Among the tech community, the jury is out on wearing a smartwatch, according to a recent thread on the Spiceworks message board. There seems to be confusion about what a smart watch actually does, which I will elaborate on below after presenting the data.
Why do IT professionals balk at wearing a smart watch?
A total of 67 IT professionals weighed in at the time of this writing.
- 25 responded that they wear a smart watch, or would like to wear one;
- 35 answered no;
- 8 answered maybe.
The most popular reason given for not wanting a smart watch: “I don’t like things on my wrists,” or “I don’t like watches in general.”
Other common complaints include:
- They are too expensive for simply acting as an extension of your phone;
- Battery life is too short; I don’t want to keep track of one more thing to charge;
- It is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.
Smart watches: Form, function or fashion?
If you don’t like wearing a watch, that’s understandable—especially if you repair or install hardware for living, and risk catching your wrists in tight places. And yes, smart watches are pricey gadgets; most fully-featured smart watches are in the $300 range, but there are some priced well below that—the Sony SmartWatch2 sells for under $150. Does a smart watch address a specific problem, or have any unique function that the phone that it is tethered to cannot? Not really.
So then what does the smart watch actually offer in terms of actual functionality? What is the point?
A smart watch makes it easier to check your smartphone.
Think of a smart watch as fashion + convenience
Think about how many things trigger a phone notification—a new e-mail, a text, social media. A smart phone can vibrate every five minutes during the workday. It might sound silly, but it can be a major hassle to wrest a phone from a pants pocket or purse. In a situation like a C-level meeting, for example, checking a smartphone is generally frowned upon. Driving can make unlocking and checking a smartphone a pain as well. A smart watch lets you monitor your phone without any extra touching in situations where pulling out a phone might be inappropriate.
You get a few other features too, which vary by model: The Martian G2G SmartWatch utilizes your smartphone’s voice commands, and even controls camera shutter remotely (good for selfies); the Samsung Galaxy Gear has a refined UI feature called Smart Relay that automatically opens whatever you’re looking at on the smart watch on the phone, helping you reply faster to important messages. You can find more product information in the gadgets and wearables section of NeweggBusiness.
Do not think a watch can replace a smart phone. A smart watch is a just a watch that controls your phone via Bluetooth. it makes your smartphone even more convenient than it already is. Understand that a watch, as it always has been, is a fashion item. It is an accessory. Like a tie. Like a nice bag. A little fashion goes a long way in some workplaces. Whether or not that is your style is a question unto itself.
Let us know in the comments—do you or would you wear a smart watch?