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Handhelds Apple Hardware

Can Even Apple Make a Watch Insanely Smart? 196

Posted by timothy
from the humbly-submit-display-size-matters dept.
theodp writes "Throwing some cold water on the buzz surrounding the Galaxy Gear Smartwatch launch, The New Yorker's Matt Buchanan questions how smart a watch can really be. Calling offerings like the Galaxy Gear useful but not the stuff of dreams and revolutions, Buchanan writes, 'So there remains a strange undercurrent of hope that somebody-Apple-will figure out, soon, some grander vision for wearable technology, transforming it from something that people have vaguely imagined into something people intensely desire. It did it for smartphones, once, and again, for tablets. The question that Apple has been charged with, since nobody has definitively answered it yet, is whether the lack of an invention that truly carries us beyond the last five hundred years of wrist-mounted technology is the result of a failure of imagination or simply a fact of nature-that a watch will always just be a watch, no matter how smart it might think it is.' So, will you be an early adopter and drink Samsung's or Sony's smartwatch Kool-Aid, wait to see what Apple comes up with, or hold out for a Windows Forearm Pad 8?"
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Can Even Apple Make a Watch Insanely Smart?

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  • The Apple iWatch will have a 3D avatar of Steve Jobs on its screen at all times. This will make the iWatch "Insanely Smart". Each time you want iWatch to do something, all you have to do is say something to the Steve Jobs avatar on the screen. Things like "400 Million Chinese can't speak Mandarin. Can you fix this somehow, iWristWatchSteve?" The iWatch being designed from the outset to be "insanely smart", China's language problem will get fixed in 100 ms. =)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      China's language problem will get fixed in 100 ms. =)

      Technically it will be Algeria's language problems that get fixed in 100 ms. Unless Apple iWatch is allowed to use Google maps.

    • "400 Million Chinese can't speak Mandarin"

      What about us 6 billion 600 million Non- Chinese who can't speak Mandarin?
      I want to get fixed too.

      • by dk20 (914954)
        What about the 900 million who can speak mandarin?

        Language - Percent of World Population
        Mandarin 12.44%
        Spanish 4.85%
        English 4.83%
        Arabic 3.25%
        Hindi 2.68%
        Bengali 2.66%
        Portuguese 2.62%
        Russian 2.12%
        Japanese 1.80%
        German 1.33%
        Javanese 1.25%
        Others 61.17%
        • i had 3 years of others in high school. i never really did learn the verbs.
        • by fatgraham (307614)

          Javanese is the overly excited language programmers speak at around 10am after 4 cups of coffee right?

        • by jrumney (197329)

          What about the 900 million who can speak mandarin?

          Doesn't that need revising now that the Chinese government has admitted that 400 million of them cannot speak it after all? Based on the figures for English, that seems to be counting only first language speakers, so Mandarin should be lower still (Chinese government may call all of China outside of a couple of special administrative regions native speakers, but the reality is very different, and many more will speak it as a second language in addition to t

          • by dk20 (914954)
            Population of China (CIA world factbook) 1,349,585,838 (July 2013 est.)
            If you subtract 400MM you get roughly 900MM. Since the "official" language is Mandarin even if you speak something else at home I suspect you would count as a mandarin speaker if you know it as well. Case in point my wife's cousin is from fuzhou. He speaks some dialect my wife cant understand (Fuzhou dialect I believe), as well as Mandarin. Would he be a mandarin speaker in China's eyes? Probably.
    • by MrKaos (858439)

      The Apple iWatch will have a 3D avatar of Steve Jobs on its screen at all times. This will make the iWatch "Insanely Smart".

      The innovation will be that it's actually called "myWatch" and Apple will extract royalties directly from your account on the use of the name every time it records you saying "let me check my watch". Apple stocks will soar!

      Later software updates (that you have to agree with so that you can continue to use your music collection that you don't own) will extract royalties every time you think it.

  • Wait (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I'll wait to see what Apple (or anyone else) comes out with but I don't hold out much hope for any of them - seems like a lost cause. The marginal increase in convenience from having it on your wrist compared to taking it out of your pocket just doesn't counter the decrease in display size and functionality compared to a phone. Even if it was extremely low cost, if I have the phone with me anyway, why bother with the watch?

