AuthorTopic: Stupid Watches  (Read 1173 times)

Offline RE

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Stupid Watches
« on: December 12, 2015, 06:48:06 AM »

I picked up one of the newest latest and greatest electronic toys on the market, a "Smart Watch".  The model I picked up was the LG G watch pictured above.

Now, I haven't worn a wristwatch in years, but the Dick Tracy in me wanted to have one of these things to see how they work, and how useful they might actually be?  The technology for these ultra tiny computers is only a couple of years old, and the manufacturers are running through different models with different OP systems at an astounding pace, Samsung for instance rolled out 6 different models already, some operating on Google's Android Wear and some on their own proprietary OP system.

Why did I pick the LG G Watch to experiment with?  Not because it's the best one out there by any means, it's actually already obsolete.  The reason is because after just one year, LG is dumping them on the market to get rid of the unsold inventory, which there is a lot of.  So from it's original list price of $300, I got mine for $100.  $100 did not seem like too much to risk for a new Christmas Toy from Santa RE to see where these things are at in development.

Where they are at so far is not too smart, low double digit IQ here for this watch.  LOL.  There is potential here though, if these folks figure how to make them more user friendly and overhaul the OP system, at least the Android Wear OP system which overall blows chunks.

For the most part these devices do not replace your Smart Phones.  Samsung does make a model the Gear S which will operate independently of your cell phone, and I almost picked up one of those because ATT is offering it for FREE if you are eligible for an upgrade, which I am.


Reasons I did not go for it was first off it is something of a behemoth for a wrist watch.  You would look mega-geeky wearing one of these.  Then there was the fact it would lock me into another 2 year contract with ATT, and I hate being under contract.  NEXT, unless I made this my ONLY device to use with my ATT account, it would cost me an extra $10/mo.  It also doesn't actually have the same phone number as your regular smart phone, it has it's own separate number, and the calls forward between the numbers.  This is part of the nonsense of having only one device per phone number you can use.  Finally, because the technology is changing so fast, Like the LG G watch, it's likely to be obsolete in a year.  Just spending $100 for the LG and not being locked in to a contract and not looking like a mega geek wearing it was the better choice for test purposes.

OK, now let's look at the features of the LG, and why there is some potential in here.  The good parts IOW.

First off, it looks pretty much like a regular watch, it's a normal size for a watch.  If you are a fashion conscious individual, you can change the Watch Face at will to match your clothing color scheme for the day.  You can also change the watch face to show some other stuff, Weather information or Stock Market Ticker on your favorite Stocks to watch.  I have that watch face set now to display Halliburton, EOG Resources and Exxon. It's very uplifting to see those RED numbers light up the screen as those stocks crash and by itself almost makes the $100 I spent worth it.  :icon_mrgreen:

The other very nice thing that works pretty well is the Notifications of emails and SMS text messages coming into your smart phone.  You do have to be carrying your phone with you though for this, they are tethered together via Bluetooth.  However, you don't have to pull your phone out of your pocket to see if any mails or messages came in, you glance at your watch and if something came in, it tells you who it is from and the Subject of the message.  So if it something from your girlfriend that is important you can pull out your phone for an immediate response, if it is SPAM from Walmart you don't have to bother pulling out your phone and just dismiss the message.

It also has numerous fitness functions, it will tell you your Heart Rate, how many steps you took in a day, how fast you are running or biking (GPS) and it is supposed to do Mapping functions also, although so far I have not been able to get that to work on the LG.  Seems to be having difficulty locating the sattelites, but I have had this problem before with other GPS units, it's because Alaska is so far north I think.

Another nice thing is it Synchs with your Calendar, so if you are the Bizzy type of person who has a few appointments each day, so you can quickly glance at your watch to make sure you don't forget that you had to bring Dick or Jane to the Dentist or Spot to the Vet on Tuesday.  LOL.

