What Do You Think Of The Smartwatch Concept? [MakeUseOf Poll]

Last week was all about the Chromecast. Google announced its affordable Apple TV competitor, and we asked you if you intend on getting yourself one or not. While being popular, the Chromecast is definitely not a consensus, as can be seen from the following results:

689 readers voted in this poll, and this was the breakdown: 11% are not getting a Chromecast, and if you’re wondering why, I recommend that you read the interesting comments. 13% don’t plan to, but may change their minds in the future; 17.5% are still not sure about the Chromecast; 18.5% already have one or already ordered one; and 40% of the voters definitely plan on getting one.

Full results and this week’s poll after the jump.

All in all, the Chromecast seems to have caught on, and last week’s comments are full of interesting insights into why the Chromecast is or is not worthwhile. Don’t forget to check out last week’s best comment by Sean P, who won his choice of one of our cool t-shirts. Next week it could be you!

poll results august 4   What Do You Think Of The Smartwatch Concept? [MakeUseOf Poll]

This week’s poll question is: What Do You Think Of The Smartwatch Concept?

Love our t-shirts? The best comment in this poll will get one of our geeky t-shirts. That’s right, for free! So get commenting!

In case you’ve missed it, we’re giving away a Pebble Smartwatch. While testing this interesting device, I started wondering about the whole smartwatch concept. Does it really provide something we’re missing, or is it nothing but a gimmick? Regardless of what it really is, the market is getting slowly flooded with more of these watches, and Apple’s own version is hovering above all of them, threatening to materialize one day.  Do you own a smartwatch? Do you plan on buying one? What do you think of this whole smartwatch concept? Let’s find out!

What makes the smartwatch useful? What makes it nothing more than a gimmick? What are some good reasons to get one or not get one? Tell us all below.

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49 Comments -

0 votes

dragonmouth

I guess the concept of a SmartWatch is not going to be legitimized until Fruitco releases the iWatch to the adoring public. Sounds like the story of the Personal Computer. Until IBM released their PC, “personal computers” were Toys for children and geeks.

No, I am NOT getting one. I do not need a SmartWatch that is a computer, stereo, PDA, entertainment center, messaging center, GPS, gaming console and a hundred other things. I do not need a SmartWatch that has so many functions that it next to impossible to find the time display, just like I don’t need a SmartPhone that tells me “Service Not Available” just when I need to make an emergency phone call. They are both gimmicks for those with more money than sense, and for those that like to flaunt the latest Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread.

0 votes

Silent

The current smartwatches remind me of fitness trackers. They might be useful, but only to certain niche markets at the moment. I’m not sold on how wearing something on your wrist is better than having something that’s going to continue being more capable (for a while at least) in your pocket that also has a larger screen.

That could change if there’s different approaches to what they can do and what they could be used for that’s better than what we have right now. Until then, I don’t see why most people would want to use it.

0 votes

Bumferry H

I genuinely don’t understand what the point of a smart watch is. Having a mobile is surely enough to read the time/check the weather… or what ever else it can do.

As a heart rate monitor, yes i can see the advantage for fitness freaks, but would you really want to rely on a 3rd party app as a medically sound device to tell you your heart is about to explode?

I wouldn’t.

0 votes

Mark

I concur with both Silent & dragonmouth on this one. I don’t see them being a useful tool for me at this time at least not for me…

0 votes

finney227

It’s the Dick Tracy watch for which we’ve all been waiting.

0 votes

Vipul J

I ride a bike and obviously there is no bike holder for phones.
So everytime I get a call or something, I have to stop on the side, pull out the phone and check what is it.
So for 2 wheeler users, a smatwatch is a huge boon since we can check who’s calling without having to stop.
Also GPS would come in real handy on the watch instead of stopping at every intersection and checking on the phone.

All apart, such a techy invention would look really cool too :D
It better start coming out waterproof.

