Is My Smartwatch too Smart For Me?

Ok, confession time: I’m not 21.

Or 25.

Or… well, you get the picture.

Even though I’m not a ‘millennial’ (whatever happened to Gen Y?) I do love digital technology and the brilliance of how it can help us do today what we couldn’t do yesterday.

Yes, I made a big assumption in the above paragraph i.e. that you have to be a 20-something to be able to grasp the intricacies of all things digital.

Which is, of course poppycock.

What�is�undeniable though is that the adoption rates of new technologies among older demographics is lower than with ‘digital natives’. Why? Put simply, it’s human nature to retain the habits and fashions of our youth.

I still remember as a young boy seeing old men walking around the city in hats; the fashion of their youth.mens-hats-43

Which brings us to Smartwatches, the hats of today. Like many of us I watched in bewilderment and admiration at the frenzy whipped up by the launch of the Apple Watch. What a toy, I scoffed.

That was until a friend bought one and raved about how amazing it was. He also said it was just a gadget; but one he couldn’t do without.

Not being the slightest bit competitive, from that moment on I HAD to have a smartwatch. But rather than follow the herd I did my research. That was was when I discovered Kickstarter sensation Pebble smartwatches.

On the back of $20.3 million worth of pre-orders on the crowdfunding site, the new Pebble Time release promised to be the smartest of smartwatches. So smart and so cool that it’s ‘geek chic’. People were breathless in anticipation of touching this incredible new watch.

i-can-t-keep-calm-because-i-m-so-freakin-excitedOf course I placed my order.

There was no hiding it; I couldn’t wait to get it! Everyone in the office was sick of me going on about how fantastic my new watch was going to be. My excitement was palpable right up to the day I received my black, gleaming Pebble Time.

And there it was. And then, well, is that all? I think marketers call it the post-purchase dissonance blues (I added the blues part but same, same).

It was nice, it looked great but after playing with it for 10 minutes I was bored. It was hard to read – maybe you need millenial powered eyes – and the apps are a little clunky. Which is not surprising I guess as it’s essentially Pebble 2.0; I’m sure we’ll look back at this version in 2-3 years and be amazed at how ancient it seems as we do with all ‘old’ technology.

Maybe I’m missing something, though. Or maybe I’ve been spoiled by Apple whose iPad and iPhone 6 – which, unlike Pebble Time is mature technology – I love along with the App Store.

The other alternative of course is that the wonders of smartphones may be above my ability to comprehend them. If that’s the case, that’s fine.

Looking on the bright side, I now have a new hobby: working out what all the fuss was about.


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Peter Applebaum

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