With the news surrounding Sony’s possible plans to launch a smartwatch in the near future, I’ve been inundated with comments by the geekiest of the geeks, saying how they can’t wait to get their hands on any and all smartwatches. Those devices, they say, will dramatically improve their lives.
As one of the geekiest geeks out there, one would think that I, too, would want to get my hands on a smartwatch. After all, I’m a gadget fanatic and love everything there is to love about this industry. Why wouldn’t I want to slap a smartwatch from Sony or Apple or any other company on my wrist and be done with it?
And yet, I have no desire – absolutely none – to wear a smartwatch. The devices I’ve seen so far are ugly, big, and clunky, and it’s like shining a spotlight on myself, telling the world that I have awful, awful taste in technology equipment. It reminds me of the old days when some people actually thought it was cool to wear a watch with a calculator on it. Really?
One of the things I so love about the industry today is that it’s now cool to be a geek. The mainstream somehow found its way to technology and discovered that, save for some oddities, the vast majority of gadgets are really, really cool. Those products are so cool, in fact, that those who were once chastised for being “geeks” are now, well, part of the mainstream.
There was a time when owning a gadget that wasn’t a computer or bulky cell phone a joke. People would look at people who owned those devices and wonder why they wasted their money on them. They’d ask what the point of certain products were.
Today, though, everything is different. I get calls all the time from friends and family members asking me about the differences between a Roku set-top box and an Apple TV. Smartphones are commonplace, and to not have one is shocking. Even notebooks, once devices designed solely for geeks and business professionals, are cooler and better than ever.
The industry, in other words, has found a way to get away from its past awkwardness and become part of the pop culture. And all of those who have been in love with technology for years now have many more people to share that with.
And then there’s the smartwatch. To me, big, bulky smartwatches bring us back in time. The devices aren’t cool, they’re not all that functional, considering we have smartphones in our pockets, and they thrust the person wearing them back to that place of questioning from others on why in the world they’d buy such a device.
The nice thing about the technology industry is that it’s constantly moving forward and is becoming an increasingly important facet in our pop culture. Smartwatches threaten to put us back and make the industry a bit of a running joke. Can’t you just see countless Saturday Night Live sketches of people wearing big, ugly, geeky smartwatches? I can.
And that’s why I will never wear a smartwatch. No, I’m not too cool for such devices, and no, I haven’t given up my geekiness. To me, smartwatches, while supposedly “next-gen,” are nothing more than relics of the past. And I don’t want to be party to going back in time.