesn't do much without the phone that it is paired with. I like watches - real watches with automatic movements. Little mechanical works of art. Not some stupid little redundant blue tooth toy.

  • Not surprised. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by YukariHirai ( 2674609 ) on Monday December 25, 2017 @11:23PM (#55807259)

    To me, wearing a watch at all was always uncomfortable and troublesome, and barely worth the effort just for being able to have a timepiece handy. Upon getting a mobile phone which told the time, I happily gave up wearing a watch. In smartwatches, I see much the same thing as the old-fashioned kind: it's an inconvenient thing strapped to the wrist that doesn't do anything that the phone more conveniently out of the way but still easily accessible in my pocket does.

    There are arguments to be made regarding ease/convenience of contactless payment - ie not even needing to get the phone out of one's pocket, but I find that offset by needing to twist the back of the wrist around to meet the EFTPOS terminal. Something that would allow just waving the palm of the hand at the terminal would be better in that regard, but more troublesome in others - needing to wear some kind of glove with a chip located where it would be uncomfortable when doing just about anything else with one's hands. The potential answer to that might be implanting the chip, but that presents its own issues.

    And smartwatches are the most promising - or maybe least unpromising - of the bunch. Smart glasses with augmented reality functionality have a decent amount of potential, but there is a lot wrong with them from a general privacy point of view, and even the early adopting nerds and geeks aren't about to be told that we should abandon the idea of privacy, never mind society at large. Fitness tracking devices are a nice idea in theory, but so far have tended not to actually make things better. And no other form of wearable technology really has any advantage over a smartphone in your pocket.

    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      It wouldn't be that bad if those smartwatches were self-sufficient. But they're not. Why would anyone pay to get email notifications and a music skip button on their wrist while they need the actual device that does all the work in their pocket? I can understand the high-end sports one like Garmin which has GPS and all kind of heart monitor included. but even then it's a niche.

    • Re:Not surprised. (Score:5, Informative)

      by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday December 26, 2017 @12:56AM (#55807523) Homepage Journal

      Watch geek here.

      The big problem with cheap watch comfort is the terrible bands they ship with. Upgrading the band will always fix this, unless you have something really strange going on with the watch head (e.g. like one dive watch head which, when I weighed, it tipped the scales at over 220 grams -- half a pound!).

      Cheap resin bands don't breathe and cut into your wrist, although they can be surprisingly comfortable when you use it with very, very light watch head. Classic el-cheapo Casios come to mind. If the watch weighs nothing, then it's easy to make it comfortable.

      Many people like silicone bands, and they're quite comfortable when you first put them on, but they cause skin irritation or even rashes if they aren't regularly removed and carefully cleaned. Therefore I don't recommend them.

      Metal bands vary from fiendishly uncomfortable to almost perfect. The very worst are the old school "twist-o-flex" bands -- those are almost sadistic. Otherwise, the more flexibly a metal band wraps around a tight curve the more comfortable. Some of Seiko's dive watch bands are outstanding, but probably the ultimate cheap band for comfort would be a metal mesh band.

      Nylon bands also vary from horrible to nearly perfect. Cheap nylon bands are sometimes very thin, or very stiff, and these bands can feel like they're cutting your wrist. A high quality nylon band is very comfortable. I like so-called "NATO" bands (actually more correctly called G10 bands) although they have a slight learning curve and aren't compatible with heart rate monitors. I favor an extra long NATO, which can be wrapped around the outside of a coat sleeve (or a wetsuit if you're a secret agent).

      Any watch band will be uncomfortable if it gets dirt or salt trapped under it. That probably makes a fine metal mesh band the best choice if comfort is your #1 priority. A lot of the shmutz ends up inside the mesh rather than rubbing against your skin. If you occasionaly rinse the band out you're OK.

      • C'mon, I still miss my Suunto Stinger! It wasn't 220g since I had a G10 band, but the original metal band must have been close. If some fucker (possibly myself) hadn't cross-threaded it when changing the battery I don't know if I would have ever bought another watch.

        But functionally, unless I am diving 3-4 times a day, the Apple Watch is better.

      • All these details are all well and good, but ultimately don't solve the root problem for me: I just don't like having something strapped to my wrist. I've been through countless different watches with a variety of different bands, but none of them ever really felt right. If something about my occupation or hobbies made a wristwatch a necessity, I could find the least bad option and put up with it, but absent an actual need it's just jewellery. Nothing wrong with someone wearing jewellery if they want to, bu
  • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Monday December 25, 2017 @11:24PM (#55807265)
    Why is the word WORSE in the headline? There is nothing worse about consumers refusing to be fooled into buying crap they do not need.
  • I have owned 2 and here are the problems. Not in color, or it is sort of color just certain parts are. Will not track all the information you want, if you want it all you have to buy 3 different watches and wear them all, dumb just build it all into one. No way to write your own custom exercise item, (i.e. Fitbit you can only pick from 10 options, but I play many other sports and you cannot program them in) Charging make it wireless and able to charge while asleep and track your sleep (Hate taking it off on
  • 1) Have it BE the smartphone. No linking needed, it's just a smart phone designed to be worn, with a small screen and better voice recognition.