0 votes

dragonmouth

“So for 2 wheeler users, a smatwatch is a huge boon since we can check who’s calling without having to stop.”
It’s a boon until you have your first crash. Oh, I know, It won’t happen to you. Ever hear of texting and driving? Checking your smart watch while riding a bike is a dumb idea.

“Also GPS would come in real handy on the watch instead of stopping at every intersection and checking on the phone.”
If you need GPS to check your location at every intersection, maybe you should stay home? At least at home you’ll know where you are at all times.

0 votes

Vipul J

I don’t GPS for my location, I need GPS for navigation to my destination.

0 votes

Esaure

Here is somewhat of what i think about a smartwatch concept: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_I7W7uTMrg

0 votes

Greg Frye

Gotta have one, or two! I’m a gadget nut, but anything that keeps me smartphone holstered for more than 11 seconds at a tine will be a great asset for me. Plus there’s the whole “Dick Tracey” cool factor!

0 votes

Dan Egan

I would get one just for the ability to change the timekeeping faces. The other stuff it can do is cool as well.

0 votes

Mike

I have a pebble and while its functionality is limited its actually been really useful. You can actually save a lot of battery by not having to turn on your phone screen every time you want to check the date or time. Also by screening notifications and only pulling out your phone when you need to respond to something. The thing i like most is silent notifications. Instead of a ringtone every time i get a message or call, it just vibrates on my wrist. This work well for my alarm in the morning too. ?

0 votes

Hindie D

As an older person, I find the idea of a Smart Watch very funny because for a period of time, most young people were not wearing watches. They just check on their Smart Phones and mobile tablets when they need to know the time. I am wondering if we have reached a point in technology that we are having to create new toys for geeks and wanna be people to want to buy.

0 votes

joanne mcmillan

i think it is a great idea.
my son always say’s he read his watch wrong thats why he’s late.
Not anymore son

0 votes

william worlde

I’ve got two analogs right now, but in my younger days had a Casio digiana; beautiful, smart device even from 20+ years ago. What does that say?

I’d definitely get a smartwatch. Readers may not have heard of Dick Tracy, but the smartwatch idea has been around for over 20 years too, and I always thought it was really brilliant.

I know some folks may want to resist it because they’re thinking, “Jeez, yet another way to be a Twit, or talk to Friends, or be connected.” But, you don’t need to use those “useless” technologies.
I won’t use it for messaging except for very short, *important* messages and as I didn’t install FB on my new Android phone since I switched 8 months ago…

As highly evolved animals, if our minds can think it, then we’d very likely want to invent it. That is both a good and bad thing obviously, but I think a smartwatch with an HRM, weather reports, amber alerts, GPS, calculator, etc., would be good. (As an example of resisting technology, I know that I don’t want Google Glass, as there are no benefits to me. But, it may be your thing.)

0 votes

Chris K

I think having a smart watch would be an awesome addition to compliment other devices. I’d love to be able to have one.

0 votes

Daria Winker

Doesn’t look like much of a fashion statement, but looking at your wrist is much more subtle than pulling a phone out od your pocket.

0 votes

Diane Wareing

Great prize.. can’t beat a good gadget :)

0 votes

CSulav

Having smart watch is a best way to get updated in the world of frequent updating technology. It not only be portable but also be less pron to theft/stolen as well.

It’s an awesome gadget.

0 votes

Anthony

I would love a smartwatch. I’m not sure how useful it will be but I love gadgets and I feel like I’ll end up getting one.

0 votes

Uriel J

A Pebble’s only enemy is time.

0 votes

Karthikeyan R

I am always fond of watches since men’s best companion from the very beginning is a watch only. My schooling started with a small Casio watch which is a digital watch. At that time, my fellow classmates wil be touching my watch just to see the glowing light inside it. It was a heroic feel at that time as a child for me. May be most of you guys experienced this. Then my college life started with a Titan watch with calendar. Just was bored to reset the calendar every time when the month doesn’t have the 31st day. Since that was the time Android and iPhone are evolving, I thought of having a smart watch which helps me like how it does for a James Bond. Time is changed and so is the watch. Pebble when I saw it in Kickstarter really kicked me to try it. Sad part is I couldn’t get a chance to order it. Still now waiting for Pebble to be on my hand. May be watches will change again. But my fondness never will.