This basically covers it though for the practical Apps currently available, although there are many others of dubious value, some of which I have loaded and tested and fairly often not only do not work, they also screw up the OP system and there is no EZ way to do a hard reset once the screen gets locked up, because there are no hardware buttons at all on the device, at least not on this LG model.  However, I have done factory resets about 4 times already once the screen does unlock, usually after about 10 min or so.  However, the factory reset itself takes about another 15 minutes, then you have to get it re-paired with your cell phone, which itself does not always work to well on the first try and can take another 10 minutes and you may have to at least shut off bluetooth if not do a reboot on your smart phone.

IOW, for all but the true Geek, I think most people would quit in frustration an hour or two after unboxing it and bring it back to Best Buy looking for a Refund.  This goes part of the way toward explaining why there is a relatively slow takeoff on these devices for the manufacturers.

The next problem is that even if all your Apps are working correctly, the Navigation system between Apps is thoroughly confusing and moving from one app to the next and back out again is far more complicated than it needs to be.  The Android Wear OP system at least is not very well designed or thought out, and after watching some Videos on the other ones, they don't look any better to me.  Navigation around a device like this has to be quick and EZ, and also learned quickly and easily, because otherwise you're going to get the same problem as above, which is that frustrated buyers will be back at the Return Desk in a couple of hours, before they have even had a chance to lose the receipt!

The biggest problem in utility though is the fact that currently it is pretty much a Read-Only device.  It is for the most part too small to sport either a tradition hardware QWERTY keyboard or even a virtual one on the screen.  About the only method of interacting with the device is using Google Voice-->Text, which works OK in some applications but not in all of them.  So you really can't use the power that this device has, and it certainly will not replace your Smart Phone currently, you really can't do the full Dick Tracy Wrist TV thing yet.  It can be improved though, and with some fixes to the problems they may be able to get the technology off the ground.  My guess is that so far they are losing their shirts on this one, with a lot of R & D money spent and the products just not moving off the shelves too well.

If you keep your expectations low, have patience and find one of these at a cheap enough price, they ARE a step above the Casios and Timex watches out there, and at least for some of them (like my LG), they take a standard watch wristband so you can customize that as you like, even going to a nice 14 carat Gold wristband if that floats your boat.  I may look for a nice Leather wristband to fit my Indiana Jones fashion statement.  lol.

There are some pretty Elegant ones out there in Round Face, they are not all Rectangular mini-Smart Phone shape by any means.

Tag Heuer Connected


LG Watch Urbane


Apple I-Watch

However, these models are for the most part overpriced Status Symbols and their OP systems are no better than the one on my $100 LG.  The Tag Heuer I think runs around $1500.  Not quite the cost of a Rolex, but a whole lot more than anyone in their right mind with a normal income would spend on a device basically for checking the time, weather, your email, how fast you are biking and your heartrate.

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Offline Eddie

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Re: Stupid Watches
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2015, 09:41:57 AM »
Just couldn't wait for the Rolex Oyster-Tron, could you?



The idea of it makes me giggle. People are such idiots. It'll probably be successful, because it's for the .01 %.
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Offline RE

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Re: Stupid Watches
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2015, 10:33:32 AM »
Just couldn't wait for the Rolex Oyster-Tron, could you?

This was Official Bizness!  I was researching for my OP system!  ::)

However, I am a little sorry I didn't hold out for for LGs Watch Urbane, already being discounted down as low as $219.  The Gold Bezel Model with the Brown Leather watchband fits my Indiana Jones Fashion Statement much better than the LG R.  It also has built in Wi-Fi so you don't HAVE to have your phone with you for message updates, it updates anytime you hit a hot Wi-Fi spot. I'll bet after Xmas it is ON SALE for the $150 range!


Quote
The idea of it makes me giggle. People are such idiots. It'll probably be successful, because it's for the .01 %.

Indeed.  This is what I would call a "Simon Black" toy.  I can see the International Man in the airport making $Million$ deals over his Smart Watch before boarding to the First Class compartment of a Commercial Jet or to the Private Jet of one of his compadres.

