Having to look at your smartphone is THE WORST. No one wants to lift a few ounces of plastic, glass and rare earth minerals in order to leverage the power of the Internet, entertain themselves or communicate with anyone from anywhere in the world.
But now, thanks to the advent of the smartwatch, we needn't bear such drudgery any more. Strap one on and you'll be able to control your music, navigate the streets, check the weather and read or compose text messages and e-mail – all from your wrist! It sounds great, and it is.
But you shouldn't buy one yet.
Smart watches have been around for a few years now, but they're still very much in their infancy, and much like smartphones before the iPhone was introduced, they have taken many forms. Some, like those made by Pebble, are platform agnostic, highly customizable through downloadable software and can run for days at a time. Most, however, are designed to work with a single operating system – or even a single brand of phone – and need to be recharged at least once a day. None of them are particularly fashionable. Most lack the means to be physically customized to match the wearer's particular style to outfit on a given day.
But that's all about to change with the Apple Watch. I've had the opportunity to spend time with the hardware, and let me tell you, it's going to change the market.
From what we know about it, the Apple Watch doesn't have superior battery life to what's available right now, nor does it, at a basic level, do more than any of the smart watches from Sony, LG, Samsung, Microsoft or the rest that you can buy in store or online as we speak. They all let you check or mail, dictate a text message and control the tunes on your smartphone. But nothing else on the market right now is as conscious about form, function and design as the Apple Watch was, even as a beta product, when I had the opportunity to wear and play with it this past summer.
It comes in two different sizes to accommodate the girth of its wearer's wrist, can be had in stainless steel, aluminum or 18k gold and can be further customized through the addition of an insane variety of different bands and bracelets. In short, it's the first smartwatch that has been designed to think deeply about fashion as function.
And while it may not even be available before Spring 2015, it's a safe bet that based on what Apple showed at the device's unveiling this past September, hardware designers at companies like LG, Sony and Samsung are all hard at work redesigning their wearable tech to go toe-to-toe with the Apple Watch. By the time next year, any smartwatch you buy now will likely look like a toy when compared to what'll be available once Apple shapes the market (again).
For now, hold off on giving a smartwatch as a gift. I guarantee you'll be happy that you did.