(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

A Palm On Your Wrist

from the not-bad...- dept

About a year ago, I was thinking about the pain of carrying around all sorts of different gadgets, and realized that the wrist watch was such a great idea. Here was a specialized gadget that could do a fair number of things, but never made it feel like you were "carrying" around anything extra - as it just attached to your body in an unobtrusive, yet highly accesible way. At the time, I wondered why (other than size limitation) other devices didn't try to take advantage of that concept. It seems that some are trying. Fossil has announced a new watch that includes Palm's operating system. While it's only a first generation offering, I could see how such a thing could potentially catch on. It certainly makes it easier to carry around a Palm device - though, the smaller screen may make it seem less worthwhile. However, the possibilities down the road, including some sort of wireless connection could make the "wrist watch PDA" a lot more interesting. Of course, this Fossil watch certainly could fail (and I'm sure many people expect it to) - so I wonder if that will scare off others from experimenting with wrist watch-based ideas.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    dorpus, Nov 18th, 2002 @ 4:21am

    back in the 80s....

    They had calculator watches, pac-man watches. How successful were they?

    Portable game consoles came and went too -- they were considered a serious noise problem in the early 90s, and people feared a future when no place would be safe from the blips of portable gamers.

    They had tiny TV's in the late 80s/early 90s too, which seems to be making a temporary comeback based on the LCD/Plasma/whatever novelty technology concept.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Mike (profile), Nov 18th, 2002 @ 8:16am

    Re: back in the 80s....

    Are you saying that because the pac-man watch failed, this is doomed as well? I would think that a PDA wrist watch has a bit more value than a pac man watch. As I said, I have no idea if this particular watch will succeed or fail, but I think there is something to the idea of putting these things on the wrist, because it gets rid of the "where do I hold it?" problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    COD, Nov 18th, 2002 @ 8:30am

    No Subject Given

    Portable game units have failed? Have you ever been to a family orientated restaurant at dinner time? 1/2 the 10 and under crowd there with be happily passing the time waiting for dinner with a Gameboy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    rama r, Nov 18th, 2002 @ 8:30am


    I could see getting one of these when the prices drop a bit more. How cool would it be if it did bluetooth or something- you select a person from your addressbook on your watch, hit the Call button and it beams it to a phone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 18th, 2002 @ 10:39am

    Re: back in the 80s....

    Basic problem: who wants displays so small?

    There is an under-served market for people that like to have nice big displays. People with less-than-perfect eyesight hate miniature devices. Even people with good eyesight strain to see the tiny displays in sub-optimal lighting conditions.
    A wristwatch-sized PDA epitomizes the annoying too-small displays.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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