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Handhelds Apple Hardware

Can Even Apple Make a Watch Insanely Smart? 196

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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  • Re:Wait (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@nOspAm.world3.net> on Sunday September 08, 2013 @08:54AM (#44789177) Homepage Journal

    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:missing the point (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@nOspAm.world3.net> on Sunday September 08, 2013 @09:35AM (#44789347) Homepage Journal

    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, but I'm hoping Android will be better as it seems that "smart peripherals" like Glass are where we are headed (no pun intended).

  • by bazorg ( 911295 ) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @10:42AM (#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.

  • ugh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (dlrowcidamon)> on Sunday September 08, 2013 @03:16PM (#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.

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