The Apple Watch is out and it signifies the beginning of a new era—the wearable era. While tech companies are still creating new smartphones, smartphones have almost been perfected and selling them is not a challenge—64% of American adults own a smartphone and that number continues to grow.
It is time for tech companies to battle to perfect and sell a new product and smartwatches look like they will be that product. But do you need one? Are they useful or just cool?
Pros of smartwatches
The apps—current and coming soon
Some of the current and upcoming apps for smartwatches are just downright awesome and seem like they have come straight out of a sci-fi movie. In addition to all the health apps that will eliminate the need for those unfashionable fitness bands, you can download apps to do things like remotely check-in at hotels or open your garage door.
If you want notifications of emails or texts without having to carry around your phone, a smartwatch is a nice option. Smartphones have become huge for watching videos and surfing the web, but sometimes you don’t want to carry that monster around the office.
The Apple Watch allows you to use Apple Pay. By simply tapping your wrist you can make a purchase at any of the nearly 700,000 locations that accept Apple Pay.
Cons of smartwatches
A recent study found that using smartwatches while driving is even more dangerous than using a smartphone while driving. Drivers using smartwatches take 36% longer to react to emergencies than those using a mobile phone without a hands-free kit. It is already difficult to ignore notifications when they are on your cell phone, but we imagine the temptation to read a text message is even greater when it is on your wrist.
The tech isn’t that great yet
Smartwatches are new and like any new tech product, there is a lot of room for improvement. Currently, smartwatches do not have cellular service of their own; they need to be near your actual phone to make phone calls and receive messages. The distance you can be from your phone varies by watch. Another downer is that most smartwatches (including the Apple Watch) do not have GPS.
Our verdict: For now, they are a “cool-to-have” item, not a “must-have” item; but no matter your opinion of smartwatches, you do need to have a security policy for wearables in order to keep your company data safe.