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Smartwatches are smart. The clue is in the name. But they could be smarter. Better. More desirable. Because while this first generation of smartwatches are OK, they’re far from perfect. Let’s fix that by building the ultimate smartwatch.

Smarting For a Smarter Smartwatch

The Apple Watch is now out in the wild The Apple Watch Has Landed, YouTube Celebrates Turning 10, & More... [Tech News Digest] The Apple Watch Has Landed, YouTube Celebrates Turning 10, & More... [Tech News Digest] Apple Watch arrives, YouTube turns 10, Twitter launches Highlights, Snapchat suffers bug, Telltale loves Marvel, and Downton Abbey is better with lightsabers. Read More , with the earliest adopters Will You Be Buying The Apple Watch? [MakeUseOf Poll] Will You Be Buying The Apple Watch? [MakeUseOf Poll] Apple has revealed its first smartwatch, but will you be buying the Apple Watch? Read More already wearing the smartwatch so cool even James Bond would want one How James Bond Made Me Buy an Apple Watch How James Bond Made Me Buy an Apple Watch Bond has always had a thing for watches. Indeed, some of the best gadgets Bond has ever used have been timepieces. Which means he would buy an Apple Watch. As will I. Read More . There are also several Apple Watch alternatives 5 Alternatives To The Apple iWatch That Are Already Available 5 Alternatives To The Apple iWatch That Are Already Available Rumors that Apple is developing a smartwatch have caused a wave of new interest in this relatively small and obscure market. What is a smartwatch? Do they already exist? What can they do? These are... Read More already on the market, most of which are powered by Android Wear Which Android Wear Smartwatch Is Best For You? Which Android Wear Smartwatch Is Best For You? In the market for an Android Wear smartwatch? Let's compare all the options available now and make the decision easy. Read More .

However, as nice as these smartwatches may be, none of them are essential. Sure, they’re desirable objects that millions of people are now buying, but they’re still a long way from being perfect. While perfection may be an impossible dream, the ultimate smartwatch is not.

Which is where you come in. We simply want to know, What Would Be On Your Ultimate Smartwatch? It doesn’t matter how banal or bizarre, how standard or special, or how easy or impossible your chosen features may be, our aim is to build the ultimate smartwatch. So anything goes!


Having said that, you may be looking for some guidance. Which is where we come in. After all, we don’t expect you to do all of the work for us. Just most of it.

Do you want a smartwatch that works independently? Or one which syncs to your smartphone? What sort of battery life do you want? What kind of apps do you think are essential? What little tricks should the hardware be capable of? What’s the ideal user interface? What, above all else, would you use a smartwatch for?

We Need You!

Please let us know your thoughts on building the ultimate smartwatch below. All comments will be read and most will be replied to. Depending on the level of interest, the responses may be turned into a full article at a later date. We Ask You is a column dedicated to crowdsourcing the wisdom of MakeUseOf readers.

  1. dragonmouth
    May 8, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    A magnifying glass so I can actually see all the silly data that the watch is capable of displaying.

  2. David Lee
    May 7, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    1) e-Ink display
    2) Customizable notifications (via sync for battery life - for example alarms, aganda, weather - therefore no call/email).
    3) Main display screen: time (tap to alarm), date (tap to next agenda item), current weather (tap to weather app), and battery remaining as a bar on screen edge (similar to "battery bar")
    4) Fitness display screen: customizable to include options for: steps, distance, steps remaining, calories burned, calories left. Also integration with as many apps as possible and as many OS versions / bluetooth specs as possible
    5) Tap to wake display and e-Ink to allow 21-30 day pill battery so not having to constantly recharge.
    6) Sealed for swimmers/triathletes.
    7) Aesthetics: slim (like a quality watch), replaceable band with leather and metal band options (and better rubber sports bands than are currently used on most fitness trackers).
    ** another display screen that shows owner info

  3. Hildy J
    May 7, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    1) It should display the time, date, temperature of the watch face, current weather, 1 hour predicted weather, and battery percentage by default.
    2) It should have customizable vibration/haptic/taptic notifications (for example, three quick pulses to indicate a text from a starred contact).
    3) It should constantly measure my heart rate (with something better than green LEDs), blood O2 level, skin temperature, and galvanic skin response (and anything else a wrist device can pick up from my body), have a screen to display these, and alert me to any health threatening problems like overheating or arrhythmia.
    4) It should transmit health data to my phone which should interpret and interpolate data to generate things like stress levels, sleep cycles, etc.
    5) For walkers, hikers, and bicycle riders, it should have on demand GPS and a navigation screen.
    6) It should have a minimum of 48 hour battery life, use wireless recharging, and should use a mechanism (like that found in self winding watches) to generate what electricity it can to extend this.
    7) It should be sealed and submersible - IP67 minimum.

