On wearing a smart watch

At the beginning of the month I took the plunge and decided to buy a Casio G-Shock connected watch. After a week or so I have a pretty good sense of the pros and cons of using it.
Casio G-Shock Bluetooth

The connection with the iPhone makes a major leap forward in the G-Shock experience. Using a G-Shock is rather like using an old computer system like a DEC VAX minicomputer, the experience is modal. Everything revolves around combinations of button pushes to get to the functionality of the watch.  The manual is a quarter of an inch thick and the commands not exactly memorable. If you have clumsy fingers or are not paying attention you have to cycle through the complete set of button commands again
g-shock modal nature
The G+ iPhone application deals with every setting on the watch bar setting the time and date itself (which still requires a bit of button juggling).
The achilles heel is battery life. Most of the facilities about the watch are about husbanding a relatively meagre lithium ion battery. What Casio’s engineers managed to achieve is imperfect but impressive. The battery life is the silent hand that ruled all aspects of the product design. In order to have a sealed in battery that lasted more than a day, Casio had to go with an old school battery. Out went modern G-Shock features such as the GPS module and atomic clock radio units used to provide accurate time based on location.

Out too went the solar power option. Alerts seem to be polled every quarter of an hour for things like email. But then in this connected age, having a message to let me know that I don’t have email would be more noteworthy.

This all had a number of effects:

  • The watch didn’t alert me to everything – that isn’t a bad thing. I do want my alerts to be consistent, so I shut down alerts from everything but Twitter, calendar and calls. I would have loved to have alerts for WeChat, SMS / iMessage messages, FaceTime and Skype calls but they aren’t on the programme (so far)
  • The watch did cure ‘phantom’ rings. I got to ignore ringtones out in public and at home unless my wrist shook. It also worked well when I couldn’t feel my phone vibrating in my Carhartt jacket
  • I remembered to take my phone with me on more occasions, the watch would vibrate if the Bluetooth link was broken

The best bit of the phone for me was that it was still a G-Shock, it could be worn in the gym, the shower, whilst shaving, washing dishes or swimming. It is a watch for living rather than a Bluetooth-enabled human leash.

More information
On smart watches, I’ve decided to take the plunge

Interesting David Bowie interview from 2000

David Bowie talks about the internet in an interview a bit after he had sold his Bowie bonds. His discussion of the internet around the ten-minute mark is insightful.

He talks about how the fragmentation of culture was responsible for the the internet – a number of books from Accidental Empires on talked about how the counter culture shaped Silicon Valley. It is also interesting the way he talks about the then current fragmentation of culture.

Bowie acknowledges that we have only scratched the surface on with the internet, but that there would be both good and bad consequences or as he says exilerating and terrifying’. In one particularly interesting remark, he describes the internet as an ‘alien life form’ that will change life utterly.

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that have made my day this week.

Russian crew ontheroof took their skills to Hong Kong, hacking one of the city’s iconic electronic billboards mounted on the top of an unfeasibly tall building.

Not too sure if the swiftly added disclaimer would be enough to stop the lawyer letters coming through the letter box with this ode to Invisalign braces

Wee Scottish travel agent Thorne Travel put together a unique YouTube advert. Not too sure that they have permission from David Guetta for the soundtrack or Disney for the appearance of Mickey and Minnie Mouse – which probably explains why it got taken down. I thought that the N.W.A. soundtracked remix of the video was inspired.

Warner Brothers are pushing out to Western audiences Black Butler, a Japanese live action adaption of a Faustian manga tale.

Finally, Agence France Presse put together a really good animation on how Ebola attacks the body, surprisingly it was hosted on DailyMotion.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Rev Dan Catt | Conference Eaters – captures the dichotomy of conferences really well

Brand Brain Britain! How Brits engage with brands differently across the regions | Weber Shandwick – interesting research on brand attitudes

Huffington Post and Leo Burnett partnership | Marketing Interactive – in reality this line is being blurred all the time Vice Media etc

​How an FBI Informant Ordered the Hack of British Tabloid ‘The Sun’ | Motherboard – could the FBI be legally liable?

Generation Flux’s Secret Weapon | Fast Company – interesting analysis of Chipotle

Only 25% of iPad Users are aged 16-24 | Global Web Index – it makes sense given that the iPad is a discretionary purchase with adequate substitute products

Slack is Killing Email | PixelBits – is it really? I think there is still a use case for email and a use case for less email

Google’s Eric Schmidt: “Really, Our Biggest Search Competitor Is Amazon” – trying to spin their way out of European sanctions

Microsoft And Salesforce Promise Windows, Office And OneDrive Integration | TechCrunch – hell froze over

Saudis would accept lower oil prices | Hong Kong Economic Journal Insight – all about trying to raise barrier to entry for competitors

The Cost of Living the Luxe Life Has Fallen — if You Live in Asia | TIME – softening property prices

Ofcom | UK leads the way with new wireless technology trials – overly dramatic headline for white space trials

How China’s ‘naked officials’ make the getaway|WantChinaTimes.com – since there is such an obvious behavioural trail shouldn’t card transactions and travel record patterns create ‘red flags’? Why do so many get through?

Finland is in trouble, and it blames Apple for everything – Quartz – bit of an exaggeration but gives you an idea of how crucial Nokia was

Singapore rail operator eyes UK minicab firm | Hong Kong Economic Journal Insights – interesting move. Is Addison Lee a technology company or a transport company?

I like: Nick Bostrom: Superintelligence talk at Google

Really interesting talk to listen to over lunch from Nick Bostrom on how the future and innovation may affect society. Real blue sky thinking that science fiction tends to be better at rather than academics.

The video is on YouTube so may not be visible to all readers.