Tuesday, September 06, 2016

That Thingy On Your Wrist



I used to always wonder: Why would anybody want to keep a tab on the number of steps they take each day?

Perhaps this was a notion conditioned during the formative years. I had an grand-uncle who had a disdain for things that were superfluous. Having spent his best years in the Royal Indian Air Force, serving forward bases that were battling the Japanese in Burma during WW2, he always felt that giving precedence to form over function was just "bloody bullshit!". Once while were deep into a conversation, my watch gave off its little hourly beep. He stopped mid sentence, took a closer look at all digital numbers on the wristwatch and asked, "Does the damn thing also tell you the time?"

Soon after this, my Timex died on me and I got a Swatch Chronograph - a chunky metal time piece with dials within dials. I never really understood how to use them all but a chunky watched seemed cool anyway.

Then came the Casio G-Shock. It was certainly not be the most elegant or comfortable thing to wear but it is certainly tough. It can see you through through random rainstorms; the Delhi summer means nothing to its straps; it can be a handy alarm to remind you that your lunch is on the stove; you don't have to set it aside while travelling across time-zones or while diving into a swimming pool.

A slight change of heart came after I watched a TED video recently. An elderly speaker observed that these days, watches are things that are worn by an older, less tech-savvy generation. He gave the example of his daughter who found them distinctly uncool because, "For God's sake, Dad, who wants to wear single function devices?!?"

Now that was a valid point. Surely a piece of equipment you carried on your wrist all day ought to do more than just tell you the time and date? While I was still debating the pros and cons of investing in a health-band it appeared at the door wrapped in a courier from Amazon - a thoughtful Rakhi gift.

I have been using the GQii for two weeks now and I like it. For one thing it is nice and lightweight, then it tells you the time only when you want to know, and despite the fact that its inaccurate, once you start wearing the band it does prod you to pay more attention to physical activity, sleep-timings and calorie-burning.

So now I have revised my notions of an ideal watch. It ought to combine the lightness and multi-functionality of a health-band, and yet be tough enough to be worn just about anywhere. Will there be an affordable product that can, one day, combines the ruggedness of a G-Shock to the multi-functionality of a GQii?

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LINKS

- GOQii leads Wearables Mkt in India - http://indiatoday.intoday.in/technology/story/goqii-leads-indias-wearable-market-xiaomi-slips-to-second/1/757668.html

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