I'm considering getting a smart watch for my Android phone. Any of you guys use one? Are they useful or should I just wait until the technology gets better? Any recommendations? It seems the most popular is still the pebble. I was hoping they would announce something awesome at last CES but all it was is a metal frame and $100 price increase with same specs. Should I just wait or is it still better than the other options?
$300 is just too much to pay for the convenience of caller ID on my wrist, and from what I gather, the cheaper watches are glitchy and more frustrating than useful.
For example. Both my phone and Glass have Twitter and Google Hangout apps. If someone sends me a hangout message or tweet, I will receive it on both, but they are both getting that message independently. The Pebble simply displays all notifications the phone gets. So if I set the Steam app on my phone to notify me of a sale, I see that notification on the watch without having to take my phone out of my pocket. Since Glass doesn't have a Steam app, it's no help.
Because writing the watch software is so trivial, and SDK so available, the pace of development is much more rapid. You can do things such as control the music on your phone using a Pebble (play/pause, track next/previous), and also see the name of the song currently playing.
The one area that Glass beats the watch is it saves you from taking your phone out of your pocket for sending anything. The phone can't send anything at all since it has hardly any input. If you want to actually send a tweet, and not just be notified, Glass can actually do that.
This is why it is currently not stupid to have both devices if your goal is to minimize having to actually take your phone out. However, eventually with enough software advancement there is no reason that Glass could not have all the functionality of the Pebble, plus a bunch more. It just doesn't have it right now. If it does eventually get all that functionality, the watch will be pointless to a Glasshole.
I believe this constitutes a Pyrrhic victory.
My prediction: smart watches will be worn by snooty jackasses who want to look more tech-savvy than everyone else while actually knowing nothing about technology.
I drank a lot of Haterade this morning.
1. Be a general control surface
2. Be an RFID/NFC contact point
3. Have an easy QR Code scanner
4. Have integrated hardware compass and accelerometer set
5. Be completely waterproof to a reasonable depth
6. Have IR, bluetooth, and wifi C&C capabilities (e.g., able to act as a remote control).
7. Show notifications and allow direct responses on-device
8. Collect fitness monitoring data (e.g., heart rate).
1. Just like Glass, they keep your phone in your pocket and its screen off. The screen is the battery killer. Phone does the processing and uplink, watch does the display-side for most tasks (time, receiving notifications).
2. Taking the phone out of the pocket is a distraction, and it does take time. People keep their phones much more accessible than they otherwise would as a result (e.g., outer pockets). If I'm walking down the street with a coat on, I shouldn't ever have to pull my phone out to see a message.
3. Once the phone is out, people tend to do other shit. They check twitter. They get distracted. The watch (or Glass) shows the notification, allows contextual interaction, but isn't a gateway to all that other useless shit that can wait.
Walking? Look at the watch when it buzzes. Sitting at a coffee shop? Pull out the phone and read twitter.
Now, unless smart watches do ALL of the above eight things, they're not actually more useful than Glass, and are basically redundant.
My prediction? Many people wear three devices most of the time:
A. Glass-like device: high priority notifications, navigation, photos, video, time
B. Smart watch: all notifications, physical control surface
C. Phone: Immersion (e.g., reading articles, watching videos), uplink, data processing, gaming.
Where A can't be used (movie theatres, secure areas, etc...), B assumes most of its roles.
But mostly, the presence of Glass seems to invalidate most uses of current smartwatches, and I really don't see a situation where that will be different. They're both just information display and interfaces, and there is no reason that Glass couldn't do literally everything a smartwatch could do and then some. I mean, buttons? You already have to physically touch Glass sometimes for certain things. Context should create most button functionality.
Really, fuck the watch: I want a control surface that is on my belt just to control Glass.