Written by Technology

Wearable Technology

Last week I spent fifteen minutes in a queue in Piccadilly Station. There’s a chap in a booth there who’s the best person in London, in my view, to get watches fixed or their batteries replaced. He does everything. He’s been there for years. I was having a Casio Pro Trek watch’s battery replaced. It lasted about three years, which is a pretty good return for a watch that measures the temperature and air pressure as well as all the usual things. But powering watches isn’t simple.
A great Monday Note on what an Apple iWatch might do.
The merits of an as yet unannounced product must remain moot. But I do think that wearable technology is a major part of the future. It’ll just take a few iterations until we get somewhere good.
As Pebble’s Kickstarter backers await their arrivals, I’ve just dug out a Sony Ericsson “LiveWire” which I bought a year or more ago for around a tenner. It didn’t cost that when it was released of course. It was closer to £100. But it did some of the things we’re now seeing in connected watches. It paired with an Android phone and could display texts, emails, calls, and even some app specific widgets (for example, a Barclays cycle hire widget).
But I never used it. It was £10 of frippery on my part. It looked ugly, and the touchscreen (yes it had one) was unintuitive and awful.
But I look at thinks like Nike+, Fitbit, Google Glasses, and the new connected watches, and think it’s clear we’re heading this way. Our phones do spend time in
And we’ll pay a lot of money for watches. As Gassée notes in his article, watch funcationality is minimal. We’re mostly buying style. Even if that style is early-nineties chic with a Casio F-91W. So if an iWatch or one of its competitors costs £300, that won’t necessarily harm sales.
But there are some gains and convenience, beyond looking like Dick Tracy.
However, returning to my three year battery in my last watch, power is the major issue with these pieces of technology. If I forget to charge my phone, it’s extremely frustrating. And I also have to charge my tablet, my laptop, my camera, and my pocket DAB radio. I really don’t to have to remember to charge my watch…
[LATER] And then Google puts out this video!