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The Disconnect That Is Apple Watch's Promise of Better Connectivity

The Disconnect That Is Apple Watch's Promise of Better Connectivity Jeff Hasen
More immediate access to our emails and texts makes sense for a surgeon or someone who is about to learn of a life-changing lottery win.



The rest of us can wait.



Apple is betting that I’m wrong.



Are you going to trust its track record or mine?



Remember I’m the guy who made the second biggest mistake in recent Super Bowl history, incorrectly predicting for seven straight years that advertisers would move their commercials out of the 1970s and add a mobile call to action that would lead to ongoing engagement with millions of people. My latest fumble on that one got lost in Seahawks’ inexplicable throw at the end of the last Super Bowl.



But back to the question of whether the introduction of the Apple Watch is timely.



There isn’t a way to convince me that there is a pent-up demand for a quicker or more convenient path to information coming our way. With more than 75 percent of us in the United States packing a smartphone, and most keeping it within four feet day and night, is there a real problem with us either getting to our emails and texts or knowing that one or 75 are there?



I suppose that one group of prospective Apple Watch buyers includes those who have had to defend or sheepishly apologize for the all-too-obvious signal of an incoming email.



You know the guy on the Maui beach whose iPhone makes a popcorn-like sound each time an email arrives. My wife certainly does – for some reason, she stays married to him.



Or what about the fellow who enables “Visible and Vibrating Alerts” for incoming phone and FaceTime calls, new text messages, new and sent mail, and calendar events? He sets an LED light flash for incoming calls and alerts. A former colleague is guilty of this gross exaggeration of his importance.



At a conference last summer, Pebble’s head of partnerships and business development made an unconvincing argument for the need for his product, saying



“You cannot expect consumers to always be engaged on their mobile device.”



Really?



The use case he offered was for the traveler who must part with his or her cellphone while going through airport security. With Pebble, he said, you can still get your information in real time.



My hunch is that those who might be moderately interested are the road warriors who more than likely have TSA pre-screened status. I fit that description and my mobile phone is out of my possession for less than a minute. And somehow I survive.



In an interview for my upcoming book, ESPN’s John Kosner told me that score alerts in a glanceable format will keep more restaurant patrons from taking unneeded trips to the restroom and spouses from having to explain their absolutely need to keep the smartphone in one hand.



That’s true, but we’ve been getting a pass on that for years.



I have no doubt that the Apple Watch will provide other benefits, possibly health tracking in ways that will put the Fitbits of the world on the outside looking in.



Perhaps it will come in fashion, although it is obvious that folks like me favor form more than anything.



But the Apple Watch as a must-have way to be more connected? For me, that’s a disconnect.

Jeff Hasen is one of the leading strategists, evangelists and voices in mobile.  Companies benefiting from his talents have landed on Wired’s list of most innovative entities on Earth and been named pioneers and the early leader in the...

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