by Jonathan Weinberg, Spring Chicken’s Technology Editor.
This Friday, technology company Apple launches its Apple Watch – a small square computer that’s worn on the wrist. It’s the latest in a long line of so-called smart watches that many claim to be the next big thing in tech. But they’re not just for younger people and gadget geeks. In fact, smart watches in general could revolutionise the lives of older adults.
While we don’t right now insist on you nipping out for an Apple Watch, costing from £299 for the most basic model, we do reckon it’s worth keeping an eye on these gizmos and how they are changing.
At Spring Chicken we already sell a range of GPS and Emergency Watches>>> that do some of the tasks we talk about below.
But within our seven reasons here, you’ll see just why the time will soon come when you will sport an even more smarter watch.
Smart watches like the Apple Watch, Android Wear or the Pebble all enable people to chart their exercise regimes. Even if you don’t feel like you’re up to doing exercise, these devices can prove inspiring. Simply keeping track of the number of steps you take every day can be enough to motivate you to walk a little further, or brisker, the following day.
Smart watches are going to become indispensable to medicine in the future. Not only can they be adapted to keep an eye on your pulse, in the future they’re likely to be a conduit through which a whole range of medical monitoring equipment works – for example, blood sugar measurements sent through it to your GP or blood pressure monitors connected up to it. The Apple Watch is very invested in health with creators across the world working on a new generation of apps to take advantage of this.
3) Voice assistance
Apple’s iPhone, Android’s smartphones and Microsoft’s mobiles all have digital assistants to call upon when you’re in need of help. You can ask them questions and they’ll search the internet for answers. So translate that to a smart watch and you have ‘someone’ to call on 24/7 at the press of a button when you need to check on the impending weather, answer a quiz question or find out what’s happening in the world.
4) Emergency calling and Smart Watches
Right now most smart watches actually need to be connected wirelessly to a mobile phone in order to receive messages and make calls. But that won’t be the case in the near future. They will be actual phones, worn on your wrist, picking up your voice through a tiny microphone. This turns a smart watch into the next generation of emergency alert devices, worn on the hand instead of around the neck with satellite-tracking inside it to pinpoint exactly where you are.
5) A lifeline to friends and family
Once smart watches have phones built in, they become a tool by which to keep in touch. Imagine just lifting up your hand towards your face and being able to video chat with relatives, wherever they are in the world. Right now you need a computer, tablet or mobile to do that. In the future you’ll carry your family around at your fingertips thanks to that clear and crisp high quality screen on your wrist.
A smart watch screen is far too small to watch telly on. But when your smart watch is internet-enabled and can beam content directly to your TV screen, it becomes the successor to videos and DVD. You won’t need to go hunting for a remote control either, you could just select the channels from your wrist by pressing the touchscreen or telling the smart watch what you actually want to watch.
7) Smart watches put you in control
In the near future, a whole host of aspects of daily living are going to become controllable through a mobile phone. For example, light switches you can turn on and off without physically going over to the wall, or kettles you can switch on without needing to be near the kitchen. Eventually this will be part of every smart watch meaning these could soon give you the tools to carry out a range of every day tasks without leaving the comfort of your chair.