Friday, December 11, 2015

Smartwatch Useful-Distractor?

Smartwatches are a fairly new item on the market. They connect to a smartphone and allow the user to access certain apps or tools right from their wrist. But are smartwatches actually useful, or are they just another fancy gadget to distract ourselves with?
I don’t see a functional use for smartwatches in today’s world. Everyone carries around a cell phone, usually a smart phone. Taking out a smartphone to check the time or a notification is very common. A smartwatch simply speeds up this checking by a couple seconds. Since we all carry around our phones, a smartwatch really isn’t necessary. There are, however, a few benefits a smartwatch has over a smartphone. A watch is always on your wrist, therefore it can take very easy heart rate measurements or other health related measurements. It is also a lot better for measuring the amount of steps one takes, since it does not leave the person side, nor can it be held in a way that will skew the counter (if used properly of course). So other than health related benefits from a smartwatch I don’t see them really being useful, unless somehow in the future no one had phones. This would be a future where the smartwatch has completely taken over the phone, meaning it has grown technologically to be more powerful and more useful simply because it is always on your wrist.
However, this future is simply speculation. It may happen, but in the current day smartwatches only serve as an extra distraction in our constantly data streaming lives. This device is constantly on your wrist. Whenever you get a notification on your phone, your watch lights up as well. You may not be looking at your phone every second. It might even be away or in your pocket, where you might not notice it light up. However, with the smartwatch being directly on your wrist, you will notice every small notification. You will be distracted by every small notification. This half a second that it may take for you to notice or look at what just lit up, just took focus away from whatever was actually being done. An every time the mind gets distracted, it needs  a few seconds to determine what it was doing before. A smartwatch is truly a distraction machine, more so that the phones we obsess over. There are benefits from being connected 24/7, but there are also downsides of being constantly distracted by this connection.

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