Not the most fashionable design, but MS seem to be taking an interesting route for activity/outdoors stuff with notifications from your phone.
Latest addition to the software is 'Hiking' which neatly changes the 'Running' option to work better with longer duration.
Could do without it nagging me about UV exposure, but I'll get round to turning that off.
As with all these things, there are specific use cases where they're very useful. Just a case of picking the one that suits you.
Re: MS Band
My Microsoft Band Work, just dandy, the battery last day; it monitors my heart. It reminds me right thing to do exercise and how hard I work and full of stuff like that, but most importantly for me the killer application is its got an alarm clock that doesn't wake my wife up when I have to get up much earlier than she does.
Responding to messages with a "I'm in meeting" just using your nose (for pointer) appears surprisingly professional when you've actually recycling a vast quantity of lager... But unlikely to appear in any adverts
Re: MS Band
I still can't see it being of much use to most people.
I can take my heart rate with my phone if I want to but unless you're in the 1% who take sport very seriously having a heart monitoring watch is not much more than a novelty...... and it's probably not accurate enough for that anyway.
Re: MS Band
"Anyone remember when Casio et al were advertising digital watches with a 10 *YEAR* battery life? Match that smartwatch manufacturers."
I have one of those Casios on my wrist. The only problem I find is the straps only seem to last two years, then it is a right royal pain trying to get another because, although they all look very similar, apparently nothing else fits.
Re: MS Band
I'm not a huge smartwatch fan (I bought a Pebble, it was kind of neat, it stopped working properly, I never felt at all like buying another) but that's just stupid logic. Similarly we all used to have fairly robust cellphones with two week battery lives...because all they could do was make phone calls and send text messages really painfully and maaaybe, if you were lucky, play Snake. There's a small core of people who've decided that's all they want from a cellphone and who still use similar devices, and more power to them. But far far more people use relatively fragile and short-battery-lived modern smartphones, and they don't do this because they're stupid or sheep, they do it because they want to use all the capabilities they get *in exchange* for the relative fragility and short battery life.
Similarly it's stupid to argue that smartwatches have to have the same longevity as regular watches in order for anyone to want them, because if they can provide sufficient useful capabilities in exchange for the complexity and charging, then sensible people will make sensible choices to buy them. The problem so far is that they haven't.
Re: MS Band
Exactly. Silicon to provide digital watch functionality and powering an LCD don't take that much power. You're never(*) going to get a smartwatch that consumes comparable amounts of power. They do a lot more, and so require more juice: especially so if you have a nice AMOLED screen like my Gear S2 has.
* For appropriately small values of never.
Only zombies need electronics to 'track', body functions, fitness
If you are alive, and your nerves and brain are still fully integrated in your body, your direct information about how your body is doing is perfect and complete.
A fitness wristband seems like a weird and crude joke.
On the other hand, if you are a self described zombie, who believes the body is just a jar holding your brains, with little added function other than arms and legs for transportation and to stuff your face with fast food and fondle the TV remote, fitness trackers must look like a miracle...
Re: MS Band
This guy gets it.
I can't think what it was but a few years ago I was so used to shitty specs of something and comparing them that I forgot things existed with decent specs.... I really can't think what it was.
But a whole day! Amazing if one does what I did and forget about the "never having to change battery before it dies" thing of actual watches.
I agree with the current assessment, but it's a much bolder statement to say it will always remain so. There was 14 years between the Apple Newton and the iPhone. The former was a dud, and the latter started the biggest IT revolution since the 80s.
So all in all, I understand that these companies are still working very hard on it.
> I understand that these companies are still working very hard on it.
Try desperately trying to find a direction after the smartphone bubble came to an end, and keeping the over-all tech bubble inflated, by wildly flinging shit at a Teflon wall, hoping anything will sick, just as capitalism itself begins to falter.
If I were apple, I'd go for a stylish line of riot protection gear. Imagine how sleek the Apple iGasmask is going to be.
Well that'll be 'cos the former was a PDA while the latter is a phone.
Oddly enough nobody ever managed to make PDAs sell as they only appealed to seriously anal business types (i.e. the ones who think having an MBA is actually cool) and geeks with absolutely no life whatsoever.
Mobile phones are a mass market thing and mobile phones that do other things as well are a logical extension.
Actually, smartphones were propelled among the non-business crowd by the social network (and cat photos) frenzy - while speed increased and costs for mobile Internet access were being reduced. Before, there were almost no use case for average Joe and Jane to own a PDA before, and a smartphone later. Blackberry was propelled by push email (when polling was still expensive), but that was again a business use case, not a generic one.
What change in society could propel the smartwatch?
