The basic problem with all of the smartwatches and other wearables is that there's no getting around the fact that they're useless unless there is some way to get data into them from, and out of them to, ourselves.
Either they have to have a keyboard to enter data (which instantly constrains their size), or they have to use voice input (which shares all of your communications with anyone in earshot).
Either they have to have a screen to display data (which instantly constrains their size), or they have to have something hanging off your face (which may or may not be cool).
Of those tradeoffs, I prefer the keyboard and screen combo; but our wrists, no matter how manly, just aren't big enough to do a good job.
So overall I like the Ciccarese design below, which, while not manly enough as it stands, has the right idea: forget our puny wrists, put that keyboard and screen on the back_of_my_hand! Yessir, that will do it:
8th January, 2014 @ 12:17 p.m. (California Time)
Karl L said: "Just because something is strapped to your wrist doesn't make it a watch. The size of this thing is ludicrous. It looks bigger than my ipod touch."
That is true but this is not a watch at all, it is a full smartphone with the added functionality of a watch on top of the MYRIAD of things that a smartphone can do. And of course the difference between a full smartphone and a watch is humongous to say the least. It is not intended as a fancy watch whatsoever, it never was, it is intended as it plainly is, as a fully modern smarthphone that has been shrunk as much as it is humanly possible with current technology so it can be placed on the wrist.
And that is a first generation device, give it time, with time it may become somewhat smaller, in a few more years, in a couple of generations it could shrink significantly, perhaps having a thinner bezel (at the edges) with the small but higher resolution screen covering much more of the top surface (a thinner frame) and overall lighter weight and also perhaps thinner from top to bottom. Or the functionality improving, the same as it has happen with other smartphones. Give it some time, it has to start somewhere.
I would buy it, I wanted to have something like this since I was a teenager and I used those Casio calculator watches with phone numbers databases, I loved them! I actually put them to good use. That was functionality that I REALLY used back then. I mean they had watch, world time, calculator, sports timer, alarm, schedule alarm, count back timer (like a kitchen timer) and a phone numbers database! Yes, back there in the 80's! And I really used ALL of those functions, YES I did. What I wanted was for Casio to continue to improve them and make them better with more functionality and perhaps somewhat better quality.
Back there that was innovative and those (and the G-Shock types) were considered big in that time but they became a fad and then after a while nobody cared anymore about their size and they became a normal thing. What happened to Casio is that they goofed cause they innovated when they introduced such watches cause they were selling pretty well (I saw a helluva lot of people with them back there) but Casio stopped improving them altogether after a few years!
I mean the phone database function only stored like 8 alphanumeric characters for the name and then the phone numbers which was very limited and I had to write the names with abbreviations but it was still something that I was able to really use. Computer memory and LCD screens continued to improve dramatically over the years but 15 years after that their phone memory was about the same with the same limited 8 alphanumeric characters! And it was able to store about 50 phones or 100 in the top model. And they were not water proof like the G-ShocK models but they were at least water resistant, again making them practical for everyday use.
They even had a model that had an infrared remote control built in that really worked but again it was somewhat limited (I had one of those too and the remote really worked). With the tremendous and super fast improvements in electronics they could have improved their calculator database watches or their calculator remote control watches a helluva lot but they stood still and did NOTHING!
With the aforementioned advances in electronics they could have easily produced in a few years after that a watch that had SEVERAL of those functions combined into a single watch! They could have produced a watch that had more memory with enough alphanumeric characters for full name and last name and more numbers memory and with alternate phone numbers for each name for example such as work and home phone numbers and eventually for cell numbers and they could have combined the remote control functions into the mix with the database functions. Also they could have added the function of storing other things such as people addresses for example, Nope, none of that.
I remember them also having one watch with a 80 decibels alarm that was much louder than the regular alarm that the calculator watches had. They could have put many of those functions into a single watch easily after a few years. And another thing is that the plastic bezels didn't last more than a few years so I was hoping that they would produce a calculator watch model with all those functions but with a stainless steel bezel and a more scratch resistant glass.
I mean the bezels lasted like three years or a little more of continuous use so I replaced them about every 3 or 4 years cause they were not that expensive (about $40) so it was very doable, nothing to it but I would rather have them also have a somewhat more expensive model as an option that had a more higher quality and longer lasting bezel but they never did anything like that and the bezels was gone in 3 or 4 years but the electronics were working like a charm! The exception was the calculator buttons that were starting to break at about that time too which again were part of the inexpensive bezel design.
I had this picture in my mind of Casio one day producing this Superwatch (yes that is the generic name that I gave it) with the remote control functionality (but improved), with all the other calculator and databank (as they were called) functionality but improved too perhaps combined with the 80 decibels alarm too. And it coming in two versions, a more affordable plastic bezel version and one more expensive with a stainless steel bezel and wristband. No, definitely not those that were metal electroplated but that were still plastic underneath, those had the metal layer corrode quickly with sweat and only the wristband that was truly made of metal kept the look, those were a pity. I mean one with a REAL stainless steel bezel and scratch resistant glass.
I would have easily paid Casio $200 (really gladly) for such a watch but they never did it or anything like that and they COULD have done it. I kept waiting, and waiting but they goofed, THEY GOOFED BADLY. Talk about a missed opportunity to produce a truly outstanding watch that back there would have been the equivalent of a Swiss Army knife of watches, something that nobody else had and that would have been truly useful. Timex had cheap copies of their calculator watches but they never were anywhere as good as the Casio ones and Casio lost the opportunity to produce a watch that would been as big a sensations as their calculator watches originally were or even bigger a sensation but they lost their edge, completely.
To this day I'm still waiting for that watch but I think that it could be too late for such a thing now, these new smartwatches is were I think they are going to go but I want one with full phone functionality, that is what interest me.
I do not mind the somewhat large size because having all that functionality at the wrist works for me. And I do not care about some people that comment that something like this being so big feels like you are attracting too much attention, I would not buy it for what others would think about it, I couldn't care one freaking bit about that. I DO care about all the functionality in a relatively compact package that is easy to carry around and that doesn't keep you having your attention on where the heck did you place your phone.
One thing that I strongly believe they will need is more protection just like with any other smartphone, I mean you see how many people buy cases and transparent screen protectors for their smartphones. I'm afraid that these devices need the same kind of protection just the same. Actually I think that they need it even more because as a wrist device they are far more susceptible to withstand a hit because in everyday use one moves the arms rather swiftly in many occasions and sometimes one hits something with the watch by mistake. That happens with watches pretty often and I remember how my Casio watches had sometimes paint from the walls in them that came from me hitting them against the walls when I was sleeping. Simply these wrist devices will probably be exposed to hits more than smartphones cause those are usually kept in a pocket or in a purse.
The exception to that is that it will be far less probable for them fall to the floor, it can still happen when you remove them for any reason but it will be less probable. But anyway the issue of the constant hands motion will more than balance it out and expose them about the same or more to damage so they will need protective gear just the same for both the bezel and the glass and I'm afraid that that can only make them even larger but I rather have them protected even if it means that.
That would be definitely way better than the Superwatch that I always wanted Casio to produce but failed to do. The heck I would buy one.
27th March, 2014 @ 9:17 p.m. (California Time)