Strap on time...ahem
..because we've all experienced the elasticity of Microsoft minutes!
The time is .. 10:40... 10:34... 11:03....no wait it's 10:40 again..
The battle for the future of the human wrist entered a new phase on Monday after it was claimed that tech goliath Microsoft is planning to release its own wearable computer in the coming weeks. If true, this would mean that Redmond's smartwatch would hit stores some way in advance of Apple's own wrist 'puter, which is expected …
"(Not that I can ever understand the need to bring information about the current weather to my wrist. I can look out of the window for that.)"
You've not worked at the places I have. There are places you simply do not have windows to look through. I was upgrading a system on one site near Nottingham and a few minutes before lunch the PA system would announce the weather conditions so you knew whether to pick up your coat before you went out. Inside you simply had no inkling if it was sleeting or scorching. and once you got to the exit there was no chance of turning and going back against the flow of people off to the canteen or the shops or whatever.
watch/phone/tablet/wearable computy things must be in with a chance.
Considering the length of time there have been rumours of an Appoo wrist job, perhaps MS have thought about it and produced something functional and then held on to it until Appoo's announcement had been made, there is usually a fairly long lead time between an Appoo announcement and market reality so MS would know they can step in early before actual release and attempt to trump the limpwristed roundy cornered item.
If I was a marketing person for MS I would be tempted in that direction.
I struggled to find a reason to put something like this on my wrist. The problem is I haven't worn a watch or bracelet or whatever since I picked up my first phone in '97.
It's one more thing to lose that doesn't offer ANY additional benefits. Heart rate monitor? That would be cool for like 3.4 seconds. Text on my wrist? Already on the phone that I'm going to carry anyhow. Take calls on it? I really never felt the need to be like dick tracy and I don't feel the need for everyone to hear my conversations anyway. Mail? Again, on the phone.
Note to MS: It's a fad. Apple will dominate the market and then the whole thing will crater in about 12 months. Skip this fight and try and think of something useful in the long term.
I wear a watch. I find it quite useful to tell me the time.
I have a phone somewhere with a clock on it but it doesn't keep good time (why does 'sync to the network' never work ?), at best it's buried in a pocket and at worst it's on a table somewhere.
Phones as timepieces are pretty poor. Throwback to the pocket watch.
> I wear a watch. I find it quite useful to tell me the time.
I was given a rather nice watch as a reward for not getting fired for 15 years. Since I'm a sentimental sot, I started wearing it daily, which is the first time I've ever done so.
However I quickly discovered I could not tell the time from an analog clock face any more! It's taken about 3 months for me to finally be able to glance at it and go "oh it's almost 4:30" without 10 seconds of "ok the big hand...." It is the only analog faced timepiece in my house.
There are some specic wrist devices - like subs dive computers, or cardio training devices - or the like, because you need them at hand and there are not many places where you could wear them - although future practical HUD devices could make them less useful. How much a generic "smartwatch" is useful is yet to see. Especially if they have short battery life, are not waterproof, and require a smartphone to be tethered to. The above devices are self-contained.
Fair points all, I guess I am charlie brown trying to kick the football, cause I have been chasing a decent smart watch now for about two decades... I have a couple pebbles a black and the steel and I find it's the little things that make it useful to me. Changing the music in the shower, controlling my go pro while skiing or snorkeling, and reading texts while my hands are full or when I can't get to my phone while driving etc, it comes in handy. The pedometer and sleep apps works ok but not as well as a fitbit or other specifically designed devices. And the text only watch face really turns a lot of heads even with high end watch collectors do a double take.
That said most of computer manufacturer versions that are being touted have a HUGE issue that I don't see being fixed fast enough - battery life. They claim 1-2 days of battery life with "normal" usage, lets face it how many of us are "normal usage" people especially when we first get them and are playing with all the features? I don't see the value in a watch that I have to charge over my lunch hour to get though the day, thanks but I'll wait for gen 2. Or in Microsoft's case gen 4-5? Am I the only one who bought the original Microsoft "smartwatch" back in the late 90's/early noughties? The battery was great, too bad the radio frequency updates were flakey at best...
Guys it's not hard, it's got to be useful, functional and have a battery that lasts for at least a week of "normal use" so we can get about 20 hours of hard use out of it and not look like we have a antique radio shack cb radio strapped to our wrist, oh and have an open api so we can write our own apps for things you never though of. Right now the closest thing out there is still the pebble, and I was really hoping for so much more by now...
Given MS are rather late to this somewhat narrow market, I really wonder why they're bothering. A smarter move would have been to buddy up with someone established, perhaps Samsung to do something around compatibility with existing kit. Let someone else do the leg work on this one instead of sinking money into yet another also-ran.
Given MS are rather late to this somewhat narrow market, I really wonder why they're bothering.
Because this strategy has worked in the past for them, most notably against Netscape, though there are other examples. Problem is, I suspect you are right in this case, but if the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem looks a lot like a nail.
Being late is not an issue. Apple was late in the smartphone market but with the perceived right product it doesn't mean you can't conquer a large slice of any market even entering late. Google and Chrome are another example. Swatch was able to conquer its slice of the watch market - and entered it in 1983 only.
It all depends on creating a product that is good - or at least actually looks like - and people start to want for some reason.
The wrist has been a significant competitor to the fanny (meaning of course the fanny in the American sense, as in a snug little pouch into which you might slip your, er, mobile phone). At times, the wrist has won out, and this currently seems to be the case, with a huge volume of
pornnew smart watches competing for our attention on the market.
When asked to comment about this, a former senior UK politician said that it was "fanny business", and then proceeded to claim her husband's wrist-related pay-tv bill as parliamentary expenses.
I would be a lot more enthused about these things that track your heart rate, location, and lifestyle if I thought they were doing it primarily for the benefit of me, the person who paid money for the device.
Although with all the phone book sized EULAs they come with, I wouldn't be surprised to find out it's actually a rental fee or restricted use license, and therefore not actually my watch to hack or something. What the hell, if some marketing company wants to slap a tracker on my appendages I they should damn well be offering to pay ME for wearing it.
So… umm… how bout those smartwatches?
Microsoft did already "smartwatches" when it teamed AFAIK with Timex to transfer PDA-like data to watches. IIRC it used the screen to transmit data to a light sensor on the watch before USB and Bluetooth were available.
After all, nothing really new under the Sun. And still, there's little you can cramp into a wristwatch more useful than two hands showing time...
It seems that all of these smart watches all have rubbish battery life. When I used to wear a watch, they would go for a year or more before needing a new battery. My watches sometimes didn't live as long as the battery if I forgot to take it off before playing drums.
I'd be happy with a stylish eWatch that displayed the caller ID when the phone rang or a test message came in. The screen is too small to do anything very useful beyond that. I DO NOT want the bloody thing to vibrate. I work on electrical kit and the vibration would feel like a shock.
Another product looking for a use more than anything.
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