However, even Simon needs an OP system that makes some fucking SENSE if he is actually going to be able to use it to close on his deals and justify the cost of the Rolex version.
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Offline RE

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Re: Stupid Watches
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2015, 07:56:50 AM »
OK!  :icon_sunny:

I got the Stupid Watch loaded up with some pretty cool Apps.

There is an RSS reader which will give you feeds from your favorite Newz sites and Forums!  It notifies you of the Subject/Title, and then you have a choice to mark it to read later on your smarter and bigger phone or you can dismiss it.  You can actually read it on the watch itself if you like, although you do a lot of scrollling this way. So far I dropped on Feeds from Russia Today, Aljazeera and Zero Hedge.

There is also a Reddit App, you can pick your favorite Reddit subs and you get similar messages and choices to read later or dismiss.  If you feel like you are getting too many messages, you can cut down the numbers or cut out too many different subs/feeds whatevah.  I have just a feed from r/collapse so far there.  I'm not dropping on any Diner feeds because I read the Diner all the time either on my laptop or my Galaxy Mega, I don't need an update for my own websites!  lol.

On the interactive level, I dropped on a Note taking program, which if you have something you want to take a note on, like "Remember to buy Anniversary present for wife on the way home from work", you just say "Take a Note", speak the note  to your wrist recorder, and it turns it into text quite reliably for short sentences that use normal english language words.  It doesn't recognize "doomstead" though.  Get all sorts of weird renditions from that.  lol.  Anyhow, your Stupid Watch can save you from an Expensive Divorce settlement!

I also added a pdf reader and a few other choice applications.  So far the only real Epic Fail is the GPS applications, and I am not sure if this is the fault of the Stupid Watch or my location here in Alaska, where all GPS units seem to have problems locating the satellites.  Also a Wikipedia app which allows me to search the knowledge base of the world right from my wrist!

The Navigation still blows chunks, but Geek that I am I more or less have it figured out after a couple of days messing with it.  For the $100 price tag I paid for the LG, you get a LOT more functionality than the Casios, Timex and other GPS watches out there.  Still a ways to go in improving the navigation, interactivity and App library for them though.

$100 is OK to spend on one now if you are a geek and like having all this info available on your wrist and want to become familiar with how they work.  DEFINITELY do not spend $1500 for a Tag Heuer or $10K for a Rolex version though!  Give it another year at least to see how it develops and let the technology mature a bit before you fork over for an expensive model.

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Offline Surly1

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Re: Stupid Watches
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2015, 08:08:19 AM »
I understand that you have a gadget jones, but for the life of me, if you carry a smart phone, I don't understand how the watch advantages you at all.
Realizing that my budget is more Timex than Rolex, but I just don't understand the attraction. Also haven't worn a watch in a decade.
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Offline g

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Re: Stupid Watches
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2015, 10:50:47 PM »
I understand that you have a gadget jones, but for the life of me, if you carry a smart phone, I don't understand how the watch advantages you at all.
Realizing that my budget is more Timex than Rolex, but I just don't understand the attraction. Also haven't worn a watch in a decade.

To me, it is creating a market where none is needed.

 Corporations are masters at this game, and it works best in a fiat system where there is plenty of paper around and people can spend it on toys and trivia. You have already noticed Surly they have class distinctions already built into this watch BS. The Caddy, and the Corolla. You can soon expect Designer brand selling for thousands, the Movado, Cartier, diamond studded Tiffany etc.

 It's all about a credit based consumption designed economy producing toys for it's citizens to play with and enriching those who prey on the dim with their vast fiat expenditures on advertising, the 1% as they are sometimes called. A new modern jewelry techie must have item has appeared, the watch. As you point out Surly, having another hole on their ass would be just as useful.

As a Libertarian, enjoy your toys free citizens, as a Gold bug, this is what fiat gives us. Consume, Buy, Waste, don't save, debt is grand, buy now pay later, the banksters and corporate CEO's are counting on you.

It's all about sound honest money requiring labor and having value, as opposed to a fantasy world of paper credit to a gold bug.

 

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