    Note that I've only described three screens (and only the navigation screen requires graphics). I don't want a mini-phone with a screen less than half the size of an iPod Nano. I want something that extends my phone.

  4. WinDork
    May 7, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    I view a smartwatch as a smaller version of my smartphone, and therefore impractical. Also, wearing a smartwatch increases the chance of being physically accosted during a mugging, as opposed to simply having my smartphone or handbag swiped from my hand. Call me paranoid, but I want no part of this smartphone madness.

    • MAS
      May 10, 2015 at 7:21 am

      Android Wear isn't about replacing the Phone onto the wrist for full running of apps. Instead its a platform that pulls contextually relevant data from various parts of your ecosystem (Gmail, Calendar, Keep Notes, Maps, and various apps where your data is stored), then combines it, and displays it in card fashion For deep drilling & interaction of data, you use the phone.

      When you just need to glance at related information spread across your ecosystem, wear does a good job of consolidating it, presenting it in a Google Now type card, and giving you options to slightly interact with it. Example, based on context (Time, Location, data from your apps) it will display a card with your next appointment, the address & any related notes/tasks, provide you an ETA to your destination based on any traffic problems, and let you begin navigation directly from the watch. No need to open and hunt through 5 to 10 different apps just glance at that info......Android wear pulls that data and presents it to you when most relevant.
      This, plus the standard smart watch items like setting timers, health monitoring, and controlling BT devices, and voice controls to launch apps, settings, launch actions (like play a specific song) or initiate quick communication replies via sms/email. As well as display interactive notifications.

      There are still many areas it could improve, like integrating more 3rd party apps to extend the data that Wear can.

      But putting a small screen phone on the wrist isn't ideal (and heavy interaction is still best on a phone or PC). Rather Its an accessory that pulls together the related info that you just want to view (with maybe light interaction.

      So you will still use a phone for inputting info into calendars, Notes, Etc........but why dig through various apps to find related info when the watch platform pulls that data and gives it to you when its contextually relevant and interaction with that info isn't needed since all you need is to view that info.

  5. kt
    May 7, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    I'm with the other guys, having to charge it a lot keeps me out of the market. Durability is a concern too.
    Having a programmable slide show of different backgrounds would be sweet (they probably have that, I don't know).

  6. Joel Alar
    May 7, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I want a smartwatch that has the following features:
    - dual power battery and Solar (can also charge via solar)
    - digital thermometer
    - made from rugged type materials (like GShock)
    - GPS (to locate my actual position when I'm loss)
    -can capture blood pressure and pulse

  7. likefunbutnot
    May 7, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    The main reason I don't have a smartwatch yet is low battery life. A watch I have to charge every day is as lame as a phone I have to charge every day. Pebble watches go a long way in addressing that matter, but even the Pebble Steel is a little too big and chunky for my personal taste as well. I'd like something that's as thin and unobtrusive as my Boccia watch.

    I do like the health tracking features a smart watch should have, but I also want my smart watch to control media playback. In a perfect world, it would be amazing if my watch or phone or something could carry my home environment as I move around between devices as well (Desktop or Home Screen or whatever).

    I've actually largely given up on watches because I spend too much time with my wrist resting on a keyboard, so most of my personal wish list would be better served by integrating into eyewear instead, but I think an important selling point is being able to read notifications without being given the ability to respond. Messaging while driving is a huge problem for many people and I won't say I've never done it.

  8. CyberRanger
    May 7, 2015 at 5:53 am

    Don't care about fitness or health sensors. If I want those features I'll get a fitbit. Want a tough watch, like a g-shock, but not gaudy. I do not want to have to charge it every stinkin' day. Once a month is almost too often. It needs to be solar powered (would help with not charging every day). I'd like it to have sensors like my Pro-Trek... compass, barometric pressure, temperature, maybe humidity plus a GPS (for auto timezone & magnetic declination correction). I like both digital & analog faces, so a smartwatch makes sense. Absolutely needs to be seriously waterproof... to a lot more than a couple meters. I'd like to be able to set the display to all red so it doesn't destroy my night vision. Atomic clock reciever, so if I don't have cell access, it'll stay correct.

    The band needs to be as tough as the watch, yet comfortable when wet, cold, hot, etc.. Don't want to lose that sucker!

    Not all people who want smartwatches sit behind a desk & live in a city.

    • John
      May 7, 2015 at 7:58 am

      This right here exactly.

  9. Sam Park
    May 7, 2015 at 2:13 am

    My name-don't want to lose my ultimate smartwatch!

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