    • Re:Wait (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) * <[ten.3dlrow] [ta] [ojom]> on Sunday September 08, 2013 @07:54AM (#44789177) Homepage

      I think there are genuine use cases for it. Rather than keeping your phone in a pocket close to your body it can stay in your jacket or bag because you will definitely feel the watch vibrating. The watch will be audible in almost any clothing too, where as a phone in your bag can go unnoticed unless it's really, really loud.

      A watch would also be nice for doing things like contactless payments. I see a lot of people travelling on public transport paying with their phones, but I'd prefer to have a cheap watch I can brush against the payment pad instead of having to take my expensive phone out.

      For Google Now type notifications it might be nice as well. Kind of like how Glass shows you stuff all the time, but less intrusive and maybe more socially acceptable.

      • Re:Wait (Score:4, Informative)

        by Electricity Likes Me (1098643) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @08:01AM (#44789209)

        Most of those things you mentioned fail for the watch use case though.

        Contact-less payments are a nightmare - the possibility of an unintentional scan is pretty damn high. Ah you say, but you'll require you to authenticate - well ok, but now you've turned a one-handed action (remove phone from pocket, press "allow" and swipe) into a two-handed action (hold hand against scanner, use other hand to press "allow" on the watch face").

        The Watch is a really terrible form factor for pretty much anything that's not passive, because there is no possible way to control it with the hand of the arm it's worn on - it takes things which only need one hand on your smart phone to implicitly involving two.

        • Re:Wait (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AmiMoJo (196126) * <[ten.3dlrow] [ta] [ojom]> on Sunday September 08, 2013 @08:27AM (#44789307) Homepage

          Japanese phones with contactless payment allows you to pre-authorize certain services. For example you could pre-authorize Japan Rail, then when you want to use the train you just brush against the payment pad as you go through the barrier. No danger of accidentally paying for anything else.

          In any case I don't think the accidental payment issue is a major one. There have been incidents of it happening but only because the payment machines have had too much range. Once the banks get on top of that an make sure the machines only work up to about 10mm it will be fine. The banks are obviously keen to prevent accidental payments and improve the customer's experience, and so are the retailers because it costs them money when it happens. The system has been in use in Japan for a decade now and works just fine, the teething problems having long since been worked out.

          • Re:Wait (Score:4, Funny)

            by Grishnakh (216268) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @09:18AM (#44789583)

            That's Japan. You think American banks give a shit about improving customers' experiences? I think not.

          • In any case I don't think the accidental payment issue is a major one. There have been incidents of it happening but only because the payment machines have had too much range. Once the banks get on top of that an make sure the machines only work up to about 10mm it will be fine.

            That won't do - a malicious scanner will not abide by the standards. It's the device's
            job to enforce distance limits. And I don't see that working without a proximity sensor:
            A better antenna on the scanner improves both sending and receiving range.

            Unfortunately, with mandatory proximity sensing, the usecase of "keep device in the
            bag and just wave past the scanner" is out. Passive devices are out too (make sure
            to wrap your "proximity pay"-enabled cards in metal).

            So maybe that's the use case for a p

            • by khchung (462899)

              That won't do - a malicious scanner will not abide by the standards.

              And it is STUPID to make a malicious scanner for the purpose of stealing money from the contact-less payment device.

              All payments through these contact-less device has 2 parties, the payer and the payee, in normal case, the transaction will be logged by both and reconciled centrally.

              By building a malicious scanner, the clearing center will just get the "deduct money" half of the transaction, and no "receive money" side from any valid merchant. These orphaned transactions will be easily flagged and reversed.

      • For easy payments and tap , new technology in the form of a two sided ring is appearing and could catch on fast.
        Two sides one for public side info the other is private at all cost info .Near field will catch on.Good time to invest in the technology.

