For all the hoopla, smartwatches are still in their infancy, and much to the chagrin of many a boardroom CEO, you might do good to wait before diving in. The cynic will say why do you need a smartwatch on your wrist when you already have a phone in your pocket and they have a point. However, there are some occasions like sport and business when smart watches offer a distinct advantage. In this article, we share the good and the bad, so you will soon know smart watches like the back of your hand!
All the Notifications You Need
The updates you can get on your phone can also be pushed to your smart watch too. Got an urgent e-mail from your boss? You can see this instantly without pulling out your phone every 10 minutes (not a problem most Millennials have).
Need a reminder to pick milk up from the store so you won’t be in trouble when you get home? Have this pop up on your wrist so you don’t forget. And if you do, send an animated snapshot of your heart beat to prove you still care (disclaimer: they may think you are weird!)
You can also send canned replies via text or email, which is ideal, since finger pecking messages on a tiny watch is inherently problematic. Banks have micro apps that offer balance updates and notifications, which can be handy. And speaking of finances, you can also use a smartwatch with Apple Pay or Google Wallet. With the google slides app, you can now subtly click to the next slide and check how long your presentation has been without the faux-pax of pulling your phone out. Plus, sneakily see any key notifications mid-meeting or during a dull conversation without seeming rude and checking your phone.
Another cool thing you can do is answer calls, or dial a number on your cell, in case you’re too lazy to pick up your phone. However, if you want to go full Star Trek and pretend to be Captain Kirk, then talking into your smartwatch is definitely the way to go; beam me up, Scotty!
So you can now literally talk to the hand! Just keep in mind, your conversations aren’t exactly private when you’re on speakerphone, but hey, looking cool has its tradeoffs!
There’s also a host of other apps that suit the small screen. Lost in New York and don’t want to look like a total tourist following your phone or walking around with a big map, DSLR and an I Love NYC T-shirt? Get updates on where you need to go from your watch. There’s many more cool apps: e.g. see how long until your Uber arrives from your watch and even tinder while you wait. Get updates to take your medication and click Shazam to find that song before it’s too late when it loads on your phone. When speed, convenience and important notifications matter, the smart watch finds its niche.
Where Smart Watches Justify Their Presence
If there’s one valid reason for getting a smart watch, it’s if you love sports. Let’s face it, phones are bulky when on a run, you worry about crashing and breaking them when on a ride and stopping to pull out your phone every few seconds, really eats into your 100m dash time!
There’s lot of apps for the perennial active. Like Runtastic Pro, which gives you time, distance and calories burned. Strava which shows cyclists key performance metrics (those who love two wheels will also love our app for Cycliq). Plus, conveniently change the track with Spotify.
Golfers can use their smart watch’s GPS to see the distance they have to the pin (and hopefully make it closer not further away for the next shot). Plus, if golf does not get your adrenaline going enough, adventure fans will love they can activate their GoPro from their wrist with the smart watch app. If you love to be active, the smart watch could be a great addition. Now you can see lots of geeky stats for your sport without having to stop in your tracks. It will depend on your sport and needs if this is needed over a basic runner’s watch or fitbit.
Smart Watches: A Fad or The Future?
Like any piece of viable tech, smartwatches just offer alternate methods to do the same things your other gizmos can already handle. At the end of the day how many gizmos to you need to check your email or update your social network status?
Mostly, it all just comes down to convenience. Do you find it easier to answer a text on your phone or watch? Only you can answer that, and don’t let a slick ad campaign talk you into buying something you don’t really need.
Most smartwatches use Bluetooth to connect to your phone, and sadly Bluetooth drains batteries faster than a Lamborghini can chug gas! So, you have to weigh up the cost to benefit ratio. At its core, technology is only as smart as the person using it, and that gizmo between your ears is still the most powerful CPU around! But for now, smart watches are here to stay.