Do we need the Apple Watch?

By Ian Hagerty

(Apple)
(Apple)

Thanks to smartphones, it seems impossible to make it through a conversation before someone feels the need to write a text or check an e-mail. Now, Apple feels it necessary to bridge the gap between our pocket and our hand with the Apple Watch, as if we aren’t connected enough to the push notifications we feel vibrating against our leg all day long.

I’m trying to figure out the convenience of the Apple Watch. Yes, it would be nice to have the time accessible on my wrist again, but that initially went out of style because of cell phones, which are still around. Now there’s a device based on an outdated device to help us connect to the device that replaced its predecessor. Sorry if that was confusing. I’m confused too.

Phone calls can be made with this fancy watch, as if holding your wrist to your face is more convenient than comfortably resting a phone between your ear and mouth. This feature was surely created to bring fruit to the dream of Trekkies far and wide, wishing a phone call would beam them up to a world beyond reality.

The Watch is also being marketed for its possibilities in the world of fitness. An Apple Watch on your wrist can monitor your heartbeat, how much you move around, and keep track of your activity throughout the day to show you how much exercise you are actually getting. With these stats, the Watch can help set personal activity goals to help improve your fitness; it even sends notifications to remind you. Thanks to this brilliant move by Apple, we can now be constantly insecure as our wrist-phone-watch is harping that we aren’t losing weight fast enough like an overbearing parent or a coach to an out of shape kid.

One of the biggest draws for the Apple Watch is its ability to simplify life for its owners by connecting to their phone and sending notifications received on the phone directly to their wrist. This way, if it’s a call you want to ignore or a notification that isn’t worth your time of day, you can finally stop wasting time by taking your phone out of your pocket. Honestly, think to yourself: How lazy have we really gotten if this is even worth consideration? Are any of you out there in any way inconvenienced by taking your phone out or your pocket or purse?

This doesn’t strike me as a significant inconvenience, but I can think of a nuisance the Watch will create for much the same reason. People take out their phones constantly these days, often to the point where it is difficult to keep anyone’s attention before it drifts back down to their screen and the world darkens around them. Luckily, certain times in places like class, work, the movies or any situation that calls for manners and respect, it is usually expected that people put their phones on silent and keep them out of sight.

People don’t always follow these social expectations, but most people still do. The Apple Watch will circumvent politeness. There will be no break at all from calls and emails and notifications; they will always be a turn of the wrist and a glance away from absorption. People may not immediately respond to the demands of their Watch, but their attention will surely be less focused on the physical task at hand, whatever it is.

As any typical Apple product, it’s pricey. While the Apple Watch seems like a nifty, cool and stylish product to own, it is surely not worth the cost. The Watch ranges anywhere from $349 for the thriftier yet functional sport model, all the way up to $10,000, made of gold with sapphire coated glass. Even at the base price, this product seems like a complete waste of money to me. It’s paying $349 to break my phone into two pieces to keep track of, to charge and to replace after it’s been broken. How does this device simplify life?

Apple is just trying to make a product that fits into the wonderful creativity of science fiction. I’m sure devices similar to the Apple Watch have promising potential for the future, and it’s easy to imagine quite a lot of them being sold. They really could be the next hit piece of technology for the average person. The main problem is trying to find a use for the Watch that our smart phones don’t do already. Apple’s new watch is cool and convenient, but from all outward appearances, it isn’t significant at all.

Ian Hagerty is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]