      • by msobkow (48369)

        To be honest, I can't think of any use cases for a so-called smart watch that requires a companion device. But it kind of fails as a standalone device as well:

        • You wouldn't want to use a "wrist phone" feature because you'd have to be using a speaker phone all the time to hear anything, or always wearing a bluetooth headset (though I guess that wouldn't be too bad an option.)
        • The surface area of any reasonably sized wristwatch is too small for showing useful maps. Maybe a direction-to-go indicator, but th
        • At some future point I can see human-embeddable devices becoming commonplace, and this is a beta proving ground for the concept. The phone is an accessory people carry everywhere... shrink it and figure out a way for batteries to be charged through motion or vibration and have much improved recharged cycles. I can see someone getting an ear implant to go along with it.

          May not happen in our lifetime, but it's not so far out there as to be impossible either. Think of the Human+ movement.
    • For the smartwatch to really take off it needs a flexible screen (samsung and lg both have these), that wraps around your wrist or unfurls to smallish smartphone, and most importantly has a data/voice connection of it's own (this way you can leave home on a jog or go to the pub and just take your watch). Problem is the big companies won't want to bring that out, because it could hurt the sales of their other products (safer to sell an accessory than a replacement).
      • by kasperd (592156)

        Problem is the big companies won't want to bring that out, because it could hurt the sales of their other products (safer to sell an accessory than a replacement).

        That's not a concern if they can also hurt the sales of their competitors' products.

      • Omate true smart on Kickstarter looks like a good option. it seems to do everything a Smart Watch should do.

        • by Dr Max (1696200)
          I already bought a developers edition with more ram. It's not perfect but I'm not holding my breath on the big guys doing it properly any time soon, plus it's quite a good price for a phone (i won't feel bad turning it into a 3g drone platform if my dream phone comes along in a year).
    • I was one of the kickstart backers for Pebble, and have been using the watch every day for ~5 months. There are two things that keep me putting it on every day, despite having to remember to charge it once a week or so:

      - Text messages and incoming calls on your wrist. The difference between looking at your wrist and pulling out a phone seems negligible, but remember that you don't have to hold onto a wristwatch.
      - You never miss a vibrate alert that's strapped to your wrist. I'll sometimes have something get

    • by rasmusbr (2186518)

      I'll wait to see what Apple (or anyone else) comes out with but I don't hold out much hope for any of them - seems like a lost cause. The marginal increase in convenience from having it on your wrist compared to taking it out of your pocket just doesn't counter the decrease in display size and functionality compared to a phone. Even if it was extremely low cost, if I have the phone with me anyway, why bother with the watch?

      Any increase in convenience,however marginal, has been enough in the past to sell products and services if everything else about the product is up to par.

      You still keep your phone just like you did before. The cost is not that you lose your phone, the cost is that you're going to have to wear something around your wrist again like in the olden days. That thing then has to look good enough, has to be reasonably comfortable, can't get too much in the way, etc.

      The main problem for Apple and other prospective s

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Pebble http://getpebble.com/

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by geogob (569250)

      You probably meant to say "we, at pebble, already produce and sell a similar product that might interest some of you as a nice alternative to the product discussed here. You can read more about it at http://oursite.com/ [oursite.com]"

      At least do it honneslty if you want to place your product. People, especially on tech sites, are always open to interesting products... If presented the right way. Now you just look like a lamer that doesn't understand what we want and do not want. How can I trust you to know what I want as

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        I just got mine recently, and it's fantastic at what it does. Notifications, weather, Google Now support, and more. I just tried a biking app for it that shows speed, distance, and elevation. You can actually read the thing in sunlight and the battery lasts a week. It's too bad they're not more readily available.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        You're definitely more likely to be a shill, based on the comment you replied to, and your carefully written but spurious argument and "high horse". You reek of "corporate responsibility" and all the duplicity that goes with that.

        First of all, why have we got any reason to believe that if someone were promoting Pebble for reward, they'd make a dumb anecdotal comment and ju st give the link?

        Since the Pebble is a) more open (computing-wise), b) a lot cheaper and c) a commodity (replacable) item, as opposed to

      • by CODiNE (27417)

        Awwww... "lamer". I haven't seen that in YEARS! Fond memories.

        Now I wanna play Tradewars.

