I have not worn a watch for probably over twenty years. This comes down to a combination of two reasons - firstly, I find it hard to find one that I feel comfortable wearing all day on my wrist and secondly, I always know what the time is due to either being in front of my computer, in the car or (most of the time) having my BlackBerry in my hand.
However, things have taken a turn for me recently. Since the launch of Smartwatch Fans I've become much more aware of wearable technology and with the great coverage that the Mobile Nations team gave at CES, it's clear to see that smartwatches are going to be a big part of the whole mobile computing ecosystem for the foreseeable future.
Although I'm obviously not a watch fan I decided that in order to keep up with the ever changing world of technology I had better test one out — just in case I was missing out on something (you don't know until you try). If you visit most of our Mobile Nations sites you'll know that I spend most of my time over at CrackBerry so I wanted to get my hands on a smartwatch that was BlackBerry 10 compatible. That left me with one option — the Pebble. Unlike Android and iPhone we don't yet have an official Pebble app for BlackBerry 10 but there is a third party one called Talk2Watch which does a great job.
Task number one for me was getting hold of a Pebble. Now, not being a watch wearer I was reluctant to spend my cash on one so I reached out to the very efficient PR team at Pebble and two days later one arrived to me all the way from America.
The challenge was now on. Would I be comfortable wearing it and could I make the transition to checking my wrist instead of picking up my BlackBerry when I feel a buzz?
I don't mind admitting I'm an addict. A smartwatch addict that now is! The Pebble and I have become best friends and we are inseparable.
Although I'm referring to the Pebble in this article as that's the smartwatch that I have, you'll need to imagine that I could be talking about any smartwatch — as there are now a selection to choose from and many more to come.
In terms of comfort I'm not going to go into any great detail as this isn't a review, but what I will say is that I'm happy with the choice I made, but clearly some smartwatches will offer more comfort than others depending on materials used and size.
In the week or so I've been rocking the Pebble I have only found one downside, although it's not the end of the world. Constantly having Bluetooth activated on my BlackBerry is not something I'm used to, so understandably there will be an element of extra battery usage. That said, I always have a spare battery on charge, so swapping out is not a big deal. I just need to ensure I take my spare with me if I go out for the day. Being able to do this may well be a big advantage over some other phones as many these days don't have the pleasure of a removable battery. But don't worry — I'm not here trying to sell BlackBerry 10!
So if like me you've been tempted to delve into the smartwatch arena but have been a bit reluctant, I'd urge to you make that leap of faith. Having the ability to check emails, SMS, etc without having to pull out your smartphone is a huge bonus and from a dinner meeting I had earlier this week, it's also a lot more polite.
I'm hoping that in the future we will see more and more smartwatches appear in mobile stores where consumers can try before they buy. Spending a few hundred dollars or more on something that you've not tried for comfort and user experience may well put some folk off — let's hope that changes in 2014.
So for me I'm going to continue wearing a smartwatch in conjunction with whatever smartphone I happen to be carrying. The only big issue I have is that I think Pebble are going to want this one back. If anyone asks, I've emigrated far far away!