I thought the kids/yoof/hipsters had stopped wearing wrist watches these days.
"The time's on me phone"
The Apple Watch will require daily charging thanks to its poor battery life, Apple CEO Tim Cook has admitted. The daily maintenance is reminiscent of the bad old days when timepieces needed to be wound up to keep them ticking. Speaking at a live Q+A, the Apple boss said: "We think people are going to use it so much you will …
"I've no use for one, but I can't see the problem of having a 2nd device to charge every night. With wireless charging, just leave phone and watch on charging pad."
Perhaps, but last I heard, the iWatch doesn't support Qi or the like. That said, there also needs to be consideration for people, say, on the go who may not have ready access to a charger at night or who go the zombie route and don't sleep one night to make some hectic deadline. It would be nice to have a timepiece capable of holding its own for a longer period, say at least two days unassisted. I'm curious about the concept myself, but at this point none of these have hit the the price/perk sweet spot, and I'm willing to wait. I'm probably more inclined to pick an e-ink-based device that can throw up a passive display. Or maybe something like the Qualcomm Toq, only with a more-refined interface.
It's like a regression. Turn of the 20th Century soldiers started wearing wristwatches, so they didn't have to use busy hands to pull a pocket watch (usually on a chain) out, and open it to read the time.
Wristwatches caught on because they are practical.
Now the hapless youngsters have gone back to pulling a device out of their pockets, opening the case, if they have that type, and touching a button to light up the time.
Instead of just turning their wrist a bit to see the time.
When this tech will also be able to show me incoming mails and IM/SMS, I'll upgrade...
I have a Pebble watch (it was a gift, not sure I'd have bothered to pay for one) and it does show me incoming stuff. Short stuff it displays, but email just tells me I've got an email. It does show the CLI of incoming calls and I can tell the phone to reject the call using one of the watch buttons.
It only needs charging once a week, too.
(contrast my 30yr-old Casio LCD watch which lasts several years on a battery and is still working)
Is your Pebble on old firmware? They show all phone notifications including content (like BBC Sports goal updates etc), and I can read email content on mine, was well as whole SMS etc. It doesn't just show the CLI, it pulls up the contact name from the phone.
The Pebble also has a daylight vis display with memory, dozens of apps for maps, GPS, compass, fitness and loads of other useless stuff too like the ability to make your own custom watchfaces and apps.
I haven't worn a watch since I was seven. As a consequence, I am very good at estimating the time. It's unusual for me to be more than 5 minutes out and I can usually guess more accurately than that. I use my phone more often than I need to tell the time so having the time on my wrist is absolutely no use to me.
@Mage ""You’re going to wind up charging it daily,” he emphasised."
Well, according to Mr Cook, "You’re going to wind up charging it daily,” he emphasised.
So it's going to be like those wind up torches, obviously. Just attach the eco-friendly winding handle conveniently supplied with every watch and wind it for 5 minutes for each hour of planned operation and think of the bonus calories you're burning off at the same time. Win-win for every fanboi.
But my understanding is that this does not work out of the box with those iPhones ! The extra costs involved in wireless chargers, new backs for your phone etc.. is way to much, when you just forked out for a new wardrobe to allow your to transport your HUGE (and that's Apples words) new iPhone is beyond most peoples budgets.
As the device hasn't gone on sale yet there seems to be a lot of fuzzy infor doing the rounds.
If my memory is correct, Apple said
that it will work with the iPhone 5S. In fact that is the onlyt way to get ApplePay working with an iPhone 5S
By modern standards, the iPhone 5S is not a huge phone.
We shall have to wait and see what the thing is with charging these watchlike things.
I do know on thing for sure.
I won't be buying any smart watch no matter who makes it. Getting watch staps to go round my huge bony wrists is next to impossible and for devices that come with builtIn straps/bracelets type thingies, then they are a clear no-go for me.
Now if someone was to put one on a nice gold chain and in a case like a proper pocket watch I might be interested.
"Other more expensive Swiss ones were better of course"
And the cost of a genuine Swiss watch is now approaching what I'd consider car money. However for any sadsters currently dependent upon their smartphone to tell them the time, they might consider upgrading to a Seiko 5. That's a lovely piece of self winding mechanical precision (from Singapore last time I looked) offered in a range of cases and dial designs for around the fifty quid mark.