    • Re:Already Got One (Score:4, Informative)

      by DJRikki (646184) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @08:06AM (#44789233)
  • missing the point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @07:44AM (#44789125) Homepage Journal

    It doesn't have to be "incredibly smart". It just has to be smart in the right places.

    The original iPhone didn't really do anything that wasn't available elsewhere already. But it bundled the proper things together in the proper way and had the proper design to make it all work well. I had owned several PDAs before, but the iPhone was the PDA I had always wanted.

    Same for the watch. My bet is that while everyone else is working on cramming as much crap into the watch as possible. Apple is busy making sure there is no crap on it, only the right mix of the right stuff you really want on your wrist.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by halexists (2587109)
      Amen.

      When you look at the iPhone, Apple figured out how to make it do stuff people craved to do over and over, but not gadgety stuff that sounds sci-fi cool and you only want to try out once. The Samsung watch has a LOT of cool tech packed into it, but reported lagginess will kill it in the market. Nobody wants to wait to interact with their watch.

      To expound on what the right mix of stuff probably is for a watch, the focus should be on things that people will want to do multiple times a day, and thi
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Simply having a lot of crap is not the problem. High end Android phones have a lot of features, but you can easily manage them and turn off the ones you don't want. Customizability is key, making the phone work according to the user's preferences and with the features they want.

      With Apple it's Apple's way or the highway. That's fine if your needs and preferences happen to match Apple's.

      I just hope that there are standards for smart watches, and interoperability. Obviously Apple's watch will be Apple only, b

    • Here is one I think has real potential:

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/omate/omate-truesmart-water-resistant-standalone-smartwa [kickstarter.com]

      It was mentioned here on /. not long ago:

      http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/13/08/26/0454236/omate-truesmart-watch-stands-alone-no-phone-required [slashdot.org]

      They have already reached some amazing stretch goals, such as Sapphire Crystal Glass, and are
      aiming for further ones, like 720p video recording.

      • This one does look kind of cool, especially like the whole 'it is a phone' thing. I already do most of my stuff on the Nexus 7 anyways, so tethering between the two and still having a device to take phone calls on would actually be pretty great.
      • by Tom (822)

        aiming for further ones, like 720p video recording.

        That's what I mean.

        Why in all hells would I want a watch that does video recording? Or Facebook? Or messaging?

        • Why in all hells would I want a watch that does video recording? Or Facebook? Or messaging?

          Samsung doesn't know the answer to that. But I seriously doubt they even asked themselves the question.

    • by fermion (181285)
      RIght, it is the integration of the product. The iPhone actually is not a good phone, but it is a good pocket mobile device. If you want a phone, or a a TV streaming device, or a hotspot, then but another product that is engineered to do that.

      The iPod was the same thing. No wireless, less space than a nomad, but I eventually replaced my nomad with an iPod because the firewire less me transfer music quickly, the build quality was much better, and the fact that I could move music quickly meant that I did

    • by Bogtha (906264)

      The original iPhone didn't really do anything that wasn't available elsewhere already.

      I'm pretty sure it did. Visual voicemail for instance. Or a proper web browser.

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @07:45AM (#44789135)

    The trouble everyone is grappling with here is that they want a smart watch to be some kind of smartphone-like thing. We've seen it work in comics, right? Dick Tracey and all. The only trouble is that the size of things people want to put on their wrists isn't big enough for much of a display, isn't big enough for much of a data entry device and isn't big enough for much of a battery. You just can't pack a lot of function on there, much less do it attractively, much less do it in a form factor where it becomes a fashion accessory, particularly for ladies since ladies are used to tiny watches.

    • Both samsung and lg have built flexible displays and you can expect them to start showing up in products next year (I'm pretty sure apple's iwatch will have one, if they are waiting till next year). With a flexible display you can get can get a smallish phone to be be a biggish watch. And before you go telling me everything cant be flexible it doesn't need to be (just enough to wrap it around a wrist), stuff like batteries can be multiple units separated around the band, and you can easily have a rigid spot
      • Watches aren't flexible. Why would you think flexible display is important? The only way a flexible display could matter is if it unfolds to make a larger display than the watch face... but that's not going to happen.

