Why you SHOULD buy a Smartwatch.

It is fascinating to me that so much is written about new technology, and there seems to be so little about how to use established gadgets better. There is a recent trend for “life hacks”. These are nifty tricks that enable you to solve a problem quickly and cheaply usually by repurposing something for a use for which it was not originally intended and yet we never seem to want to look again at tech.

Apparently humans have massive brains not so we can think up new ideas, but so we can spot and quickly copy those individuals that are putting in the graft and coming up with the new stuff. Most of us are not Isaac Newtons or Albert Einstein’s. Those guys are freaks and outliers. The rest of us eat up the products of their labor and being normal are often much better at putting those good ideas to good (and normal) use.

We seem to be addicted to staring into the future and guessing what the next big thing is. I have just bought a pebble classic. It was the first ‘smart watch’ and i thought I would write about how i got on with that: So you can decide if you want one for christmas.

I am a big fan of the keyboard and think that at the moment we are embracing the touch screen for far too many applications. For instance: did you know that the touch screen was invented in the 1970’s, and remained dormant because correctly computer technicians  thought no-one would want to read a screen covered in greasy marks. Unlike the latest smart watches pebble Classic has buttons. This means the battery last  a week. When you press a button, you know a switch has been thrown in the machine. If it is being slow, you know it is thinking, not that it just didn’t feel your command.

I have hankered after a pebble smart watch for ages and recently the arrival of the apple watch has brought it down to a price point, where I felt it would be acceptable to ask for one for my birthday.  I followed the story of that watch from inception and I remember thinking the first person who I saw wearing one was very cool.

There is a reason why i didn’t buy one, I didn’t really need one. It would very much have been a toy. It was only recently that I started wearing wrist watch again and that was after I started running these wine rides events. Often I have my hands full and I want to be able to glance at the time without having to put something down to get my phone out of my right pocket with my dominant hand. This is because while I am working away getting your tent set up, you the customer will be bowling throw the english country side, heading in my direction and when you arrive, I want your tent set up and ready to go.

Often I don’t work at a desks owning and using a wristwatch is really helpful to me. My new pebble is also good because I exercise by doing 30 second sprints. one of the first apps I down loaded to the watch was an egg timer.  It just occur to me that what I may have ended up with for most of the time is a fairly basic digital watch.  I don’t even like to check my email more than twice a day as it distracts me from getting my work done. So I have even disabled the email alerts, one of the few things that distinguishes a smart watch from a ‘dumb watch’.

My problem with the iPad and why I have never, nor do I ever think I will let one into my life is that it doesn’t seem to do anything, that the devises I own already do for me. Its a digital bear trap sitting their waiting for me to get snagged in. As far as I can tell the iPad is just a way for you to blow loads of money on things you don’t need like candy crush saga.

If anything the one place where the smart what really distinguishes itself is in it surreptitious nature. The watch has no ring tone. It only works on vibrate. I know it wants to tell me something by feeling a vibration on my wrist. I can also tell it something by flicking my wrest and working the accelerometer inside it.  Hence the sat nav app on it is great when i am on my bike. At night  I can get the screen tonight up with a flick. Whats more i use it as a morning alarm as it will wake me up in the morning without disturbing my wife or our new baby.

Screening and dismissing calls from your wrist is great. When you are mid-flow talking to a builder, zapping a call buy tapping you wrist is less intrusive, and the other person doesn’t feel like they have to off er to let you take the call.

FitCat is the most popular pedometer app for pebble and I have enjoyed that a lot.

Now the dust has settled, apart from the sat nav app and the phone call screening, my one really feels like a normal watch. It is surprising how quickly having a smart watch becomes “normal”.

If I had to pick one reason why it is worth getting a smart watch, it is because ‘vibration” really comes into its own when the devise is small and strapped to your wrist. It is like saying to someone ‘tap me on the shoulder when jimmy arrives’. Basically it is a tactile way to interact with your digital inputs. That means that it doesn’t get in the way of listening to or looking at something that might be more important.

I have now come to a conclusion about when you should let a new technology into your life: When it’s cheap. And when it lets you transmit information to digit source or receive information from a digital source in a way that your existing devises don’t. If it doesn’t meet those two criteria, then just hold off. It will come down in price and be more robust when you finally buy it.