As recently as ten years ago nearly everyone wore a watch of some kind. Many stores from jewelry stores to drug stores sold some type of watch. There were digital watches and analog watches, watches for men and women, and even watches for children with pictures of cartoon characters on the strap and watch face. Recently watches are a lot less prevalent. Fewer and fewer people have chosen to buy watches for the same reason that landline phones have lost favor and pay phones are virtually extinct. Nearly everyone has access to an affordable cell phone, and all cell phones have clocks to tell the time. With a watch in your pocket why would you wear one on your wrist? The new breakthrough in mobile technology, the smart watch, is a possible answer to that question.
Smartwatches are wristwatch devices that interface with smartphones through Bluetooth. Some watches are designed to interface with a specific phone or specific operating system. Other watches are more generalized designed to interface with multiple operating systems as long as they use the correct version of Bluetooth. Smartwatches give you access to some of the functions of your smartphone without having to remove your phone from your pocket or bag. Some social media and efficiency apps can be accessed from the smartwatch as well. Combined with a Bluetooth headset the smartwatch can let you view calls, answer calls, control music, and view texts. Some smart watches are even designed to access your phone’s GPS and play downloaded music apart from your phone.
Smartwatches have a number of advantages. You can discreetly check calls, messages, or time without staring at your phone. Some watches allow voice to text or pre set replies to text messages. You’ll never miss a call again while trying to dig through your bag for your phone. Do you take the bus or the train? Smart watches will let you keep an eye on your messages while leaving a hand free to hold on to the railing as you enter and exit. Smartwatches are a discreet way to make sure you don’t miss an important message in the middle of a movie, a meeting, or a class. Joggers or bikers can use smartwatches to check messages and control music while leaving phones in their bags or pockets. Armbands can hold phones during workouts. However, some find armbands uncomfortable or unwieldy. Smartwatches are also easier to see while moving than a phone in an armband. The small screen of the watch and the placement of the wristband allows the user to bring the display in front of his face without having to stop moving. The display is easy to see around without obstructing vision.
There are drawbacks to a smartwatch. The smartwatches cost about as much as some tablets or mp3 players. However, most of the devices cannot function on their own apart from a phone. Smartwatches are very expensive accessories for existing devices. The user also needs to consider battery life of the devices. The user needs to prepare to charge the device frequently enough and switch to using the main phone when needed. Some consider smartwatches to be an unnecessary extravagance.
In spite of some objections, Smartwatches have many uses. The decision to purchase a smartwatch should be made on a case by case basis. Many smartphone users find the utility of smartwatches to be well worth the price. Smartwatches are particularly useful for users who are very physically active or need to have hands free throughout the day. Smartwatches are also useful for working mothers who need to be able to see emergency text messages at any time to determine if there is a family emergency.