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Topic # 133749 1-Nov-2013 09:10
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Hey, 

I'm just curious and so I'm putting this out there. 

It seems the next 'innovation' in gadgets is the smart watch which will work in concert with your mobile phone. 

As usual I think I know better.

Personally, I don't this the watch form factor is a good one. I spend most of my day working at a key board so if I wear a watch (not much these days) the first thing I do when I get to work is take it off and put it on my desk where it stays for the day. Wearing a watch on your wrist effectively means that you have to use the device one handed as you won't be able to reach the device with the hand you are wearing it on. I often wear watches when I go out as I collect old analogue watches as a hobby, but for this I want to select the watch I want more as a fashion accessory rather than for function. Finally, just think about how it would be to have head phones plugged in to a watch, there are about a million ways that could go horribly wrong. 

The thing is I actually like the idea of a wearable secondary device for notifications, maybe voice calls and audio. I also think we have the perfect form factor already ... the Gen 6 iPod nano, you know the little square one with the touch screen and the clip on the back. I think if you put blue tooth on this bad boy it would be perfect. Read texts, get notifications, talk, listen to audio, even use it as additional storage/backup for you phone! Clip it on to you shirt, bag, jacket or whatever. 

I'm not talking about an iPod necessarily, although Apple would have head start and who isn't calling 'real' innovation on the iPhone? I'm basically talking about the form factor of a 1.5" screen, with a clip on the back and made out of something durable like metal. I like Windows Phone so I'm hoping Nokia (or whatever they are called after the deal) come up with it.   

The best bit is that if it was sold with a strap it could still be a watch if you wanted. 

Thoughts welcome. 




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  Reply # 925368 1-Nov-2013 09:12
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my only interest in a smart watch is for running, but tbh I rather just get a garmin forerunner or something, i havent worn a watch in years and just use my smartphone. I dont really see smart watches taking off that much, no real point.

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  Reply # 925409 1-Nov-2013 09:27
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Will never be able to match the good looks of a nice wrist watch. I see the main market being sporting activities and people that don't have good dress sense.  Also - 1 or 2 days battery life!!! ARGHH, I assume kinetic energy won't be enough to run these.




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  Reply # 925428 1-Nov-2013 09:41
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Yeah, I completely agree that the 'watch' idea is stupid for the reasons you all state. Not to mention that traditional watch battery life is measured in years, not hours.

But what if it wasn't a watch? What if it was a small touch screen device that worked with your phone that had a clip and maybe came with a strap?

Reven, do you want something with a GPS for running? To map where you ran and how long etc?

I find my iPod nano much more convenient for the gym and runs listening to music, podcasts or the radio. I don't run very far from home so navigation isn't an issue.

I can't fathom why they have chosen such a limited form factor for something which would potentially be at least reasonably useful.




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  Reply # 925447 1-Nov-2013 10:02
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for running i want to measure time, distance, speed at each place, gps so I can see where I'm slowest etc.

ideally i would want a device that could do music as well (dont like taking a heavy phone with me, and rather not have 2 device, watch + ipod nano), but theres nothing out there that does both now, maybe in a couple of years.

a garmin forerunner does cost around $300 which you could buy a android phone for that much and have everything, but then youve got a bulky phone. so a gps watch isnt really worth what it costs IMO but theres nothing else that works well. maybe an ipod nano with a gps tracker...

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  Reply # 925474 1-Nov-2013 10:26
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With devices getting bigger and bigger something along the lines of a bluetooth handset, am thinking something durable like an old Nokia 3xxx series but with a small touchscreen (smartwatch sized would be perfect) but with physical buttons and a big battery, something rugged but refined

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  Reply # 925494 1-Nov-2013 10:37
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I've been using a Pebble for the last few months. I wasn't a watch wearer before this, at least not in the last ten years or so, so it did take a few days to get use to it.

I use a MacBook Air for my work, so it's a really thin edge where my wrists rest. Therefore I can keep the watch on and it doesn't annoy me at all.

I will say it's really nice to be able to see who is calling, or read a text message, while walking down a busy crowded street without having to take my phone out and concentrate on getting through menus. For "information at a glance" the watch is the perfect form factor.

For things like controlling my music - the remote on my earphones is already superior to the Pebble's clunky controls.

Other than that, changing watch faces is fun but there's only about 5 that I ever use all the time, and 1 that is the most common. All the rest are just gimmicky.

There's very few apps for the Pebble too - 7-min Workout is okay, better than the iPhone version since you don't have to have the iPhone on you to use it. SmartWatch Pro is okay to show the capability of the smart watch but i never use it in practice. Score Keeper is cool if I'm playing games with the family, and that's about it. I don't use any of the other features other than telling the time, reading text messages, and seeing who is calling me/answering calls/declining calls.

Until Smart Watches get a lot smarter I'm not really sold on the idea. But to be honest I'm not sure if there is ever going to be anything more than just reading messages/seeing who's calling/and telling the time that I'm going to want to do on a watch.

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  Reply # 925501 1-Nov-2013 10:49
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I have no interest in listening to music while running but I use MapMyRun on my iPhone and it's a problem that I can't see my iPhone screen while it's strapped to my arm, particularly when I'm going a half marathon and need to carefully manage my speed.

I'm not keen on GPS watches because they don't automatically and instantly upload stats to the cloud like MapMyRun, so a smart watch that could interface with iPhone apps and display basic notifications would be really useful to me.

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  Reply # 925565 1-Nov-2013 11:50
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alasta: I have no interest in listening to music while running but I use MapMyRun on my iPhone and it's a problem that I can't see my iPhone screen while it's strapped to my arm, particularly when I'm going a half marathon and need to carefully manage my speed.