Thanks for giving this chance to express here. Interesting to see others part also.

0 votes

dragonmouth

“I am always fond of watches since men’s best companion from the very beginning is a watch only.”
I thought man’s best companion is a woman, or at least a dog. :)

0 votes

Karthikeyan R

Both of them can bite us at anytime. But a watch never will. :)

0 votes

dragonmouth

“Both of them can bite us at anytime. But a watch never will.”
Yes, but both dogs and women can be quite more interactive than a watch, even a SmartWatch. :P

0 votes

hal gausepohl

awesome

0 votes

Lavender

GPS, huh? Ever see those large, plastic tags cattle wear in their ears? They have RFID so the ranchers and feedlots can keep track of them . . . not to mention all those government agencies regulating farmers & ranchers down to the last rats’ @ss.

Sounds to me like a so-called “smartwatch” is just a very expensive version of cattle tags, with this difference: the cows don’t have to pay for their own ear tags.

Humans are idiots. Evolution? More like DE-volution.

0 votes

Algernon Clayton

I think ultimately smartwatches might become tomorrow’s smartphones.

0 votes

morte

I’m loving mine. Not having to constantly pull out my phone to check alerts and messages is great. And the watch itself is stylish and nice to wear. I can’t wait for more functionality.

0 votes

Peter Reilly

The next big thing in tech since the smartphone!

0 votes

Peter Reilly

The next big thing in tech!

0 votes

Horace Chung

Well, an idea of a smartwatch could be both beneficial in some ways and somewhat downside in other ways. First of all, it can change how we use our watches now. Starting with phones, the ‘smart’ era is getting bigger and bigger, now aiming towards smart TVs. A smartwatch can also fit nicely in this category. Also, getting an another ‘cloud’ device to match with your computer and smartphones would be also another really good benifit. If implemented right, even without much space with the watch, cloud services can provide a way to have many usages.
But there are of course some downsides. Hardware limitations can cause basically a limitation to almost every aspect of the device. It would be hard to create a powerful device with current tech that can match even a smartphone. Also, the screen on the phone would be way too small for comfort for people with thick thumbs or anybody in general.
I would get a smartwatch, but I would actually think about it before purchasing it at this era. The technology at this time (Although how damn developed it is) is just way too limited for a compact but powerful smartwatch.

0 votes

Jim Turner

I want want a smart watch because I often don’t hear my phone ring. My case does an excellent job of protecting it from bumps but also keeps me from feeling it vibrate (I carry it on my belt). I know I can make the rings louder, but then it would be embarrassing in quiet surroundings. I wear a watch now because I don’t want to have to pull my phone out to see what time it is. Two things are stopping me from buying a Pebble: 1. an Apple watch might be out relatively soon, and 2. I might not be willing to wear that expensive a watch a lot of the time I need it, such as working around the house and yard. I’ve tried bluetooth earpieces, but I find them generally uncomfortable.

0 votes

Jasmine1485

A bit gimmicky and unnecessary at the moment, but I still think it would be fun to get one. I wouldn’t complain if I won one! :)

0 votes

Angelo

I would want one especially if it could track my heart rate. That being said, they are quite expensive at the moment and some of them seem to have a short battery life and don’t look very durable. I would definately consider one if the price was cheaper or there were more features (think android device replacement instead of just syncing up with a phone).

0 votes

Angel Carreon

Seems like a great gadget. Sure beats having to check phone for time, as you sometimes want to not make it obvious. An alarm vibrating on your arm is awesome as well. I respond well to the alarm vibration of my Fitbit flex.

0 votes

Deborah H

I’m not a geek, would like to be a geek, and I love MakeUseof!

0 votes

prabhath

which we’ve all been waiting.

