But is the Smartwatch Useful?

the rock

People only really ask if a smartwatch is useful because they want to make sure that it is worth buying. They do not want to fall prey to a “fad.” They want the assurance that the money that they invest is a wise investment, that it will be useful. They do not want to invest in something that they will later regret, or worse yet, be embarrassed for having purchased one. Remember The Rock? Great guy. Funny pic.

timex datalinkThe first “Smartwatch” (as defined by a wristwatch that communicates with a computer), was introduced in 1994 with the release of the Timex Datalink wristwatch. With that watch, you could be notified of upcoming appointments and pull up contacts from your wrist. Of course, today’s smartwatches do so much more. Not only are they incredibly informative, but you may also find yourself asking, “Is the smartwatch a smart purchase?” In a word, yes. For many reasons, yes. Let’s look at three big reasons why smartwatches are still a great buy and will be for the foreseeable future.

See also: The 5 Best Smartwatches for Men in 2020

Smartwatches Never get Boring, Here is Why

If you wear a traditional watch, it gets boring after a while. The watch may look great when you get it, even noticeable, but after you have worn it for a while, it just seems ordinary. This is not true with a smartwatch. With the smartwatch, the wrist bands are easily changeable. The Apple watch band literally changes out in seconds. Not only can you choose any color to match what you are wearing, but there are literally dozens of smartwatch bands to choose from (depending on the smartwatch that you purchase), each offering it’s own unique texture.

Another reason it never gets boring (and probably a more significant one), is the ability to change out the watch face on your smartwatch. When you couple a fresh watch face with a different watch band, it feels like you are wearing a brand new watch, and it makes you want to wear short sleeves to show it off.

Smartwatches Keep You Informed

Smartwatches bring a wealth of information to you. Note that there is a difference between what you can do with a smartwatch (based on the notifications that you receive from a smartwatch and the information available at a glance) depending on the face used on your smartwatch.

At a Glance, Your smartwatch can show you . . .

  • What phase of the moon you can expect to see tonight
  • The current time
  • Today’s complete date
  • Day of the week
  • What day of the year (out of 365 you are in)
  • What week of the year you are in
  • Percent of remaining battery life available
  • Calories burned
  • How many steps you have walked today
  • How many steps you have yet to walk to meet your daily goal
  • What percent of your daily walk goal you have attained
  • How many flights of stairs you have climbed today
  • How many miles you have walked today
  • What time zone you are currently in
  • Your heart rate

Notifications you can receive on your smartwatch

  • You can view text messages
  • You can answer incoming phone calls
  • Receive news story notifications from Flipboard
  • Whenever an incoming e-mail arrives in your inbox, you can be notified
  • If you wear your watch at night, you can set your alarm so that your wrist will vibrate to wake you up
  • You can receive reminders
  • After sitting for an extended period of time, you can be congratulated for getting up and walking around

What you can do with your smartwatch

  • Pay for anything by simply waving your wrist over the credit card terminal (anywhere when you swipe your credit card)
  • Play music
  • Answer phone calls from your wrist while driving (after answering from your wrist, you don’t even have to remove your hands from the wheel!)
  • Easily check the weather by simply tapping once (or turn the dial, depending on your smartwatch model)
  • View your image gallery
  • Compose text message or e-mail
  • You can play games
  • While at the mall, you can easily “find your car”

Read also: The 5 Best Smartwatches for Texting

Who would have thought that notifications could serve a healthy purpose? Admittedly, I do not exercise in the traditional sense.  For me, that’s not useful.  I do, however, like to keep track of how many steps I take each day. Believe it or not, just by doing that, I am challenged to try to beat my average daily steps from week to week. This is a good thing.

My job requires that I sit at a desk all day. My smartwatch reminds me every hour (between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm), to get up and do 5 squats every hour on the hour. Of course, I can tap “Ignore,” and the reminder is dismissed; but, usually, I stop what I am doing, get up and do 5 squats. Upon completion, it congratulates me.  For me, that feature is useful.

Silent Notifications are Awesome

silent notifications

The awesomeness of this can not be stressed enough. If I am in a meeting and get notified of an incoming e-mail or text message, I will know that it came in, but nobody else will. That cannot be said for the cell phone, even if it is on vibration mode. The cell phone makes a vibrating sound. The smartwatch simply vibrates on your wrist, in absolute silence. Knowing that I received an alert, e-mail, or text message, allows me to easily drop my hands below the table and check the notification discretely. Cell phone users cannot do that as easily.  I find silent notifications very useful.

Check also: The 6 Best Smartwatches for Women

But Still . . . Should I Get One?

If you are questioning if you should pursue the purchase of a smartwatch, I encourage you to ask people what they think about the smartwatch that they have purchased themselves. Here are some key questions to ask someone who wears a smartwatch. Note that I said, “someone who wears a smartwatch.” You want insight from existing users, not from speculators.

  • Do you like your smartwatch? If so, why?
  • How does your smartwatch cater to your lifestyle?
  • What do you like most about your smartwatch?
  • What do you wish that it had that it does not have?
  • Do you wear your smartwatch all the time, or just sometimes?
  • Do you regret getting this particular smartwatch?
  • If you had to choose a different smartwatch, what would it be and why?
  • What type of person would you recommend your smartwatch to?
  • How would you rate your smartwatch on a scale of 1 to 10?

If you approach buying a smartwatch as an investigator, asking the above questions, you will gain incredible insight. More than that, you will find that the people you interview will tell you things that you otherwise would not have even thought to ask.

Great wisdom is found in the abundance of counselors. Be sure to interview people who are in the Apple camp, those who are in the Android camp, and finally, those who are in the Samsung camp. You may want to interview people in other camps as well, but these are the big three. In interviewing people, you will find a wealth of insight that will not only help you determine what features you want on your own smartwatch, but you will also find that doing so will help you narrow down the scope of your investigation to just a few smartwatches, of which I am confident you will find useful.

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