        The key feature will be the display though. An e-ink display that doesn't flash for instance (can change single pixels without having to refresh whole areas). An always-on display that takes next to no power is the key feature for a smart watch. Combine that with something useful like a al

    • In my opinion, the smart watch should be considered a peripheral for the smart phone I already have in my pocket.

      This means it won't need to be a high powered device. I agree with you that this is not practical at this time.

      But, if I'm able to check notifications such as text messages, subject lines of received emails, and navigation commands from my GPS, I'd be happy. I should be able to change music tracks without pulling out my phone. It could display a grocery list.

      Stop thinking of it as it's
    • by antdude (79039)

      I still like wearing Casio Data Bank calculator watches (currently DB150). It would be nice to have touch screen, Internet, etc. with long battery life and not require a phone separately. The tiny square iPod Nano would be good, but I have not found a way to install third party softwares, apps, etc. on my free (six/6)th generation model (8 GB) so far. :(

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      The trouble everyone is grappling with here is that they want a smart watch to be some kind of smartphone-like thing. We've seen it work in comics, right? Dick Tracey and all. The only trouble is that the size of things people want to put on their wrists isn't big enough for much of a display, isn't big enough for much of a data entry device and isn't big enough for much of a battery. You just can't pack a lot of function on there, much less do it attractively, much less do it in a form factor where it beco

  • Leave the wrist alone -- Let's focus on a different body part. How about a Smart-Truss? Who wouldn't want a 1.5 Ghz processor warming their junk? Cupertino, I expect a slice of the action for this idea....
  • Seemingly everyone thinks they are, but has anyone seen any concrete proof besides some random patents?
  • put a phone in it

    It would be handy if it told the time as well

    • by MrKaos (858439)
      I for one would like to welcome the Apple design and innovation employees currently reading this forum for ideas.
  • It's all about the interface. If you can interface well with the watch to accomplish the task - it should be a winner.
  • by jageryager (189071) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @08:53AM (#44789473)

    According to wiki:

    Patek Philippe created the first wristwatch in 1868 for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary.

    Too bad Job wasn't still around. He could "reinvent" that wristwatch.

  • Even a screen that's roughly 4x4 cm covering a square roughly the width of a man's wrist is too small to really be useful. This has been tried before with the Palm OS. Another thing is, large watches are ugly, and people won't buy them for that reason either. Sure, geeks would lap them up in droves of a few thousand units. After that, crickets...
  • I've been working on wearable computers since 1994 (http://www.media.mit.edu/wearables/lizzy/oranchak/witintro.html) and I believe strongly in the concept. The smart phone has delivered nearly all the promise we had hoped for except hands-free operation. The cell phone watch is not new. I bought one that was made in China and wore it for years. In fact, I showed that watch at the Gadget Show during the 2008 International Symposium of Wearable Computers in Pittsburgh and I had been using for a couple of year

    • by sjbe (173966) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @09:22AM (#44789603)

      Frankly, I don't understand why people are so enamored with their offerings.

      Because they are well made, easy to use, have a well thought out interface and for the most part require very little fiddling to work. My 94 year old technologically illiterate grandmother is able to effectively utilize an iPad while at the same time I am able to get what I want out of an iPhone and I'm about big a tech geek as you are likely to run into. What makes Apple products attractive and different is the software.

      They don't do anything different in my opinion.

      Ahh but they do and those differences are what people are willing to pay for. What you have to understand is that Apple is fundamentally a software company. Steve Jobs himself has said so [youtube.com] explicitly. What is different about Apple's products is the software and what it does. It's not so much about them doing tasks that no one else can do as it is how they do those tasks. Apple (usually) provides a well designed and well executed experience and software is how they tie it all together. People buy Macs for the software - the hardware is barely different from PCs from Dell or HP. People buy iPods, iPhones and iPads for the software. The hardware isn't much different from the competition and in fact some competitors have rather slavishly copies Apple's designs. What Apple does differently is found in their software.

      I prefer the Android approach that "opens the innovation tent" to everyone willing to give it a shot.