    2) Have it do essential body measurements. Make one that accurately measures blood sugar and all the diabetics will come to you. Same for any other medical information that people check at least 1/day. If it can detect calorie consumption, that would be a huge dieting aid - my watch says to stop eating now.

    • by ELCouz ( 1338259 )
      2) Have it do essential body measurements. Make one that accurately measures blood sugar and all the diabetics will come to you. Same for any other medical information that people check at least 1/day.

      No way this will work...not for smartwatches! As soon as you say medical it's dead already...do you know how long it need to take the certification for FDA? By the time it's ready for launch the model will be 5 years late!

      A company could make the medical device ANT(+) compatible that report the the smar
  • by 50000BTU_barbecue ( 588132 ) on Tuesday December 26, 2017 @12:02AM (#55807387) Journal

    Working on Ka-band amplifiers... what a waste of my time. I should be working on networked AI smart underwear, with 3D printed reinforced gussets and IoT connectivity to the cloud, and automatic Facebook updates and VR glasses.

    FUND ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Tuesday December 26, 2017 @12:04AM (#55807397)
    I need a smartwatch with a lead case that will last 20 years on a single charge of Pu-238 ... a radio-isotope generator would not require me to charge it once or twice a day.
  • The trouble with smartwatches is the screen size makes them dumb. The screen size is too small for any serious reading or typing. The only way I could effectively use a watch is if you had a holographic projection that made the screen larger and could project a larger keyboard that could detect my finger movements. I have enough trouble typing on a smartphone and use a computer for any major typing.

    There is a reason smartphone screens have been trending larger. They are easier to use

  • by plopez ( 54068 ) on Tuesday December 26, 2017 @12:24AM (#55807439) Journal

    Cabbage patch kids? Hulu hoops? Lava lamps? Tamagotchis? Smart watches? Anyone?

    In other words, fads come and go.

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday December 26, 2017 @12:29AM (#55807459) Homepage

    It's only growing, not growing fast enough... welcome to the new fail. Also iWatch sales are actually up 50% [techcrunch.com] YoY. The convenience of not fishing the phone out of your pocket was always going to be slim. Not everyone wants any watch on their wrist, much less tech bling. Oh and the iWatch 3 comes in a cellular version you can use without the phone, at the cost of battery life. The whole article reads like "they'll never be able to put a useful computer in a watch form factor". Well that's what they said about PCs. And laptops. And phones. I'm not sure saying it about watches is a good bet...

  • No matter what the technology can do, I can't wear a watch. Why? It triggers carpal tunnel syndrome. The pressure of even a leather watch strap is enough to cause issues. I suspect many other people have had this issue as well, but there is very little documentation of such issues in the health community.

  • I'm not interested in a computer that runs on nonfree software, is network-capable, and running code I'm not allowed to fully understand, fix, alter, run only when I want, or share with others (in short, software freedom). I see no reason to trust the manufacturers, the proprietary software developers, or the distributors with my privacy and I see nothing in the ads for any of the devices to convince me otherwise (something I believe to be their job if they want me to buy their product).

    I might find it conv

  • The problem, for me at least, is the battery life. The thing has to get a charge on a daily basis. The Apple watch and other watches offer nice features, but having to charge it every day (a recent iPhone needs only a charge every 3-4 days) is a concern.
  • by LeftCoastThinker ( 4697521 ) on Tuesday December 26, 2017 @01:40AM (#55807611)

    Two fundamental problems with smart watches:

    My smart phone that is always in my pocket does far more and is less likely to get damaged.

    My dumb digital watch with an electrolumenescent back-light still does what I expect a watch to do, it does it for $35 dollars, it's permanently water proof for showers and pool swimming, it lasts 6 years on a single battery and I can't figure out why I would want to replace it.

    The screen of a smart watch is too small to do jack on and other than maybe buying a fitness tracker, I can't fathom screwing around with watch apps when my nice big phone is right in my pocket. The smart watch is a hangover from the Dick Tracey days of the radio watch fantasy, the problem is we already have better tech than was imagined in the Star Trek communicators, so we kind of leap frogged the whole Dick Tracey watch thing both functionally and practically. Now smart watches are relegated to to the nerd toy aisle unless and until they can be more practical than a real watch with some actually valuable, unique functions.

