My first wearable tech

I have always worn a wrist watch and I’ve always liked drawing even through my working life has been dominated by things digital. When my Timex explorer watch compass needle got stuck on the 10 minute notch, everything became 10 past, it was “Time” for a new something. I was at a meeting some weeks earlier on a construction site and noticed the guys there were all wearing fitness bands. Smart watches and fitness bands really pervaded the market in 2014 in a bigger way and apple announced they were going to develop a watch. Whilst some people think I love gadgets I always think cost – benefit and didn’t want to be one of those jumping on a fashionable band wagon. If I was going to get some sort of wearable then it needed to be a “smart” move for me.

Digital connection

Digital connection

When we upgraded our business phones contracts I plumped for a larger screen and something with a pen, that was the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. I liked the idea of being able to scribble notes and maybe do some sketches. The reviews were good and when I started using the device it became less of a phone and more of a pocket computer / note book. The pen was great as I started using it to do composites for my kids face painting and latterly a portrait of my wife. The other benefits are that it has grunt, and I can easily watch a movie, view PowerPoint slides and write documents. I used the health application to great effect to lose a bit of weight and was interested in how the app was evolving it’s integration into other products such as scales, heart rate monitors and of course the watch.

In doing all the usual stuff of reviewing fitness bands and watches I was cautious of how it would benefit me.

  • I needed something I could see the time on. I prefer analogue because it, more by accident, divides the day into 2 and gives a sense of how close we are to a point rather than stimulating a mental calculation to work it out, plus it’s stylish to have a watch face.
  • I need to keep track on my fitness so the pedometer is important as it’s now giving me a better sense of how sedentary I am.
  • My day is run by alarms. Get to a meeting, pick up the kids, pick up the wife all that sort of stuff that is programmed into my phone and now alerts me on my wrist.
  • I keep my phone down . Like most people I put the phone down then go off to make a cup of tea or some other thing that takes me away from my desk. An important call comes in and I then have to race, if I hear it, get the phone and accidentally kill the call.

So these are the key issues, battery life is just something you have to roll with but I decides it had to be more than a day and I didn’t want a complex charging setup. When you are on the go carrying lots of bits of tech is a nightmare.

I love the Pebble watch and seen there meteoric rise and what they have put into the market place raising the bar. I like the intelligent use of the e-ink displays, having had kindles for years. Integration with my phone would be easy for the basics but I was already sucked into some of the Samsung applications. (Well done Samsung you got me there)

Samsung started out with inspector gadget’s watch. It had everything and most of it was useless and battery draining. My friend Chris has a pebble watch and we joked about how the Gear was first presented as a discrete way of checking on things, looking at your watch is not discrete people think you aren’t paying attention or want to be somewhere else. Samsung wants to be a desirable fashion brand like Apple. Unlike Apple, they produce a range of great products and are keen to make their brand affordable, they have the size and technological range to bring ideas and technology into the melting pot of creativity.

The Samsung Gear 2 quickly rose to the top of my list ticking the boxes. I thought let’s not dress this up but get the orange colour it will be a talking point. I even got an orange case for the phone so I was coordinated. Hey I’m part designer I’m allowed to be trendy. On interesting thing was they included the IR beamer and I can control the TV and Cable box, which is very handy when the kids have it to loud. When we go out I might change the watch face but I have the low energy one. I charge the device every 2 days and I have become attached to it.

What is interesting is the number of people who keep asking “is that the apple watch?” Samsung take that as a compliment because I say “No it’s better than an apple watch it’s a Samsung gear 2!”

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