I'm not keen on GPS watches because they don't automatically and instantly upload stats to the cloud like MapMyRun, so a smart watch that could interface with iPhone apps and display basic notifications would be really useful to me.


Ahh see with no music means you wont have earphones, which means you wont get the audio cues.  While it would be handy to see where I'm up to running with an iphone, with audio cues set to ever 2 km, you get enough (for me) pace information.

I did look at a proper GPS watch as Reven mentioned - but only the motorola had music as well....and I'd still be carrying a phone just in case I needed to call out.  And they're pretty expensive.

I was looking at 5" phones or note type phones, and the running aspect was something that put me off them.




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  Reply # 925581 1-Nov-2013 12:04
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Ummm. Have you ever seen a Sony MN2 smartwatch? It is pretty much what you have described. Mine is currently on my wrist, but might be for sale soon, as I have ordered its new replacement the smartwatch 2. The new one doesnt have the stupid clip on the back. If it doesn't reach my reserve on trademe when its time to sell, it will probably become a gps speedo display for my bike. Only works for android at this time.



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  Reply # 925595 1-Nov-2013 12:23
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1eStar: Ummm. Have you ever seen a Sony MN2 smartwatch? It is pretty much what you have described.


Yeah, if it worked with Windows Phone 8 that would pretty much do it. 




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  Reply # 934174 15-Nov-2013 07:23
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alasta: I have no interest in listening to music while running but I use MapMyRun on my iPhone and it's a problem that I can't see my iPhone screen while it's strapped to my arm, particularly when I'm going a half marathon and need to carefully manage my speed.

I'm not keen on GPS watches because they don't automatically and instantly upload stats to my butt like MapMyRun, so a smart watch that could interface with iPhone apps and display basic notifications would be really useful to me.


If you need to carefully manage your speed, dump MapMyRun/RunKeeper/Strava/whatever and switch to a GPS watch.  Miles more accurate (seriously, the run length differential is often more than 25%-50% longer than a GPS watch tracks!) and as soon as you plug it in, it uploads to your favourite sites (my TomTom uploads to MapMyRun and RunKeeper).  Plus the battery life is considerably better.

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  Reply # 934177 15-Nov-2013 07:43
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reven: my only interest in a smart watch is for running, but tbh I rather just get a garmin forerunner or something, i havent worn a watch in years and just use my smartphone. I dont really see smart watches taking off that much, no real point.


For that I just use a Nike Sportwatch... I think I already give too much attention to my phone and don't need to increase the exposure/attention requirement.

kiwijunglist: Will never be able to match the good looks of a nice wrist watch. I see the main market being sporting activities and people that don't have good dress sense.  Also - 1 or 2 days battery life!!! ARGHH, I assume kinetic energy won't be enough to run these.


Yep. Omega Seamaster, 17 years, great watch. It does what it does pretty well.






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  Reply # 934322 15-Nov-2013 11:44
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Kyanar:
alasta: I have no interest in listening to music while running but I use MapMyRun on my iPhone and it's a problem that I can't see my iPhone screen while it's strapped to my arm, particularly when I'm going a half marathon and need to carefully manage my speed.

I'm not keen on GPS watches because they don't automatically and instantly upload stats to my butt like MapMyRun, so a smart watch that could interface with iPhone apps and display basic notifications would be really useful to me.


If you need to carefully manage your speed, dump MapMyRun/RunKeeper/Strava/whatever and switch to a GPS watch.  Miles more accurate (seriously, the run length differential is often more than 25%-50% longer than a GPS watch tracks!) and as soon as you plug it in, it uploads to your favourite sites (my TomTom uploads to MapMyRun and RunKeeper).  Plus the battery life is considerably better.



I use adidas miCoach with GPS, speed_cell & iphone 4s
It's nearly perfect for what I need, as the phone is jailbroken, so I can use the vol keys to change tracks, and double click the power button to play / pause.

I  use the speed_cell using the laces clip. I had the sensor in my Nike+ shoes, but it seemed to lose connection to the phone at times.

The audio cues on micoach are pretty good.
I used it training for a half last year, and the plan it set up for me got to my goal time.


I'm about to order the X-cell to use as a HRM with the above gear. 
The speed_cell has the benefit of fitting into a cavity in my footy boots & recording game / training info (up to 7 hours)

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  Reply # 934924 16-Nov-2013 15:04
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Kyanar:
alasta: I'm not keen on GPS watches because they don't automatically and instantly upload stats to my butt like MapMyRun, so a smart watch that could interface with iPhone apps and display basic notifications would be really useful to me.


If you need to carefully manage your speed, dump MapMyRun/RunKeeper/Strava/whatever and switch to a GPS watch.  Miles more accurate (seriously, the run length differential is often more than 25%-50% longer than a GPS watch tracks!) and as soon as you plug it in, it uploads to your favourite sites (my TomTom uploads to MapMyRun and RunKeeper).


That's not my experience. Last time I did a half marathon I got a reading of 21.3km which sounds pretty close to a perfect measurement because I think Athletics NZ design routes to be 21.1km if you take all the corners on the inside. The regular route that I run after work shows a variance of less than 2% between the average distance and the highest/lowest.

I suspect that some apps might take GPS readings at fixed intervals rather than doing it continuously, which would obviously affect their accuracy.

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  Reply # 934928 16-Nov-2013 15:17
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My prediction is that once google glass (and other similar things) get built into sunglasses and prescription glasses, that will totally kill the smart watch.

I've tried google glass. It's early days for sure, and it's not perfected, but there is massive potential there.

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