Reply to post: Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume

Michael Strorm

Re: Surprisingly disappointing (because of a lack of awareness)

@Jurassic. This quote from the article

"It is also the first smartwatch that doesn't look like you have a huge geeky square or circle that completely overpowers your wrist."

On the contrary, there's something just a bit naff about it. For one thing, there's something datedly "noughties" about the version watch seen on the right here:-

http://cdn0.mos.techradar.futurecdn.net//art/Watches/Apple%20Watch/release%20date/apple-watch-compatibility-900-90.jpg

If anything, some aspects look indefinably *early*-to-mid-noughties, shiny white space-age-revivalism meets early iPod.

The shiny-shiny-tech-fetishism aesthetic in general is itself is (to me) starting to seem dated and out of place, as if it's the one surviving hangover of the late-noughties "3D glossy graphics" era that's been superseded by a return to flat, squared design and general colour trends towards less saturated colours (i.e. take a bright colour and mix a little white and/or black in with it).

But the other aspect of it that I felt was a bit tacky was summed up nicely in this quote from the article:- "Apple's new aesthetic struck me as very "Bangkok Tech Mall" (*). It's as if Samsung or an ambitious Chinese manufacturer had been permitted to license iOS and the consulting services of Jonny Ive for a week."

Bingo. It's like a Chinese company upped its game and made a sort-of-professional looking phone watch that nonetheless didn't make the true aesthetic leap that took it beyond looking like an (older!) iPhone squeezed into a watch form, something whose designers still mentally saw as a "gadget". Thus, it's still sort of clunky and cheesy, it still has a "geek gadget" vibe.

But maybe it's just- to me- that gadget fetishism is starting to lose its lustre, or rather, lost it long ago (as did the trend of thinking smartphones are the answer to all the world's problems- something else the article got spot on- geeks and boys' toys technology-fetishists rationalising their obsession as something more grown-up and worthy).

The fact is that Apple, while they never invented the stuff they are often over-credited for, *do* at least deserve credit for transforming (e.g.) the MP3 player and smartphone into a usable and consumer-friendly form. This, on the other hand, looks exactly what someone designing a "smartwatch" in the iPhone era would come up with (e.g. a Chinese OEM). It's an iPhone design and aesthetic obviously squeezed to fit a watch format, and already looks obvious and dated- even if it hasn't actually been done before in this way.

No doubt, being Apple, it will still be better-designed, less buggy and more pleasurable to use than would something similar from another company that (like many) copies Apple's superficial aesthetics, but doesn't go all the way in terms of usability. Still, there's something about it that smacks of Apple having lost its way after Jobs' death, of being forced to do this because if they don't someone else will, even if there's no obvious reason.

It's arguable that the iPhone may have fallen into that category- someone *might* have come up with a similar concept (albeit later rather than sooner) and so they launched the iPhone despite it eating their own iPod's lunch, because better to eat your own lunch than have someone else, especially if it takes you even further. (Most companies in that position would short-sightedly have squashed or suppressed the iPhone to protect their current cash cow, so all credit to Appl there). But- whatever one thinks of the original iPhone- it never came across as a desperate measure, nor pointless.

Which I'm not sure can be said of the iWatch.

(*) Not sure why Bangkok, surely Shanghai is where the latest Chinese gizmos are more likely to be found? Not a big deal though, I see where you're coming from.

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