A lot of people aren't wearing watches any more because they carry a phone and they use that instead. What would make them look at their wrist for information about emails, chats, etc. when they're not doing that even for something as simple as the time of day?
Some people wear a watch as a fashion statement (hence the large market in fake Rolexes, etc). But I can't see someone who does that swapping their bejewelled hunk of stylish polished Swiss perfection for something cheaply made out of plastic from Apple.
Some people wear a watch simply because they want to know the time of day. There's nothing about an iWatch that sounds like it does that job better, or at all after 24hrs away from a mains socket.
The market for iWatch is supposedly China and handwritten tweets
To read short messages in chinese easily without a lot of context you need to know the order the strokes were made in. The iWatch has a messaging app where you can draw a chinese character and it is sent to the recipient a stroke at a time in real time, so they can get your tweet and understand it quickly.
Not quite: you can always understand the meaning of written Chinese messages - this is as expressive as any other written language, and a lot more compact than many. The problems arise in verbal communication.
Mandaran Chinese has a very small repertoire of sounds, compared to other languages, so the number of homophones is very high: cases like the English "red" and "read" are much more commonplace. The fact that Mandarin is actually a second language for most of the population just adds to this confusion.
So when speaking face to face, it's not uncommon for Chinese to make a "writing" gesture of part of the word that they're saying, in order to disambiguate a word that sounds the same. On the phone, this option is not available.
Still, it sounds like someone at Apple inventing an application for this watch, rather than them inventing the watch to fill a need.
I also recall that all but the most expensive and elaborate timepieces tended to drift significantly as the day passed. If anyone's ever seen "The Secret Life of Machines" Tim Hunkin did an episode on the quartz watch and covered timepiece history in some detail. Knock the cheap quartz watch all you want, but it's hard to beat it for consistency.
"...Yes, back in the days you'd have to re-synch your watch once a day...
Strange...but my 45 year old Omega SpeedMaster doesn't "drift significantly" at all...never has...and has kept perfect time since new. Never had to sync it. It just works! :-)
And for those who think that having to wind a watch every day is so tedious...might be a good idea to check yourselves into a hospital for a checkup.
"Strange...but my 45 year old Omega SpeedMaster doesn't "drift significantly" at all...never has...and has kept perfect time since new. Never had to sync it. It just works! :-)"
I said, "all but the most expensive and elaborate timepieces..." A $3700 Omega Speedmaster chronograph qualifies as "expensive and elaborate".
My Seiko Kinetic watch has been ticking over nicely for 15 years now. I wear it daily, so I presume the battery stays fully charged - but still 15 years is good going.
I did stop wearing it once for a week. After a couple of days the pointers stopped moving, but I gave it a little shake and they moved back to the right time and carried on where they left off.
As a time piece that I don't have to think about/interact with other than its actual function of telling me the time when I look at it - it's perfect.
I've one of the early Seikos, possibly from around the time you brought yours 98/99? what I did find irritating was the need to change the capacitor every 5/6 years when it wouldn't hold it's charge overnight.
My thinking was; you sold me this with the promise that I don't have to change the battery every five odd years, changing something else with a similar time frame isn't a massive improvement...
"I've one of the early Seikos, possibly from around the time you brought yours 98/99? what I did find irritating was the need to change the capacitor every 5/6 years when it wouldn't hold it's charge overnight."
That was due to the capacitors being faulty. Now they come equipped with lithium batteries instead. No idea on their lifetimes though.
My concern would not be the fact it needs charging every night (although that would be a pain without some sort of induction pad, and inconvenient even then - forget to put it on the pad as you go to bed - no watch the next day).
If it needs charging once per day when new, how long will it be before the battery gets "tired" and only has 50% charge capacity. At that point the watch keels over half way through the day, making it useless.
I don't think very many new successful product categories in Apple ever (Steve wasn't there for some)
In about 36 years ...
Newton (Not Steve's): Killed by Steve but had potential
Pippin (Failed game console)
OSX based on NextStep/BSD replaced Mac OS
Wristable Ipod mini thing
Various incremental developments of above are NOT really new products. So maybe on average one really new Apple product / category every four years. Did Steve sleep so infrequently?
