Why the Apple Watch Failed

I certainly can’t speak for the rest of humanity but I know why I didn’t have any interest in the Apple watch from the start. It’s a watch. I’ve worn watches for over fifty years. The first really exciting piece of wearable technology needs a clean break with the mechanical past. A band with a round face trying to replicate a graphic and text display makes no sense to me.

Having waited to see what Apple would do and realizing that it was going to be a watch (whatever else it did) I started looking at fitness bands as my old Swiss Army watch began to fail. I had thought step counters and heart beat monitors were ok but didn’t make much sense for me until I realized they did other things. And they incidentally told time and all the things you do with timers. That meant I could have something different, a functional band as minimalist decoration with no hint of the twentieth century. That was it. No more twentieth century stuff. That century was a bad idea and wrist watches are the penultimate wearable of the twentieth century if you don’t count pens as a wearable device and who wants to deal with pens and pen holders to put them in. This is obviously very troubled country in which to plant your first twenty-first century wearable technology. Bad idea . . .

So I bought myself a Microsoft Health Band for Christmas. Simple, black (other colors available), a nice wide screen that I wear on the inside of my wrist. No reason for anyone else to see the email alerts with sender and subject that I get or the time that shows if nothing else is showing. It tracks all the metabolic things that I could wish to know about and syncs continuously with my phone. And it is, like all other intelligent devices, steadily updated and growing in capability each month. It also includes my Starbucks card bar code so I don’t even have to take out my phone for espresso. At first you had to press a button to get it to monitor your sleep (fun but not important as I do a pretty good job of monitoring my sleep myself) but now it knows when I go to sleep automatically and lets me know how long I slept. Better, as I’ve been surprised by that. Guess I dozed off there for a bit . . .

Maybe you want to stay with very a twentieth century world of a dial on your wrist but I certainly can’t imagine why. The focus needs to be on completely new kinds of personal information with time as just another piece. And we already have flexible screens. Give me functional information that I can easily control and keep your wrist watch with your grandfather’s pocket watch. I have one of those, too.

Written by

Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store