I was at an Apple store recently, and found myself answering the question, “Are you going to pre-order a watch tonight?” My response came with no hesitation, “Are you?” Of course I expected the employee to react with over zealous enthusiasm engendered by years of blind love for a sometimes-superior product. Her answer, “I didn’t want one until I saw the discount we get, then I thought why not?” I then asked another worker nearby what she thought, and her answer was nearly identical. So I followed up with, “What do you think you will you use it for.” She gave the usual it’s good for fitness, it would be nice to see notifications, but more than anything I want to see what kind of apps will come in the future. I think my eyes were fully closed and I had begun entering a REM cycle of sleep by the time she explained why it would be so cool to have the amazing watch.
Smart watches feel like a product the older generations are trying to tell the younger generation is cool, but the younger generation just isn’t buying it. Here’s my perspective, do you remember switching from your Nokia brick to your first flip phone? Probably, because it was pretty sweet to have something a bit different and new. And then your first color phone was another pretty cool change. You know what really knocked my socks off and changed my phone and computing behavior forever, my first iPhone. I couldn’t put it down, and my life instantly became solidly integrated to this device. Previously I used my phone sparingly, and suddenly I had a cool yet useful tool at my disposal. Even the first versions of the smart phone had major wow factor and it intuitively became a staple in millions of lives. The smart watch though…who cares?
I ask friends and co-workers, who want a smart watch, why they want one. They immediately launch into a well-rehearsed diatribe, almost like they’ve mentally prepared a persuasive five-paragraph essay. I can spot your thesis with three “convincing” arguments from a mile away. Don’t give me the fitness garbage for why you want one. Get a $100 Fitbit and actually focus on your fitness. Don’t tell me it’s more convenient to check your messages and calls. The moment I’m too lazy to reach in my pocket to pull out my phone I’m hoping I’m surrounded by my own great grandchildren. Don’t tell me you are just really looking forward to what’s next. If you can’t imagine something cool that it can do in the first 10 seconds of thinking about the future of a smart watch, then it probably will never be cool. Apple has had years to come up with cool native applications to include in the first iteration and they came up with sending your heart beat to someone…(sarcastic) coooooool.
Please don’t let my unimpressed attitude sway you though. I’m sure if you really want one, you can eventually figure out your best argument for why you should make the purchase.