...it only takes the same few seconds that winding a mechanical watch does.
Overnight charging is OK for a phone. However when I wake up I generally want to know the time (to answer the important question of "Do I need to get up or can I turn over and go back to sleep?"). I don't want to have to hunt around on the bedside table to answer that question - I can find my wrist a lot easier.
> "hey siri what time is it"
That a sure hit* with the ladies I would imagine.
Assuming Siri can understand what surely sounds more like "hairy wedding zit?". Having to be articulate kinda ruins the point of knowing whether you can go back to sleep...
*As in "slap" perhaps?
The main problem with requiring a nightly charge is that it won't hit the sleep monitoring market. I don't know if that's a huge market, but a lot of people have sleep issues and being able to track them and possibly do something about them would be worth the price by itself to some people.
The other problem is that people who aren't used to wearing a watch might forget to put it on the next morning, and it'll end up in a drawer next to every other smart watch, or it'll end up as a glorified fitness band.
I still don't see the market for a smart watch, they'll sell some because the Apple solution will be nicely integrated and do a good job as a fitness watch - I've actually been considering buying one and holding off waiting to see what Apple offers. I can't see why I'd want to wear it the whole day, however, rather than only when I'm working out.
Until someone comes up with a killer app that makes people want to wear it all the time (and "getting alerted when I receive a text so I don't have to take my phone out of my pocket is NOT a killer app) it is yet another solution looking for a problem. Maybe it really is targeted more at China for the character drawing, and Japan for passing "touches" to each other. That latter could be popular among teenagers I suppose, depending on where you strap the watch and which side is facing out...talk about safe sex! :)
I'm still partial to wearing a mechanical winding watch only, there's this funny turn o' the century tech where it wind's itself up just by bring on my wrist. Is that so hard? Also I would only consider a smart watch if I could have it as a pocket watch on a chain. It'd be much easier to use over all and would allow for a larger battery. Or is that just too practical?
The thing is, all, smart watches, regardless of how small, light, user friendly or whatever, need 2 hands to actually do anything on them, at all (apart from read the time)
I can do a fair amount on my phone one handed, it is only occasionally that I need to hold it in one hand, and operate it with the other, but you try performing any 'smart' function, on any of these watches with one hand, and your going to have a hard time.
Except things like skipping music tracks, playing and pausing, or whatever else an application binds to the accelerometer on my pebble.
It makes you look daft, but skipping a track by waving your hand gets normal surprisingly fast.
Of course people get used to you looking like a plonker at about the same speed, but I was already used to that :P
It depends whether you lump health watches in with smart watches. If you do then mine does the following without two hands: monitors my heart rate, steps taken, skin temperature and perspiration level, all so as to determine periods in which I'm sleeping, running, walking or cycling, and therefore to comment on my general fitness.
Which are mostly things my phone doesn't do. Or I wouldn't have bought it.
You're right, JDX, if you're assuming that time comes in 1 second quanta, but it doesn't - time is continuous (for the moment*).
Assume my watch is stopped at three o' clock (exactly). When a real 3PM comes around how long does it stay 3PM for? It's not 3PM for a whole second. When the real time is 3PM plus 0.264443 seconds the stopped watch is slow. Ditto for when it's 3PM + 6E-24 secs*. It's only telling the right time when the real time is 3 PM ± 0 secs. The stopped watch is only correct for an infinitesimally short amount of time - no time at all really, so I don't think it ever tells the right time.
*There are theories about quantized time, but the quanta are much smaller than 1 sec - GIYF.
Totally overthinking it dude. A mechanical watch doesn't really measure time, it's a mechanism that is designed to display a representation of the time. In other words, it doesn't internally store anything relevant to the time. It doesn't care if it's 3 PM, or 3 PM plus 0.264443 seconds; the only thing that matters is the position of the hand relative to the static display.
More precisely, the view that the owner has of the position of the hand relative to the static display. It's not always exactly the same thing especially on jewel-like watches with no marks, strangely-shaped displays and/or angled glass.
In short, a broken watch is right as long as you can't tell that it's wrong. Which is at the very least 2x 1 s per day, and 2x several minutes per day in the case of some "jewel" watches.