      Nothing wrong with that but there are positives as well as drawbacks. If you are someone (like me and probably you) who really likes to fiddle with your gear then Android might very well be a better choice. But for my non-tech savvy relatives who just want a smartphone I point them at an iPhone. Not everyone wants to endlessly mess around with arcane features of their phones. Apple's products aren't for everyone but Apple has never pretended that they were. That said they sell an awful lot of product so they clearly are doing something that appeals to a lot of people.

      • What you have to understand is that Apple is fundamentally a software company.

        That's simply wrong and everybody knows it, no matter what Jobs might have said once in one of his promotional videos. Apple's profit still mostly comes from hardware sales and it has always been that way. If they were a software company, they could easily open OS X and iOS to other hardware manufacturers, but in fact that would be their immediate death sentence.

        • That's simply wrong and everybody knows it, no matter what Jobs might have said once in one of his promotional videos.

          "Wrong"? No. Counterintuitive I'll agree. Apple sells a vertically integrated product but (almost) no one buys a Mac to run Windows or Linux on it. They buy it because of OS X. OS X is what makes a Mac a Mac. Without OS X a Mac is just another me-too PC.

          Oh and just because you dislike Steve Jobs doesn't mean he is wrong. I've listened to a lot of his talks over the years and I've seen few instances where he was wrong about the big picture business model stuff. He got the details wrong sometimes but

  • built in? I am wondering if what is really needed here is not a watch sized display that talks to the phone in your bag, but a phone mounted on your wrist. The only problem with that scenario now is that shirt sleeves aren't made to accommodate a phone-sized object strapped to your wrist. So what we really need then is for shirts to be made with bigger sleeves and some sort of strap attachment for a phone to put it on your wrist (OK, maybe a minor tweak to the phone design so that the power button is loc

    • by brwski (622056)
      I'd be happy with a Pip-Boy equivalent. Then I could ditch the phone taking up room in my pocket, too.
  • by bazorg (911295) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @09:42AM (#44789713) Homepage

    There is one thing that Apple could do that a conventional electronic devices or software house competitor cannot: shift the discussion from wearable tech to pieces of fashionable clothing. If we think about it, the white earbuds are a fashion item as much as an accessory for MP3 players. People made or adapted existing bracelets to wear the iPod Nano as a wristwatch. Loads of armbands were built to accommodate wearing iPods and iPhones when exercising. Nike has sensors for shoes that link up with the current generation of iPod. The tech part they've got nailed already (Sony, Samsung, Apple, Google, ... all of them). Getting people to wear it without looking silly is the challenge and has been for a long time.

    What Apple can do rather than try to out-gadget the gadget makers is to design beautiful items of clothing that have the right pockets in the right places to carry the iPhone. Maybe some way to get a microphone and headphones built in to make calls and chat with Siri. There's always money for fashion items and I suspecct that Apple fanboy/girl would be happy to wear the team's colours. Pay £150 for a turtleneck? No problem. They can all wear the same model of iClothes until next year's is released. It would be a bit like Star Trek, with everyone on the planet wearing the same type of clothes.

  • by nospam007 (722110) *

    A smart watch once saved Harold Crick's life.

  • by Misagon (1135) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @10:08AM (#44789919)

    I think that what a smartwatch needs to be is as a "companion device" to a phone, and nothing more.
    It needs a screen, two buttons (or areas to tap) for "Yes" and "No" and low-bandwidth communication with the phone. The phone tells the watch what to display and what the buttons mean. The watch then needs only to reply with "Message understood, displaying screen", "Yes" and "No". That's it.
    All the "killer apps" that a smartwatch could be used for require those things and nothing more.

    The Samsung watch and many stand-alone smartwatches are too powerful, too feature-rich and already too bloated. The Samsung watch is already too large to wear comfortably on the wrist. Has anyone mentioned battery life yet? My Casio has a battery life measured in years.

    • t needs a screen, two buttons (or areas to tap) for "Yes" and "No" and low-bandwidth communication with the phone. The phone tells the watch what to display and what the buttons mean. The watch then needs only to reply with "Message understood, displaying screen", "Yes" and "No". That's it.

