We Wear These Truths To Be Self Evident…

While all smart watches are not created equal, I do believe that in this early day of arm wear innovation, we should consider a common thread for this device in hopes that developers and watch makers alike create and provide the best possible experience. The fact that the smart watch solves a problem that no one really had to begin with gives this mini manifesto a little weight.

We Need A Smart Watch Bill Of Rights

We need to declare what we should expect in a watch, what it should do, how it can innovate, and how it can best serve us. Being that market that drives the future of tech concentric watches, here is my treatise.

The first right, if you will, for any smart watch would be that we should be able to tell the time quickly. It should not take a gesture, button tap, screen tap, or any other ridiculous gesture to be able to tell time. Watches have come and gone because they did everything but tell the time. If there is even an ounce of light, I want to be able to know the exact time, be that on an analog watch face or a digital one. So far watch makers get that, and the space is wide open for the artistic to make truly fascinating digital art work.

A notification vibration should not be so intense it puts my hand to sleep. Watch makers need to make phones that allow for a gentle nudge to either awaken us from our sleep or to alert us of an incoming call or message. Having control of the length and power of that vibration is important; almost as important as setting the length of time for a notification light.

Do we really need a lot of buttons on a smart watch? A power button is more than sufficient. Sure we can put dials on the watch, but creating too much function defeats the purpose of the watch which should be simplicity. Unless a second button is set for a single task, it becomes a clunky user experience. Soft keys and gestures can go a long way on these tiny screens.

smart watches

Some may have the disposable income to blow a lot of money on a watch every year. I believe we should make watch makers create time pieces that endure style and fashion changes. Too many of these watches are nerd shaped and made for male wrists. Maybe it’s time to make female sized watches and to make it look less like a square calculator watch and more like a reasonable fashion piece. Watches should be made to last for a few years, not a few months.

The 500 pound gorilla in the watch space seems to be battery life. Apple and Motorola have emerged as leaders in smart watch sales, but their watches last a day on a charge. The old Sony SmartWatch could get three days on a charge and the Pebble watch can churn on for a few days more. A smart watch is useless at best if it cannot last an entire day at least with some battery to spare. Let’s hope these designers can make a watch last two days. That would be the sweet spot.

Developers should be wary of their applications and not abandon them. As people like to hold onto their watches for some time, abandoning them hurts loyal users. That is probably one of the biggest unspoken rule for application developers, and we as end users need to communicate our appreciation for those that work hard in providing those services, but at the same time, we need these applications to get regular updates. The apps for my Sony Smart Watch have often times not been updated for months if not a full year.

There is certainly a techno lust that we have in trying to force ourselves to need these types of devices. At the end of the day though, we can appreciate using a smart watch to see those notifications and screen our calls. Do we really need them to do more than that? What killer application is there that has not been made yet that will make these devices really desirable for the price? As of now, there aren’t any answers, just anticipation that it’s coming. Until then we can reasonably demand what we want and need for these watches.

I have just listed six must have features for this arm bound technology. What are some that I may have missed?

About the author

Mike Lewis

Born in Norfolk, Virginia. Grew up on the Rappahannock River in Warsaw, Virginia. I've also lived in Lynchburg, VA, Indianapolis, Chicago, LA, Dallas, and Orlando. Now living in Richmond, VA.

Avid geek and enthusiast, metalhead, writer.