The Smartwatch – an extension or replacement for your Smartphone?
Misconception might be causing you to overlook the benefits
Despite the best efforts of the marketing teams at Apple, Samsung and the many other manufacturers of smartwatches, there is still some scepticism surrounding their concept, with many people wondering why they would need one if they already have a smartphone. However, as with so many of the gadgets that we use in our everyday lives, once people have them, they wonder what on earth they ever did without them.
Unfortunately for this product and the companies marketing it, the majority of consumers will not have an opportunity to “try before they buy”. We don’t mean going into a shop, trying one on, looking at the functionality it offers and having a ten-minute chat with a sales consultant. We’re talking about an opportunity to use a smartwatch in your everyday life and for a reasonable period of time to find out just how much it can do for you.
In the absence of such an opportunity, the purpose of this article is to alleviate the scepticism created by the inability to really experience the product before making a purchase. We will do this by discussing its benefits in some detail. However, before we embark upon a detailed look at the benefits of the smartwatch, let’s address a common misunderstanding relating to its concept because doing so will add greater clarity to the benefits discussed below.
The Smartwatch misconceptions
There is a common misconception that the smartwatch simply duplicates the features of a smartphone, from which a further misconception was born suggesting that the decision to own one is either about sporting the latest “wearable” technology or because a consumer has made the choice to own a smartwatch rather than a smartphone. However, the fact is that the concept of a smartwatch was never intended to replace the smartphone but more to be an extension of it; to complement it. A smartwatch has to be paired to a smartphone and therefore the outright replacement of your smartphone with a smartwatch is not an option anyway. Read on to understand the true benefits of this latest “wearable” technology.
So what are the benefits to owning a smartwatch?
Notifications, notifications, notifications! Whether it be emails, text messages, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, we want to know when we’ve received a communication but the downside is that we are constantly bombarded with notifications and all too often, it is not something that needs to be dealt with immediately. However, we don’t know that for sure until we’ve checked, so we dutifully take our phone out of our bag or pocket to check the notification we’ve received in order to assess its importance. The smartwatch saves us from this frequent hassle; a quick glance at your watch……job done!
The volume of your Sonos sound system or your Hue lighting can also be controlled from your smartwatch, which offers another time saving opportunity by avoiding the inevitable search for your mobile phone before you can make your desired adjustments.
In addition to the hassle of constantly retrieving your phone from your pocket or bag to check notifications, it is at best considered slightly irritating and at worst down right rude to those with whom you might be engaging conversation at the time. Glancing at your watch to check a notification is not only quicker and simpler but also far subtler and therefore socially more acceptable!
We all understand the importance of exercise and in recent years watches that track your fitness have become the “must have” accessory for both the dedicated athlete and those prone to exercise “fads”. Unfortunately, for the latter, these watches spend many months of the year gathering dust in a drawer because once the fitness fad is over, watches dedicated to fitness tracking alone are redundant until the beginning of the next fad. Most smartwatches, on the other hand, do come equipped with various fitness features such as heart rate sensor, pulse monitor, step counter, calorie counter and sleep tracker and are capable of running fitness apps such as Endomondo and Strava. However, the far wider functionality of the smartwatch over the Fitbit or other fitness tracker, means that whether you are done with your exercise for the day, or done with it for the next few months, your watch is far from redundant!
Many airlines now offer smart boarding passes which can be downloaded onto your smartphone or smartwatch to offer a paperless boarding process. In addition, following the introduction of Apple Pay in the UK in July 2015, and assuming that you bank with a bank that supports Apple pay, it is now possible to use Apple’s version of the smartwatch to make purchases of goods and services (up to £30) by tapping your watch to a contactless card reader. So, gone is the need to delve into your bag or pockets to find your purse or wallet whilst laden with luggage and being jostled about by crowds of people. The smartwatch makes life easier for the busy traveller as they transit through an airport or other public transport process.
Although the various smartwatches handle the answering of calls differently, they all make it easier to answer a call when your mobile phone isn’t easily accessible. Some allow users to accept and decline calls on the watch, but activates the phone’s speaker and microphone (or headphones, if plugged in) for the conversation, whilst others, such as the Apple Watch, allow users to answer and carry out conversations directly from the watch whilst the phone remains in your bag or pocket
The smartwatch simplifies navigation by sending directions directly to your wrist. As a result of those directions being on your smartwatch, your mobile phone can stay in the safety of your pocket or bag, thus minimising the risk of it being dropped and damaged as you concentrate on following directions whilst walking around.
Fed up with constantly needing to charge your smartphone. Well, one of the biggest drains on the battery life of your mobile is its large, high-resolution display. Using a smartwatch will reduce the amount of time that your mobile phone’s display needs to be on and as a result reduces the frequency with which you will need to charge it.
The battery life of the smartwatch itself varies from manufacturer to manufacturer but there are examples on the market that will provide you with your all-important notifications by day and then track your sleep by night without the need for recharging in between.
Hopefully this article has helped to clarity the concept of the smartwatch and demonstrated the benefits that it would offer as an extension of your smartphone. It is certainly fair to say that this latest “wearable” technology will not be of use to as wide a demographic as the smartphone, not just yet anyway. However, it is amazing how many compelling uses there are for the smartwatch and how many people wouldn’t be without theirs once they have owned one
Let’s Connect is a leading employee benefits provider, offering a range of fully managed technology schemes to medium and large organisations in the UK. Our scheme offers employees the latest technology, including Smartwatch “wearables” from brands such as Apple, Garmin and Fitbit through a convenient salary sacrifice arrangement. These benefits are fully-managed by us, will be welcomed by your employees and are cost neutral to you, the employer.
If you would like to find out what technology we provide through our schemes, visit our Benefits Page or contact us on 0330 2000 231 – we would be very happy to provide you with more information and answer any questions you may have.