There's a lot wrong here.
First, no one else is recognizing the #systems effects here. On the question of pocket watches vs wrist watches, there are two points. One: pocket watches require pockets. As the vest passed out of common usage, so did the pocket into which one would keep a pocket watch. Some attempt was made to fit watch pockets into trousers, but that came too late - the wrist watch had already invaded. Two: during wartime, the chain that would have been used for a pocket watch on a soldier's uniform, was an obvious risk to safety. It could catch of things, and it could make noise.
Second, I have to call out Boris, the author of the nextweb piece linked in the OP, for being as smart as a sack of hammers. His representation of the procedure by which a user would use a smart phone to find out if he's on time for his next meeting is not even wrong. All I do, is take my phone out and press one button: my next appointment is shown on my lockscreen; it's no where near as Byzantine a process as he makes it out to be. Furthermore, he ignores entirely the far richer user experience I get from a smart phone than a wrist watch. I get the time of my next appointment, its location, directions (at a tap), and reminders. And I can control how much of that experience I get. No; a wrist watch is to a smart phone as an amoeba is to a human being. And on that scale, Boris doesn't even rate as an animate object.
Third, a pocket watch (or analogous, a smart phone) is far safer in one's pocket than on one's wrist, which is often flailing about and banging into things. The rise of the cheap-ass wrist watch was in response (in part) to the risk of damage it was suffer.
All these things are systemic effects. Without thinking in systems, one cannot really comprehend the scope of situations. Apple had better take its sweet time to understand the systems effects of whatever it wants that iWatch to be, or we're going to end up with another Newton.
Now fast forward to the iWatch. It isn’t here yet, and we are already reviewing, criticizing, and rejecting it before we have even seen it. Some people say, “I don’t need it. Why would I want an iPhone on my arm?”
I think you will want an iPhone on your arm, and in the beginning it will feel just as awkward as those soldiers must have felt when they first strapped their pocket watches to their wrists. To them, it felt unnecessary and maybe even made them feel a bit self-conscious. But after discovering how much easier it is work time into everything they do, the wrist watch became more than a convenience. It changed the outcome of wars.
And yes, the iWatch might be innovative, but my guess is, like all Apple products, it will be assigned more innovation than is warranted.
Here's my latest attempt to deal with their "telemarketing:"
Them: "Hello. I'm calling from [mumble mumble] Air Duct Cleaners. May I speak to the homeowner?"
(My wife was out and my teenage sons were either asleep or playing video games. No need to disturb them. So....)
Me: "Uh, no sorry. The homeowner is dead. I just murdered him."
- Ryerson UniversityProfessor, present
- University of Windsor
- University of Toronto
- Wayne State University
- IBM Canada
- DeHavilland Aircraft Company of Canada
Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Ryerson University 350 Victoria St Toronto, ON M5S 2K3 Canada
- University of TorontoEngineering Design, 1989 - 1993
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