  • Are we sure that "tech enthusiasts" is the right word for someone bringing a spy device into their home? In my mind, the only people with "smart" speakers in their homes that can reasonably be called enthusiasts are the guys who build their own and leave out the "report all of my conversations to Google or Amazon" feature. Or, you know, the guys who have been running Mister House (which does all the same stuff) since the 1990s.

  • I love the smartwatches I've had and think they are about the greatest things on earth. I love having quick notifications that I can feel on my wrist vibrating. I like being able to quickly get all the stats I want to see like weather, time, and steps without having to pull my phone out. I even like the speakerphone on my Android Wear watch. There seems to be significant public resistance to even the concept of wearing a wristwatch, much less one that can offer some utility. It goes beyond the, "Meh, I'm no

  • It's amusing watching people contort their wrists attempting to touch their Apple Watch to a PIN-pad to use Apple Pay. It looks painful enough I can't see how that'd be 'more convenient'.
    The screen is so tiny that trying to use its touch interface is a drag. It's useful if you get regular notifications you don't often need to respond to (say, if you're a day-trader), otherwise you might as well just pull out the phone (perhaps setting personalized ringtones).

  • It says that only growth has slowed, but 20% of people use some sort of smartwatch. While that's a lot less than the 77% of people who use smartphones, 20% is still a pretty large chunk of people. There are a ton of products that never even come close to reaching that kind of market saturation, and yet no one labels them "failures". The bar is set ridiculously high for what it considered to be a success for smartwatches versus almost everything else in them marketplace.

  • Give these things time. Once they have the whole "continuous medical data recording" thing sorted out (heart rate, blood sugar, if we are talking luxury, even blood pressure, perhaps?), people will wear them constantly. They are not that good at these things yet, though, so adoption is naturally a bit slower than you might expect.

    Your smartphone is for connectivity, but your smartwatch is for your health. And it can of course give you weather reports, too, and tell you if someone texted you - but these are

    • I agree that health monitoring will be the “killer app” for smartwatches. It is well known that Apple hired people with phds on non-invasive sensors. That could be big, and not only for people with diabetes.
  • You need to feed it and it constantly distracts you. Grow up.

  • We had our Christmas lunch yesterday with about 20 family members. Four people had Apple watches and I have a Fitbit Ionic (which is mostly a fitness tracker with some smart watch features).

    I think it will be a slow burn, but totally anecdotally I feel like I'm seeing more and more smart watches. At least 3 colleagues have them as well (all Android ones).

    I'm surprised by how much value I get out of even the half assed smart watch features of my thing. Apple watch seems way better.

  • The Smartwatch market essentially is as dead as the smartphone market. Everyone is building more or less exactly the same device. The mass market hates innovation because it means risks.

    Meanwhile there's some actual innovation in the field of home made smart watches. For example Travid Goodspeed's "GoodWatch"
    https://github.com/travisgoods... [github.com]
    It runs for years with a single battery and has way better functionality than any commercial smartwatch. You even have a keyboard.

  • So I am quite interested in mainly mechanical watches. As an engineer, isn’t it wonderful how a watch without electronics can be accurate to a few seconds per day? I still find it marvelous. I have a small collection with both vintage ones and modern ones - a recent arrival is the Hemel HFT20 with a mechanical chrono, a kind of homage to the pilot chronos of the 1970s and 70s.
    Regarding quartz, I also occasionally enjoy a GShock Mudmaster because it is such a beast.
    Anyway, the above as a preamble. Two
  • by Sique ( 173459 ) on Tuesday December 26, 2017 @12:41PM (#55810135) Homepage
    I don't wear wristband watches. And thus I don't buy smartwatches either.

    I stopped wearing wristband watches about 15 years ago, because I could always tell the time from my mobile phone or from any of the hundreds and thousands of timepieces everywhere.

  • by Chameleon Man ( 1304729 ) on Tuesday December 26, 2017 @04:20PM (#55811527)
    I realize most people on Slashdot are old fogies who don't like new things, so it's expected that many here just won't understand the advantages of having a smart watch. For me, I loved having it...BUT, I sold out of the whole tech. Android Wear is extremely useful, especially for someone who works out, but it was clear by the battery life (most of which having only 1.5 days...2 days at the very best for a new device) that manufacturers wanted your watch to be unusable within a couple years. Fuck that. I'm not about to invest in "optional" tech that the company wants to milk you for. It's a convenience, but not one I'm willing to get slapped around for. When they start making them with more current processors and battery life that goes for a week, I might consider having one again, but until then they can stuff it. A shame when innovation is stifled by corporate greed.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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