Smartwatches: Are Samsung, Sony and Pebble Doing It Wrong?

myFOX Tech

Smartwatches: Are Samsung, Sony and Pebble Doing It Wrong?

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Watching the proliferation of smartwatches lately really has me thinking about where we're going with wearable tech and where we should be going and I'm convinced that just about everyone is doing it wrong! Yes, that's right. Wrong! At least, in part. A smartwatch that can run apps is awesome. One that can connect to the cloud, and ultimately my media/content, great! A second screen and speakerphone for my cell phone, I'm all for it - though I rarely use speakerphone as I detest people who do this in public waiting in line at the bank, etc. We don't all need to hear your conversation sir/ma'am!!! All of those features are fun, but for the most part, novel. Forget the ecosystem, I want my smartwatch to be connected and aware of my MEcosystem (My Electronic Ecosystem) more than any app or music collection.

The "MEcosystem" isn't some "me generation" egotistical geek fantasy. No, it's much bigger than that. In the digital age, you and I have a unique relationship with the world around us that is increasingly navigable and malleable thanks to high technology. Let me explain...

I wake up when it's still dark and try to be as considerate as possible with the lights I turn on so I don't disturb my wife too much. If I have time, I may check some rss feeds or email before I get on the road. My wife and I don't do the his/her car thing, instead we usually have a car that is more the family car and the car the other person drives when they're not driving the family car... in other words, who drives what is situational. Matter of fact, let's stop there with my examples and look at the use case Bionym is pushing with their new Nymi bracelet. It is a device that uses the electrical activity generated by your heart to authenticate that you're the one wearing it, which makes it very secure (in theory) for doing everything from unlocking your cellphone and acting as an authentication token for secure website access to changing the settings on your thermostat in your apartment when you get home and unlocking your car. For my situation, I'd program it so that when I get in my car after my wife has driven it, the car will adjust all the settings to my MEcosystem. That would be seat height, preprogrammed radio or Sirius stations, side and rearview mirrors and temperature controls.

That's what I want from smartwatch vendors. When I wake up in the morning, I want my watch to turn on dimmed lights so I won't disturb my wife. If I choose to sleep with my watch, I want it to sense an increase in my body temperature and switch on the air conditioning, at whatever threshold I set, so that my sleeping environment is optimal. Controlling my Personal Ecosystem takes a smartwatch beyond just a second screen accessory for my smartphone and truly makes it a "smartwatch." Without that functionality, the smartwatch is just a really convenient bluetooth accessory. The technology is already here! Just look at Kickstarter projects from Omate and WigWag and let your mind romp through a field of possibilities.

Let's go back to the year 2001 for a moment. How many of you looked like you were Batman? On my hip I had my Sony Clie, my cellphone and my work pager. In my bag, I also had an iRiver MP3 player and laptop. The Handspring Treo 180 was the first step toward changing that equipment carry nightmare, with the iPhone revolutionizing it. I remember the joy of having a smartphone that did everything a belt full of devices used to do. One gadget to rule them all; or at least my Bat-belt clutter. Today I might have at any one time: a smartphone, fitness watch/band, password manager app and NFC ring or tag(s). Tomorrow, a smartwatch. Matter of fact, let me take it one step further and say that I like the direction Sony is headed so, tomorrow a tablet and a smartwatch. Period.

There are definitely signs that some vendors may be thinking this way, but in order to have the breadth of connected tech and services needed to support a unified and consistent MEcosystem experience, companies with vast resources like Google, Apple and Samsung will need to buy in to the notion that we want more than their services and content ecosystems. More than social networks and predictive search- though I'm a huge fan, obviously. Besides, from a business perspective, the metadata that could be gained from supporting a MEcosystem of products and services would be invaluable to both parties (here comes the tinfoil hat commentary), though having the ability to opt out of such data collection would need to be a fundamental part of the MEcosystem.

 

photos courtesy: flickr Wright Way Photography, Wil

Watching the proliferation of smartwatches lately really has me thinking about where we're going with wearable tech and where we should

be going and I'm convinced that just about everyone is doing it wrong! Yes, that's right. Wrong! At least, in part. A smartwatch that can

run apps is awesome. One that can connect to the cloud, and ultimately my media/content, great! A second screen and speakerphone for my

cell phone, I'm all for it - though I rarely use speakerphone as I detest people who do this in public waiting in line at the bank, etc.

We don't all need to hear your conversation sir/ma'am!!! All of those features are fun, but for the most part, novel. Forget the

ecosystem, I want my smartwatch to be connected and aware of my MEcosystem (My Electronic Ecosystem) more than any app or music

collection.

The "MEcosystem" isn't some "me generation" egotistical geek fantasy. No, it's much bigger than that. In the digital age, you and I have

a unique relationship with the world around us that is increasingly navigable and malleable thanks to high technology. Let me explain...

I wake up when it's still dark and try to be as considerate as possible with the lights I turn on so I don't disturb my wife too much. If

I have time, I may check some rss feeds or email before I get on the road. My wife and I don't do the his/her car thing, instead we

usually have a car that is more the family car and the car the other person drives when they're not driving the family car... in other

words, who drives what is situational. Matter of fact, let's stop there with my examples and look at the use case Bionym is pushing with

their new Nymi bracelet. It is a device that uses the electrical activity generated by your heart to authenticate that you're the one

wearing it, which makes it very secure (in theory) for doing everything from unlocking your cellphone and acting as an authentication

token for secure website access to changing the settings on your thermostat in your apartment when you get home and unlocking your car.

For my situation, I'd program it so that when I get in my car after my wife has driven it, the car will adjust all the settings to my

MEcosystem. That would be seat height, preprogrammed radio or Sirius stations, side and rearview mirrors and temperature controls.

That's what I want from smartwatch vendors. When I wake up in the morning, I want my watch to turn on dimmed lights so I won't disturb my

wife. If I choose to sleep with my watch, I want it to sense an increase in my body temperature and switch on the air conditioning, at

whatever threshold I set, so that my sleeping environment is optimal. Controlling my Personal Ecosystem takes a smartwatch beyond just a

second screen accessory for my smartphone and truly makes it a "smartwatch." Without that functionality, the smartwatch is just a really

convenient bluetooth accessory. The technology is already here! Just look at Kickstarter projects from Omate and WigWag and let your mind

romp through a field of possibilities.

Let's go back to the year 2001 for a moment. How many of you looked like you were Batman? On my hip I had my Sony Clie, my cellphone and

my work pager. In my bag, I also had an iRiver MP3 player and laptop. The Handspring Treo 180 was the first step toward changing that

eqipment carry nightmare, with the iPhone revolutionizing it. I remember the joy of having a smartphone that did everything a belt full

of devices used to do. One gadget to rule them all; or at least my Bat-belt clutter. Today I might have at any one time: a smartphone,

fitness watch/band, password manager app and NFC ring or tag(s). Tomorrow, a smartwatch. Matter of fact, let me take it one step further

and say that I like the direction Sony is headed so, tomorrow a tablet and a smartwatch. Period.

There are definitely signs that some vendors may be thinking this way, but in order to have the breadth of connected tech and services

needed to support a unified and consistent MEcosystem experience, companies with vast resources like Google, Apple and Samsung will need

to buy in to the notion that we want more than their services and content ecosystems. More than social networks and predictive search-

though I'm a huge fan, obviously. Besides, from a business perspective, the metadata that could be gained from supporting a MEcosystem of

products and services would be invaluable to both parties (here comes the tinfoil hat commentary), though having the ability to opt out

of such data collection would need to be a fundamental part of the MEcosystem.

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