Should We Give Up On WearableTech?

There are some inaccuracies in wearable technology. Take this example from my Apple Watch during this weekend’s 17.5 mile ride on the Los Gatos Creek Trail:

AppleWatch Multiple HeartRates

The one on the right is correct.  When I saw it was 56 I dried under the watch with my shirt and it quickly re-registered with a more appropriate reading for someone who just hauled himself up a hill.

What do we do? Do we give up on ‪#‎wearabletech‬ because of inaccuracies like this? No. It has nuances but still generates enough value to justify the cost.

How does it generate value? It’s the little things that counts. Seeing the current temperature, my next appointment and the date at a glance are all little things that add value.  Over the weekend I was busy at the kitchen sink with wet hands and someone called me.  Have you ever stuffed a wet hand into a pocket to fish for a phone?  If you do get it out, do you think about the people who have dropped phones in kitchen sinks?  With the watch I simply touched my wrist with my wet pinky finger and took the call.  Another little thing.

In reality, though, I don’t want to have to touch the watch.  I want to say ‘Hey Siri answer the call’ and be totally hands free.  Even though voice as the preferred interaction isn’t there for this use case, the wet pinky beats drying hands, pulling out the phone to see who it was and then answering.  But, little things, remember, and the value add with the current experience is a little thing.

You can set the Apple Watch up to do some pretty cool things with other IoT devices and services that add even more value.  With an IFTTT rule I can flick my wrist and say “Hey Siri: Text Phillips Hue ‪#‎off‬” then hit send and moments later my connected bulbs will shut off. Pretty cool, unless you’re my wife and at home using the lights while I’m out showing off at tech meetups – sorry honey. But you know what would be even cooler?  If I didn’t have to touch the watch to send the text.  Perhaps Apple can get a setting for that incorporated into the watch OS soon.  But even if that doesn’t happen in the near term, there are still enough little things that the watch does to justify its daily placement on my wrist.

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One comment

  1. The sink scenario does make me think about investing in a smart watch. The same goes when I’m mowing the lawn or playing golf…two activities that I don’t want to take too much time fishing out the phone in my pocket (or golf bag) and figuring out if it’s a call I should take. I just want to take a quick glance without disrupting my “flow” so to speak.

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