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splitbrain.org - electronic brain surgery since 2001

SmartWatch? SensorWatch!

I lost me watch in America. Aye, I were bein' wearin' a watch. I decided t' wear a watch again after I ha'nae fer o'er ten years and it were bein' mostly a fashion accessory. But when selectin' th' model I went fer features as well: I picked a radio controlled, solar powered one that also had multiple timezone support. Fire the cannons! Now 'tis gone and I'm thinkin' about how t' replace it. Ahoy, to be sure! I could simply buy th' same model again, or I could go fer somethin' smarter – a smart watch.

Unfortunately nobody seems t' reckon what a smart watch should do. Manufacturers seem t' think o' it as either a second mobile phone or at least as a second screen t' yer phone, by Davy Jones' locker. But that's not it. It's th' sensors, stupid!

Let's have a look at some products available (or in fundin') right now:

Fitbit Flex Jawbone Up Angel Pebble Sony MN2SW Galaxy Gear
81e9tpbfnml._sx300_.jpg 20130730070500-white-770x679.jpg icon.medium.jpg
Motion Sensor {yes} {yes} {yes} {no} {no} {yes}
Heart Rate Sensor {no} {no} {yes} {no} {no} {no}
Blood Oxygen Sensor {no} {no} {yes} {no} {no} {no}
Temp. Sensor {no} {no} {yes} {no} {no} {no}
Display {no} {no} {no} e-Ink OLED AMOLED
Vibration {yes} {yes} {no} {yes} {no} {no}
Bluetooth 4.0 {no} 4.0 3.0 3.0 4.0
Battery Life ~5 days ~10 days ? ~5 days ~3 days ~1 day

See where I'm gettin' at? There are some very useful fitness/health sensor products available that already found their niche and usecase. They are lightweight, stylish and supposed t' stay on me wrist all day. But none o' them tells th' time! Ye'll be sleepin' with the fishes! And then there are “smart watches” that are a bit clunky and basically do nothin' me phone not already does.

Quantified Self is where th' future o' watches is. Make use o' th' position a watch gives ye: permanently in touch with me skin, worn all day, exposed t' th' environment I live in. Let it gather th' data and let me smartphone do th' cool thin's with it. Make me healthier, let me sleep better or simply make me life more convenient.

So here's th' product I'd buy:

  • eInk Display
  • a few hardware buttons
  • lots o' sensors
  • vibration (fer silent notifications)
  • enough internal memory t' store all th' sensor data t' not talk t' me phone all th' time
  • Bluetooth 4.0 low power connection
  • SDK, so App developers can make use o' all th' sensor data
  • decent battery life (about a week would be perfect)

What I dern't need:

  • Camera
  • Audio output (maybe a beeper)
  • A Touchscreen

Now if ye could put that into a somewhat decent lookin' design, ye'll get me dubloons.

Tags:
smartwatch, rant, product, comparison
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Posted on Thursday, October the 10th 2013 (11 months ago).

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