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5 things I hate about the iWatch

Posted by Ben Smith on 1st May 2013

So the iWatch is a thing now – maybe not a real thing like an actual announced product, but it is a thing at least as far as the media are concerned. We have to come to terms with this. Smart watches are a thing too; all the cool kids are working on one they tell us. We are all meant to be dreadfully excited about this.

I’m not. I’m really, really not. I can’t stress this enough. Here’s why:

1. IT DOESN’T EXIST

I’m sorry to be a buzzkill, but I feel this point is quite important – the iWatch in NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM exists as a real product.

The only basis for this story is a rumour started in early February by an ex-Apple employee who left 20 years ago saying he thought it would be a good idea. That’s it. In fact not only that, but he openly admitted: “his insights do not come from insider information”.

2. Even if it is in development, it sounds rubbish

Again, if we go back to the original rumours, Bruce Tognazzini predicted: “the “killer app” will be that [the iWatch] will unlock the screen on the [iPhone] when it is brought close, and be able to make the phone ring and light up when the owner is trying to find it.”

Excuse me if I don’t need to pick my jaw up off the floor for that one.

3. The media coverage has been ridiculous

Of course this hasn’t stopped an avalanche of nonsense being written about the iWatch.

I think my favourites are the raft of magazines running “what the iWatch might look like” stories. I mean, thanks and all, but that really is genuinely useless. Given the media’s proven ability to 100% accurately predict the features of the next iPhone forgive me if I’m just a touch sceptical on this one.

It would also be nice if the coverage wasn’t so outrageously fawning. I like Apple products, but it isn’t infallible. Maybe, just maybe, this thing that sounds rubbish, is rubbish, and even if it is launched maybe it will tank horribly.

4. This isn’t, again ISN’T, the dawn of the age of wearable technology

At best it’s a nice watch. If everyone cared so much about the future of wearable technology why did no one, and I mean no one, even realise Sony had basically launched the iWatch 2 years ago?

And seriously, who the hell is going to wear Google Glass? Other than Sergey Brin and the models he’s paid to stand next to him at conferences so it doesn’t look so weird that he’s wearing them in the first place?

The fact is the really important tech fundamentals that need to be in place to enable properly exciting, groundbreaking wearable tech – as always, power and batteries – aren’t there yet (oh look, someone who has used Google Glass saying it kills the battery as soon as you actually try and do anything with them).

5. NONE OF THIS IS EVEN VERY INTERESTING

Wearable tech could be a hugely promising area for innovation in the coming years. But a watch with a small processor in it that checks your emails? A wristband that tracks how far you’ve run? REALLY? We’re meant to care?

I have no doubt that there are more interesting wearable technologies in development in labs around the world. So why not find out about those huh? Let’s hear about them; let’s talk about them. That would be interesting.

But seriously I get it, I do. Rumours are fun. Why else do I check the football gossip columns every day when I know they are 99.9999999% tosh?

My point is just that there is so much amazing work being done in the broad church of technology that I’d like to see some of that work get just a few more column inches – and maybe then the rumours can be treated as such, not as news.

 

Photo courtesy of Brett Jordan.

Ben Smith

Ben’s deep knowledge of sectors as diverse as electronics and IT, cleantech and medtech means he has a wide range of experience to draw on for his clients – ensuring that no two campaigns are the same. Ben’s expertise lies in helping his clients to raise their profiles beyond trade media and he has a proven track record in running campaigns that deliver coverage in national, business and consumer publications.

  • Jez C

    Not sure about this – I understand the frustration with Apple rumours dwarfing other tech news but I think it’s fine to promote products that don’t exist. Feedback in the design cycle is critical to giving users what they want and even what they don’t think they want… yet! We promote items that don’t exist to prove markets and user pull, also to show capabilities that otherwise must remain secret. I’m just jealous that Apple have managed to outsource this work of promotion for free!

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