I must admit that I jumped on the smartwatch train several years ago, probably when it was not yet worth it. After my first Motorola Moto 360, I wore many different models. Some I wore for fun, others for work, but now I can't help but wear a smartwatch.
Smartwatches should not be essential
Wearable smart devices are not essential in everyday life, I've always said that. Having apps, a voice assistant, or a pedometer on your wrist doesn't make a huge difference to having these functions on your smartphone. Also, the few installable apps that are available aren't that useful.
If you've always lived without a smartwatch, you can easily go on without one. Wearables are not essential but are a luxury, an extra comfort that you should be able to do without. This is not, however, the case for the converted who can no longer leave the house without a smartwatch...
I've never been a watch guy...
That's right, I've never been a watch guy. Before 2014 it was impossible to find a watch around my wrist. I do not think I have ever owned one, perhaps also because of my sporting "career". I have played tennis almost all my life and the chore of having to put it on and take it off whenever I was training or not was a pain. I've was at ease on the court without a watch, and became the same off it. I got used to not having anything on the wrist, even off the court.
Moreover, I have always brought with me first and foremost and mobile phone and then, later, a smartphone. What is the point of a watch when I can already consult the time from my phone?
...then it all changed
The arrival of Moto 360, one of the first three wearables on the market to promote the newly born Android Wear, however, immediately aroused my interest. I was so curious to try the first round screen smartwatch that I had it imported directly from the US (to Italy) paying significantly more than I should.
After a short period of adjustment, I never abandoned it. I'll tell you more, that wonderful product was only completely retired with my arrival here at AndroidPIT in July 2017.
Why did I find it impossible to give up smartwatching?
Taking a step back again, what has changed my behavior from never having a watch on my wrist to never leaving home without one? I think it was a combination of necessity and practicality that turned into a habit.
This is the story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down, thanks to the smartwatch on my wrist...
In my previous job as a computer technician I had to travel up and down Friuli (a northeast Italian region) every day, covering kilometers over kilometers and driving for hours. My days were mostly spent in a company van, I certainly couldn't use my smartphone. The continuous arrival of emails, updates and new tasks that I could not miss led me to constantly look at the smartwatch. I had no time to pull over to check each email. The watch had also become a means of replying to messages from acquaintances and checking other notifications.
I think that the ability to take a quick look at the notifications and decide in no time at all if it was worth ignoring them or take out the smartphone to interact with them has made the difference, allowing me to save several hours of time lost on the phone over the course of a year.
And do we want to talk about the precious battery charge saved on my smartphone that is not "woken up" hundreds of times a day less? Of course, as I said at the beginning you survive anyway, but in that period I realized that without the watch I would have felt lost or otherwise very slow.
Fewer functions than the smartphone, fortunately!
Back to today, and these necessities have disappeared but my habits are hard to shake. The first thing I do every day when I wake up is to fasten my smartwatch strap to my wrist and the last thing I do before I go to bed is to remove it and charge it next to my smartphone. Rarely in recent years have I left home without a watch and, when I did, I continued to look at my empty wrist every time I felt my pocket vibrate, actually increasing the frustration of leaving the gadget on the bedside table.
The ability to take a quick look at my wrist while my smartphone continues to stay in my pocket, backpack or face down on my desk gives me the impression of 'detoxifying' myself from those hellish contraptions full of apps that consume entire minutes of my precious time every time I hold them.
Sometimes it's nice not to get lost among the WhatsApp groups, Facebook or my Instagram feed, which happens every time I unlock my smartphone (all functions that are not yet possible or that it's not practical to do from a smartwatch), to focus on something more important. Smartwatches are superfluous but once you're used to having one on your wrist you can't go back.
Do you have a smartwatch or a smartband on your wrist? Do you miss it when you don't wear it?