0 votes

paleogirl2003

I love the idea, but, regrettably, it seems like the ones currently on the market are only geared towards men due to their over-sized faces. I am a woman, but also a geek and a programmer and would love such a device, but it would just get in the way unless someone comes out with one in a more reasonable size.

I think, if designed properly, smart watches can be useful so as to reduce the number of times you have to pull out your phone to check a text or calendar entry, etc. As well as a handy Bluetooth input device when your headset isn’t nearby.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

I hear you! I, too, think they whole smartwatch market is completely geared at men. Men love huge watches, no matter how uncomfortable they are. :)

0 votes

Victor James

I just want to have the feel of wearing such an advanced watch while lurkin’ around people who think only analogue and digital watches exixts :D

0 votes

Elizabeth Cunnings

A very good friend has one and he loves it, I find them intriguing with great potential. But as I don’t have a smartphone and like wearing a watch this could be pretty fun to have.

0 votes

Tom S

I thought it was a good idea back when Microsoft had one, but that watch has much less utility than these.
I think this will take off, and with integration will be very useful.
I’m waiting to see the Samsung watch, tat supposedly doesn’t need a phone to integrate with

0 votes

Ferdinand

Whether it’s useful or not i will buy it if i have the cash because like candy it might not be useful but yeah it’s very sweet when u are licking it.

0 votes

Theodore F

I am a Baby Boomer Geek and I love my Pebble. Their concept of a smart watch is dead on. I don’t know what Apple has in their pipeline but I feel it will have to follow the Pebble concept for it to be of any significance.

0 votes

mwenda

i love the concept but i won’t give up the analogue watch i have for it. i don’t need a watch that gives me notifications i have a tablet & smartphone for that i just need a simple watch to check time imo

0 votes

B G

It is a good idea to improve people’s life.

0 votes

David Clark

I wear a regular watch, and it’s far more convenient to lift my hand and turn my wrist to see the time than to dig out my phone and peck at icons. A few other features on a wrist-mounted device might be ones I’d therefore appreciate.

0 votes

PebbleOwner

People seem to consider a smartwatch as some sort of gadget.
I have multi monitors on both my home and work computers, and see my pebble as being similar- an extension monitor/(basic) keyboard for my phone.
As a mechanical engineer, I often have dirty / wet hands and work in noisy environments.
Should I receive a call or text in those environments, I can’t go off and clean up every single time I receive a communication in order to pull out my smartphone to check it (and I’m not going to get my precious phone covered in water/oil/less salubrious materials, thanks!)
My (waterproof and screen-protected) pebble saves me from that – and allows me to divert calls and/or reply (with canned texts) without interrupting my work.
This is _not_ a “gimmick” but an appliance, of genuine use.
Receiving emails on my wrist and being able to run “silent”, using just the pebble’s vibrator for notification, is nice but not essential – and yeah, a touch more gimmicky. Not a problem is excellent battery life: I’m averaging better than 7 days between charges (connected to my phone 24/7).
Other comments seem to look at a smartwatch as a phone substitute (“Dick Tracey” comments, built-in GPS etc). To me, a smartwatch is a smartphone adjunct, not a replacement. Phones nowadays have plenty of processing power and inputs (Cellular data, Cameras, GPS, magnetometer etc). What I needed was a way to make use of those inputs, regardless of my physical situation or phone access.
The pebble acheives this, and with user-installable watch apps, is customisable to achieve what I want from it-not what some faceless designer on the other side of the world *thinks* some people *like* me *might* want.
Examples: separate stopwatch and countdown timers that work in a way that make sense to me (not requiring some arcane “finger dance” to operate), an alarm that doesn’t wake up my wife (vibrate-only, on my wrist-configurable from my phone) – and customiseable watchfaces that my “older” eyes can make out clearly, and use easily, without squinting or glasses.
Icing on the cake is being able to turn on the backlight without touching a button (twist my wrist in a given manner) – great when my hands are *really* filthy.
The litmus test for me: my long-suffering, tech-phobic wife (a district nurse) now wants one.