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

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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

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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Comments (49)
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • B G

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

  • 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

  • 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.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.