      Smartest post here so far. It seems that many (including Samsung's designers) are fixated at taking a smart phone and shrinking it to the point where you can attach it to your wrist. At which point it's not usable as a smart phone, doesn't fit on your wrist, and doesn't serve any useful purpose.

      • by mrdogi (82975)

        I have to agree as far as the smartest post so far.

        I was thinking about this over the weekend as I heard about all of these wonderful (planned/hoped-for) things in watches. They talked about joggers using heart rate monitors, etc. I was thinking that a simple blue tooth connection to the phone/hand device to send whatever telemetry. Let that device do the heavy lifting, then as GP said, send back whatever to the display as desired.

        It really seems silly on so many levels to try to pack all of that into on

  • by nanospook (521118) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @10:26AM (#44790037)
    I wouldn't be surprised if the managers at Apple are all so busy watching each other and playing court politics that innovation is dead. Jobs was very vocal and out there about what was good and bad for his company and what he liked and didnt like. I hear the new guy has nothing to say unless hes pissed. Good luck Apple..
    • Ive has been there about 2 decades and has seen what it takes mentally to kill off losers & I see him having the strength to do it.

      I agree with other Slashdot comments that a smart watch needs to be able to work with an iPhone, so you don't have to pick up the phone all the time.

      Unique features might allow NFC to work exchanging contact info and "approvals", instead of cards and cash.

    • I wouldn't be surprised if the managers at Apple are all so busy watching each other and playing court politics that innovation is dead. Jobs was very vocal and out there about what was good and bad for his company and what he liked and didnt like. I hear the new guy has nothing to say unless hes pissed. Good luck Apple..

      Are you confusing Microsoft and Apple here?

      It seems that Tim Cook is quite good at removing people who don't pull their weight for the company.

  • In no particular order:

    • monitors my health
    • provides me with reminders (txt msg, e-mail, calendar, rss feeds, etc)
    • allows me to work my phone remote or be a phone (using audio to work it)
    • can recharge via my proximity (my heat or something)
    • starts my car
    • provides alerts for all security devices
    • can be used to get me somewhere (voice speaking GPS)
    • can listen to music and/or watch a clip
    • allows me to search for things on the internet using audio
    • can be used instead of a credit card

    Of course, provides time, calendar,

  • How is the current or future generation of iWatches going to be any different than an iPhone/Android phone in a small form factor strapped to your wrist? You'll still need a bluetooth headset to talk/hear the conversation.

    It seems that the iWatch companies are trying to save us 1second of having to dig our phone out of our pocket. They don't look all that attractive compared to a similarly priced watch (mechanical or quartz) and remind me of the calculator watches of the 80s.

  • Right now I'd love a watch as small and light as my simple casio but which vibrates when I have a call. I am tired of my phone ringing when I don't want to it too and when it does ring I miss the call. The Pebble is about everything I want in a smartwatch, though it could be thinner and lighter. Unfortunately unless Pebble gets bought by Google or Google releases a GoogleNow API its not going to work. The next GoogleGlass product could very well be their headset in watch form. If it just provided notif

  • ugh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@nOSpaM.gmail.com> on Sunday September 08, 2013 @02:16PM (#44791647) Homepage
    "Even Apple"? Apple has never been cutting edge in terms of technology. They're good at physical design and interfaces but they have never really done anything groundbreaking. While you can argue this is an interface issue, while Apple is good at improving them they aren't really good at coming up with innovative new ones.
  • I still think this might just be misdirection on Apple's part.

  • If you look at Apple's product line, their smart watch would probably fit in mainly as an iOS/OS X remote, letting you connect to all of your iTunes-account-connected devices. Apple TV remote (with accelerometer), autologin/unlock within range, notifications from all of your devices aggregated(?), GPS, maybe some way to access Spotlight on all devices and Siri to tie everything together. Apps would mainly use notifications to work with the device. Home automation and security systems could be interesting

  • We glance at a normal watch to see how much time is left, or how late we are. We don't much need to know 'timenow' in numbers. Anything 'digital' has the wrong metaphor.

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