Watch this space

You can’t swing an Internet smartwatch around these days without hitting someone with an opinion about Internet smartwatches.

Federico Viticci’s take gets the situation right:

To me, the current generation of smartwatches feels like a faster horse scenario: there is the spark of an idea – wearable tech – but, until today, “popular” products in this field appear to be dictated by features the tech press and geeks ask for.

Google’s video shows well (particularly if you’re a fan of swiping), but here’s the thing I notice about it. Take a look at the watch on the disembodied arm in Google’s video.


Is rolling your shirt cuff back over your sweater just enough so your Internet smartwatch is readily accessible just the price you pay for having an Internet smartwatch? Because here’s what happens when I casually lift my arm up.


For me, pulling my phone out of my pocket and unlocking it with my thumb is actually an easier motion than holding back my shirt cuff to swipe at a smartwatch. And I’m not comfortable using voice in public to check Twitter or respond to a text. (How often do you want everyone around you to know what you’re saying in a text?)

So, I think more that needs to be done with how you interact with a smartwatch before the concept makes any sense (and it’s not just me). It seems like that’s what the industry is hoping Apple will provide what no one else has been able to show yet: a means of using these things that makes sense. And, yet, it’s perfectly possible — likely, even — that what Apple’s working on isn’t even a watch.

Maybe as iPads were to netbooks, Apple’s wearable will be to smartwatches.