Talking points: Keeping watch

Is the Apple Watch a major success or has the company made a mistake? Those assessing this particular product don’t seem too be able to make up their minds, or agree. Recent reports suggest that Apple may have got it right again. If so, it is ironic that Apple may be about to revive the fortunes of a particular accessory – the watch – that its other products had been busily killing. A group of students told me recently that they would not wear watches because their iPhones told them the time; watches were superfluous and awkward.

But of course the Apple Watch is more than a chronograph. It puts a number of elements of my smartphone on to my wrist, and it monitors my lifestyle and my health. The information it gathers can of course do more than amuse me; I suspect insurers would love to have it.

I have an Apple Watch, having been given it as a present. I like it. And I wonder what it tells us about times yet to come.

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3 Comments on “Talking points: Keeping watch”

  1. Vincent Says:

    You’re not afraid you’ll have to go on the run with Micheal York and Jenny Agutter if ever it stops. I’m not sure Ferdinand 9 has the ring to it.

  2. Apple may not be the best example to use when analysing the future of smart watches. Apple has deliberately gone for the luxury market hiring a senior executive from Burberry. Watches have always been an important part of that market.

  3. anna notaro Says:

    No old technology is actually *killed* by the new ones, rather it is re-fashioned or ‘re-mediated’ as Bolter and Gruisin convincingly argued in their Remediation: Understanding New Media (1999), something similar also applies to so-called ‘wearable technologies’ like the smart watch.
    However, as this piece in the Economist (of all papers!) rightly reminds us, there are real risks in quantifying so many aspects of our personal life:
    While on holiday I read Dave Eggers’ latest novel, The Circle (2014) which presents some scenarios relevant to these themes, in the words of one reviewer it “is a work so germane to our times that it may well come to be considered as the most on-the-money satirical commentary on the early internet age” and I happen to agree.

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