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Apple made the headlines again with the release of their Apple Watch, a much anticipated wearable device that marks the official era of wearables. Apple, the most profitable company in the world, a leader in smartphone sales all around the world, brought their version of the smart watch. As Samsung and Pebble have done with their versions of the smart watch, Apple is bringing some innovation to the mixture. The iPhone is the most popular and the most sold smartphone yet, with 74.5 millions iPhones sold in the first quarter of 2015, therefore a native smart watch is a promising concept as rich technology enthusiast will likely opt in to buy Apple’s version of the smart watch rather than a third party option, simply because it will work better with their phones. In a short few days from now, everyone will be able to pre-order their Apple Watches, but not me. I will be outlining a few reasons why I am not:

To early adopt or not to early adopt

Not every time is good to early adopt.
Not every time is good to early adopt.

I have been known to be an early adopter for some technologies, having a tendency to be an early adopter does not equate to be an early adopter no matter what. Although I know people who like to get the latest and coolest gadgets as soon as they come on the market, I am more of a careful type. I do get very excited when new gadgets get released, but I am also very careful with the stuff I buy. Before I decide on being ‘first’ I must make the decision on whether the device will be beneficial to me. In this case, the Apple Watch, Samsung Gear, Pebble Time etc, have not yet made a strong case as to why I should be paying a few hundreds of dollars for smart watch.

Time, time, time

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Just like with phones, the smart watch runs the risk of losing sight of what we really need a watch for.

The most essential function of having a watch is to be able to easily know what time it is. Most of us owners of a smartphones do not find it very hard to glance over our phones to see what time it is. In fact, all it takes is to look at the smartphone, as the watch is on the home screen of most, if not all current phones. So, getting time, for me is already easy, I don’t need a smart watch for that.

Health apps

The Instant Heart Rate app uses an algorithm that measure your heart rate using the light bouncing off your pressed finger on the back flashlight of your phone.
The Steps Pedometer & Step Counter Activity Tracker is an iPhone app that tracks your steps during the course of the day and gives you a daily report, weekly and monthly reports.

One of the biggest selling points for smart watches is the ability to track your vital signs, such as heart beat and use the data to track patterns. Personally, I don’t think it would me to know what is my heart rate at different points of my day. My smartphone, an iPhone 5, has already an app that tracks my heart rate, and although my iPhone 5 does not have the finger print home button, there is an app that uses the reflection of the camera flash on the back of my phone to tell me what is my current heart rate. I also have an app that tracks my steps, so buying a sports arm band I can take my phone with me on runs, If that is something I want to track.

[tweet_box]I still think it is weird when I see people who don’t have earphones with a build-in microphone and hold the phone so close to their mouths to speak as they walk. [/tweet_box]

Talking to your wrist

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Talking to your wrist seemed very comical in the times of Get Smart 1965-70.

If I was to early adopt a smart watch, it means at one point or another, I could use the ability to talk to my wrist,because I can pick my calls from my smart watch or leave audio notes, or have it transcribe what I say and send as a text message. Whatever the case may be, talking to wrist is still weird, I still think it is weird when I see people who don’t have earphones with a build-in microphone and hold the phone so close to their mouths to speak as they walk. Sometimes, it is equally awkward when people are walking around talking into their ear buds’ microphones as they walk and appearing as they are talking into the air, at least before it was clear they were on the phone, because they were holding some visible right to their ear. I am very guilty of this myself, though I do it as I find it very practical.

[tweet_box]All the smart watch would be doing is adding an extra step to the process of accessing the functions of your phone, not so much extending them.[/tweet_box]

Extended functionality

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The premise of “extended functionality” is always attractive, but let’s face, how much of all features would we actually use or need.

Another big smart watch selling point has been the ability for the device to ‘extend’ the functionality of your smartphone, by making some of the smartphone’s functions easier to access. For example, with a smart watch you can quickly glance at text messages or calendar reminders by lifting up your wrist, as opposed to unlocking your phone and getting to the messaging or calendar app. As much as the smart watch tries to sell this point, using a smartphone to respond to text messages or to read more detail on calendar items, is much better and more conducive to interacting with these functions. All the smart watch would be doing is adding an extra step to the process of accessing the functions of your phone, not so much extending them.

[tweet_box]I am not convinced this is yet the time to early adopt, as with the first iPhone, first iPod marked the age of a new tech trends, much better iterations came after them.[/tweet_box]

It is very exciting that the era of the smart watch has officially began, other watch makers are getting ready to produce their own version, the conventional watch is threaten by the new tech trend, however, I am not convinced this is yet the time to early adopt, as with the first iPhone, first iPod marked the age of a new tech trends, much better iterations came after them and I do not want to be suffering the unforeseen circumstances of being ‘first.’ I do see that in order to be truly unique, the smart watch should probably bring in more health features, more so than analyzing your heart beat or  counting your steps. 23andMe, for example, is an example of how relevant and consequential a technology can play in our health. If you are not familiar of the service, 23andMe is a genetic kit which takes your saliva and returns information on you ancestry and generates reports on health conditions, so decisions can be made on preventative health.

Photo credit: siteraqwe, Vox Efx, pennuja

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