January 20, 2012

Forget "where's my jetpack?", I want to know...

For Christmas, I got a wristwatch.

There's sort of a longer story there, but suffice it to say that I had been without a wristwatch for three or four years and had pretty thoroughly adapted to using my cellphone for the purpose. But I like a lot of old things and old-fashioned things, so I was grateful to wear a wristwatch again if only for the light affectation of it.

How quaint! He's wearing a watch! Do they even make those anymore?

Within a few days I was remembering to check it instead of going for the phone in my pocket. Within a few weeks (i.e. yesterday) I was annoyed when I accidentally left it at home, because I kept checking my blank wrist; and you know what? It's actually kind of annoying to have to fish your phone out of your pocket to check the time. Also, way harder to be subtle about it.

Today I followed that thought to its logical conclusion. If it's more convenient to carry the time on my wrist than to have to fish the phone from my pocket, wouldn't it be more convenient to carry the other functions of the phone on my wrist? I mean, people have been joking for years that if phones get any smaller we won't be able to see them (though smart phones arrested this trend somewhat), so the miniaturisation is totally on track to do this. Keypads would have been tricky to fit in there, but now everything's all touchpad-y so we might be ok there; and we would have needed both hands for an onscreen keyboard, maybe, except now that everybody's raving about Siri you can just hold your phone to your mouth and talk to it to tell it what to do.

There was a vogue a few years back lamenting the 1930s and 1950s visions of the future that still hadn't yet come to pass, often summed up with the pithy remark, "Where's my jetpack?" But now I'm thinking, hey, forget the jetpack—where's my wristphone?

...it's coming. Soon.

"We may not always like what the First Amendment permits, but we've agreed as a nation that the short-term aggravation of personal offense is the tithe we pay for freedom." --Kathleen Parker

Posted by blahedo at 10:55pm on 20 Jan 2012
Comments
Have you tried using the newest iPod nano? That's a touchpad with roughly the screen area of a large watch, but I found it difficult to control. Perhaps with practice I would find it simpler, especially as I don't regularly use Apple products. Also, you still have the best verification that I am not a robot. Posted by Michael Feltes at 10:12am on 21 Jan 2012
I haven't, but I'm particularly looking for something that's actually wrist-mounted. And I think *isn't* primarily touchscreen, though that should be available—on something that small, for the reasons you say, I think that a lot of the interaction would have to be voice. But... the pieces are all there, technology-wise. We could have something like this as soon as next Christmas if the right person started putting it together now. Posted by blahedo at 4:39pm on 21 Jan 2012
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