One of my first gigs was designing and coding a bardcode scanning system using SQL 6.0 on an NT backend (good old 7 of 9 font). windows CE appeared on little barcode PDA scanning machines and the rest was history for us - VB6 could be used to code on them, good old zebra printers made the barcodes and the warehouse tracking system was born. Windows 98 desktops using a VBA front end, PDAs on windows CE, SQL on NT4, 7 of 9 fonts, zebra printers, intel dos boot disks, GHOST server and it wouldn't have been possible without the PDAs on offer at the time. I bet there are still windows CE barcode scanners about today.
The PDAs were used by all sorts of staff to check stocks, check PC builds (each component was barcoded so we knew what bit was in each PC), each HDD scanned (each scanner logged onto the system so you knew what its "job" was) loaded the correct GHOST image (dos Intel network boot too!). All this was in 1998 so a long time before ipads etc came about.
PDAs used to sell rather well in the days of the Palmpilot and Psion. Windows CE devices, a bit less so.
Of course what we were all using them for were functions supplied by any half decent smart phone these days. Basic calendaring functions, note taking, documents, e-mail, games, and the ability to create vertical applications. The alternative was a bulky filofax or a huge laptop.
Once phones functionality started increasing, it was obvious the days of PDAs were numbered.
Another ten years and you'll probably be laughed at for having a desktop. You'll either slot your 'phone' into a dock, or more likely it'll all be wireless. All that will be on a desk will be a monitor, keyboard, and mouse because a decent form factor does matter. Everything will travel with you, in addition to being stored online.
> Oddly enough nobody ever managed to make PDAs sell as they only appealed to seriously anal business types (i.e. the ones who think having an MBA is actually cool) and geeks with absolutely no life whatsoever.
Actually Psion and Palm did a half decent stab at them. But you missed out a third category - those who need something to help with their crap memory (one of the common features that go with my condition). I had a Palm 3 which worked very well, lasted aaaaaaaaages on a charge (or was it set of batteries), was small and light, and was really easy to use. It took a lot of abuse before I broke it's digitiser ! Then I had a Treo650 (about the time they were being discounted to shift the stock to make room for a newer model) which had the advantage of not having to carry around two devices (phone and organiser). I used that for (I think) over a decade before I finally switched to a basic Android device.
OK - a phone will store phone numbers, but prior to the "smartphone" the functions were fiddly to use. A paper diary will keep track of what I;ve got on, but it's something else to carry - and big deal this, what's in there stays there unless I copy it by hand.
What's great about my current (Android) phone and the Treo and III is that I can keep my address book and diary synced between my phone, laptop, and tablet. It's one of those "so what" things that until you realise how useful it is, you don't realise how useful it is (I hope that comes across as it's meant).
There's also the issue that this allows me to backup the information - so I have no worries like those for whom losing the phone means "losing their life". I struggle to comprehend the mentality of those who keep their contacts, diary, photos, pretty well all their "life" on this small device - with no thought as to what happens when it gets lost or stolen, or simply breaks. I was at the photo counter in Asda a while back, and there was someone in there asking about bluetoothing their photos (hundreds of them) off the phone because the USB port was faulty and it was going back for "repair" (which usually means replacement with a blank device).
Who says they need to be block-buster billion selling products to be successful?
Do people really expect smartwatches to be as ubiquitous as smartphones? No, why would they? They are not a failure if they don't match smartphone sales. They are just a watch that are selling enough to outsell conventional watches. Pebble have just gone to Kickstarter again and been 978% funded in 3 days. That's almost $10million.
Orlowski is looking at this completely the wrong way.
>Well, you rather get the feeling Apple would like them to be, since the Apple Watch seems to have been their big bet to move on from the rapidly-maturing and margin-thinning smartphone market...
The only way to make PROFDIY IN PURE CAPITLAISM IS to have a have a (temporay or permenant ) monopoly. This is because the system resuilts on lowers marg9ns for every vendoe cos uil;wtesckl;j zxjk, b45guiown8ilwg789;re jkl;5bbm,.;/ beer.
Re: There is *something* somewhere ...
"Or perhaps on a person's wrist with a band to anchor it..."
Nice idea. Let's take the timekeeping device on a wrist band idea a bit further: unlike a smartphone, this surely won't be a device that people look at all the time, so it certainly won't be something they watch, so what to call it? I suggest we name the device the 'Wrist Occasional Glance'.
You know, this could work.
Re: There is *something* somewhere ...
> Or you could ditch the daft, geeky feature list and go with something sort of retro / steampunk. Maybe purely mechanical, with little gears and a way you could see them?......(looks at own wrist).
May as well go full-blown crazy then: http://www.hytwatches.com/collection-h3/watch/h3-titanium-and-platinium-2/