Digital watches

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly 92 million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.” – Douglas Adams
Digital watches have come a long way. When I was young, mine could tell the time and date and you could set an alarm.  I also had one which played various ditties out of it’s little piezo speaker. Those were the days.  You wanted nothing more.  Now watches do everything.
My current watch is one of the original Pebbles. A nice red affair. It connects via Bluetooth to my Android phone and buzzes when it needs my attention.  My wrist vibrates whenever a friend sends a message on WhatsApp. The same happens whenever I get a message from Facebook.  I also am notified whenever new email arrives in my Inbox or a text message is sent to my phone. I can quickly send a canned reply.
If a call comes in and I’m in a meeting, my phone is on silent and does not make a sound but my wrist vibrates and I can see who is calling at a glance. I can then dismiss it with ease by pushing a button.
When it’s dark, a flick of the wrist will light up my watch temporarily and I can see the time.  It’s bliss.  The future is now and I’m living in it and — as Maxwell Smart would say — loving it!
The advances made in the wristwatch space in the last few years is astounding.  Many were hopeful the Pebble would not be vaporware.  We tossed our money at the Kickstarter and hoped for the best.  And they delivered.  One charge lasts around a week and the cable can be quickly snapped on before bed to charge overnight and greet me in the morning.  It has a do-not-disturb function which prevents any buzzing during the night.  I really could not ask for much more.
I have seen the Apple Watch and various Android Wear watches advertised. I’ve heard the pundits discuss them in great detail. They are in colour.  This one only works with the iPhone but can cleverly work out a question has been texted and provide you with simple canned responses derived from the options in the question.  The others can notify you of things in your life before they even happen, care of Google Now.  They can direct you to your destination with the aid of GPS software.  But to me it’s all overkill.  I do not need my watch to take photos.  I do not need to see my phone’s photos in glorious technicolour. I mean, honestly, who looks at photos on a tiny watch?  The battery life leaves a lot to be desired.
No, my Pebble does all I need and I’m satisfied with it.  Perhaps if they one day come out with the Pebble 2 [tm] with a few more minor features I will be tempted.  But for now I am happy with my monochrome wonder.  It really does improve my life and I could not do with out it.  So let’s have three cheers for the folk at Pebble.  You’ve started something wonderful.
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