Apple Spring Forward, 5 ways the Watch will fail and Apples last wearable failed attempt

Pre-Game

Like most mobile tech enthusiasts, my thoughts are on what will transpire at the Apple Media Event this morning. Since wearbles are a hot topic in mobile, and the wrist worn list of devices is either anorexic or described with monikers like ‘The Terrible Wearable‘, I’m very curious if Apple will be able to pull off Watch not being a flopper. I was honored that Apple has reserved the best seat in the house for me…

Watch event
They honor me!

That was certainly nice of them. Their generosity will have no effect on my opinion of the device. They have already failed me given the fact that I don’t wear watches and they still went forward with the release of Watch. Despite that important piece of information, Apple has had quite a bit of success in recent years. The last couple of fails…genuine product issues, were Maps and Antenna-gate. No one can be this lucky. How much longer can the Technology-gods smile down on them?  Are they due for a fail?

While I do like the concept of an Apple wrist wearable to re-enable some of the one-handed operation that was marginalized when the i6 was embiggened, I’m not a watch wearer. While fact isn’t compelling enough for me not to make the investment for the mod/hack value that will certainly flourish in jailbreak community, I have some personal reservations with the capability of Watch. Unlike the Terrible Wearable, it does have a wifi radio. It is combined with the bluetooth radio logic. But like the Motorola 360, it won’t have connectivity capability to anything other than the handset it belongs to. The Watch will eventually. Either when Apple says it can, or the profile that restricts a connection gets modified. It will get modified. That is the one thing I do know for sure about Watch.

My Opinions and reflections

The last time I remember liking watches was in Jr. High with those disgusting plastic/rubber things called Swatch. If I remember correctly, it was more the infinite number of ways one could configure it that made it entertaining.

I bought a Movado in my 20’s and the only reason why I remember that is because of the ridiculous price/function ratio. For what an unlocked iPhone 6 costs…it pointed at where numbers were supposed to be…so I could guess what time it was. That’s it. Since then I have had 2 events with watches in my life. My wife bought me a couple of watches from Fossil which I love, because they were from her…but I won’t wear. I ran over one of them with a motorcycle, but its box still sits in a drawer next to the box with the other watch inside of it. It has close to the same dimensions as the smaller Watch. They really should have done a better job with the packaging. Finally I bought my Wife a watch she fell in love with after watching a Sandra Bullock movie. It actually has nice packaging, but sure as Google loves ad revenue, the band is made of plasticky-plastic. Why put that in such a nice box?

 

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If I do decide to buy another watch, it won’t be because I need to know to even want to know what time it is. Because I have absolutely zero concept of time, all a wearing watch would do is make me look at it to see how late I am. But the Watch isn’t just a watch. We aren’t only talking about fashion. Many people, myself included could really care less about the fashion aspect of it. While I appreciate the industrial design, the hard and soft controls and even the almost cheesy marketing gloss for functions like ‘taptic engine’ and ‘force touch’, I’m looking for functionality and extension in biometrics, datapoint presentation and innovative things that make it a plausible solution for not having to un-pocket my iPhone.

How the Watch will fail:

  1. If I have to hold it up to my pie-hole for it to hear voice commands, this is a fail. I don’t have to do this with my handset so I shouldn’t have to with the Watch.
  2. If I have to hold it up to one of the holes in the side of my head to hear acknowledgements. I can hear alerts with the iPhone in my pocket, so I should be able to hear alerts when the Watch is at arm’s length.
  3. If the timing execution of the alerts isn’t configured so both devices disseminate them simultaneously, (unless I have set one of them for no alert) I will have a problem with that. I don’t need an alert from my handset and then 5 seconds later have the wearable alert me again as if I was too stupid to understand the first time.
  4. If I have to provide input on both the Watch and the iPhone to generate any singular useful capability. Especially if it needs to happen simultaneously. Having to operate two devices for functions that one can do by itself is just silly.
  5. If Apple even considers the super-dumb idea of graffiti-like single character input for quick responses, that’s when we will know Steve Jobs legacy has left Apple. It was fine for the Newton. I loved my MessagePad, but graffiti needs to stay dead.

 

This isn’t Apples first Rodeo

You may not know this, but the Watch is not Apples first consideration on a wearable device. The first one they considered was a stand alone computer, back when John Sculley was the boss. They called it Time Band:

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Thank goodness this isn’t the design they are going to run with. Could you imagine the flood of yuck that would ensue from Samsung if this were the form factor Apple chose?

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Hmm…that’s close, don’t you think? Something isn’t quite right though…,

 

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There we go.

 

Nailed it.

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