The more I use my watch the longer it lasts because has a kinetic charger. If I don't wear it for a few days it'll stop updating the watch face but will continue to maintain the time internally for as long as the battery holds out. When I pick it up and give it some charge the hands whir around to the correct time.
Anyway, I have to wonder what the hell anyone is thinking to buy a "smart" watch which can't even go a day without a charge. What is it that the phone actually does that remotely justifies such a pitiful battery life?
Going on my previous experience of Apple batteries on 2x MacBook Pro and 3x iPhones over the last 7 years, iWatch users will need to plug in every 6 hours or so after using for a year, never mind every 24 hours! I bet you can't take it into the local jewellers for a £5 replacement battery either!
I'll keep my Seiko kinetic thanks.
Daily charging? I'm not understanding this. My work iPhone 5S usually does two days with ease on a charge and my personal iPhone 6 Plus is doing four days between charges at the moment. You people must be on your phones all the time! As for the Apple Watch, yes charging it nightly would be a pain in the proverbial! My Seiko Kinetic Auto Relay charges every time I move and that's a decade old! Good job it's not driving a 42mm retina display, eh?
My 5S also lasts a couple of days if I just use it as a phone and bugger-all else, but if I just wanted a phone I'd have kept my Nokia 6310 and gone for a couple of weeks before stomping around the house searching for the charger that hardly gets used.
Let's pick a real-life example: I want to do a pub crawl in town. I do my research plan the route - upload the maps to Google maps, upload the interesting information and the quiz to DropBox - then head off with me mates. Problem is that if the pub crawl lasts for more than 6 hours then the phone won't make the distance - really - it won't - trust me.
What's the point of selling me a tool with maps, documents, journal, compass, comms, camera,voice recorder, train and tube times, etc if the whole package only lasts half a day in real use. It's exactly the same at work when I survey a site, use GPS to mark pics, record client discussions, etc - I wouldn't start a day like that without a full phone and a notebook and pen.
If they'd kept the 6 as thick as the 4 - or even thicker - and made the battery last 24 hours in real use with poor GSM and non-existent 3G signal and a standby of a few days then I'd have been the twat at the front of the queue in Covent Garden. It's not just Apple - Samsung are worse; I need a charger on each step of the stairs just to get a Note 8 from the living room to the "office" upstairs. On a pub-crawl the Note 8 lasted less than 4 hours before it was useless - well not completely useless because it gave my mates loads of entertainment taking the piss out of it. It's amazing how many times a drunk can find it funny calling a beer mat a tablet.
So this weekend I'll be heading off to town with me mates and a sheaf of maps printed off Google (and isn't that a pain), written directions, tour notes and a notebook and pen. The phone will be carefully conserved for emergencies and booking a cab for when I stumble off the train (although I'll make sure I've got some change for the payphone).
Reading this article gave me an idea I would like to discuss in private. I think I have stumbled upon a genuinely interesting idea/solution regarding the possible future of wearables. El Reg, would you be happy to be a go-between/moderator of any patent people who might be interested and respond to this post?
Maybe my idea is already covered elsewhere but it is worth looking into. Part of my idea is a rollover of my experience with battlefield communication tech.
I'm interested, but if you want to apply for patents your post is far to precise. Could you word it in a fuzzier way? Something along the line of
"innovative solution to shape in some ways the future and/or present and/or past of hardware encompassing, but not limited to, wearable and/or mobile and/or transportable technology and/or art piece, in any or all ways (fig.102 to 195)" etc...
Would I object to a watch having to get a daily charge? Well, it sure doesn't help anything... but, sure, if there's a good reason to.
Would I object to a very overpriced piece of kit that requires charging every day while providing no discernable benefits? Yes. I don't see the point of seeing like half a text or a portion of an E-Mail subject line on my wrist (while still AFAIK relying on the phone to supply the watch this information.) And I certainly wouldn't pay Apple prices for the privilege! Of course, if I want a watch that just tells time, I can get one with significantly better battery life (5 years is pretty typical. Oh and the watch battery is replaceable -- given Apple's track record, what are the odds the IWatch will have a replaceable battery?)
My 60 year old seamaster recharges in seconds every morning, keeps the time within a few seconds/ year, is probably more environmentally friendly and will most probably be working exactly as advertised 100 years from now. Beat that Apple and maybe I will consider an upgrade...
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