Is the World Ready for Seiko's New Bluetooth Watch?
The time is always correct, they automatically adjust for daylight savings and time zone changes, they usually have built-in alarms and calendars, most of them can be configured to vibrate rather emit annoying beeps, and most of us have been trained to keep our phones charged and with us at all times. Glancing at a phone isn't quite as convenient as glancing at a watch, but for many of my friends, phones seem to be convenient enough. So what can the watch industry do to fight back? First and foremost, they can market watches as accessories and jewelry rather than timepieces. Having a Rolex or an Omega peeking out from under your sleeve says something a lot different than the latest and greatest mobile device clipped to your belt. A very different tack, however, is to make the phone and watch work together. At its core, what Seiko has done is exploit the one problem in switching from a watch to a mobile phone, and that is convenience. And they've done so by cleverly turning the problem on its head. They're saying that watches are so much more convenient than cell phones that rather than moving your watch's functionality into your phone, you ought to be moving functionality from your phone into your watch.According to this press release (translated), Seiko Instruments has developed a very interesting Bluetooth watch prototype. With the addition of software installed on your Bluetooth-enabled phone, the watch can do all of the following: Alert you with a sound or by vibrating when someone calls. Show you the name of the caller. Allow you to mute the phone's ring. Allow you to reject the call and forward to voice mail. Indicate that you have new mail on your phone, and display the subject of the message. Inform you if the Bluetooth connection between the watch and your phone is broken. Use the phone to calibrate the watch's time.I think this is a hugely interesting experiment, especially considering the fact that a lot of people I know have replaced their watches with their mobile phones. And why not? In many ways, mobile phones make better timepieces than most watches.