Living with a Martian: 5 Smartwatch Insights
I recently invested $300 in a Martian Victory smartwatch. In fact, my impatience for wearable tech led to +$100 on FedEx 24hr delivery and a Hirsch leather strap. It looks great – but was $400 worth it?
1. Smartwear has a consumer benefit
I didn’t need a new watch. In fact I’d stopped wearing one 2 years ago because the time is everywhere (mobile, tablet, train station, PVR, fridge…). I did however have smartphone OCD as I (unconsciously and uncontrollably) reached for my mobile, entered PIN, unlocked screen, checked texts, opened inbox, browsed calendar etc etc. Most research points to around 130 times a day however my Martian watch has reduced my daily habit to under 20 times. My iPhone stays in my pocket until I actively need it because my smartwatch will notify me if a call, text, email etc comes in.
9\10 for identifying a new consumer need
2. Notifications are less intrusive on your wrist
My world of swooshes, pings, tings and mission impossible ringtones are happily history. My mobile is now permanently on silent. Noise pollution is replaced by a subtle vibration on my wrist as notification of a call, text, meeting reminder etc. The OLED ticker screen on the Martian scrolls the caller ID, text message, calendar entry etc so I have enough information on my wrist to remain informed and in touch. What’s pretty cool is the ability to tap the watch face to repeat the message if you’re chatting to someone and place human engagement above machine interaction. Or you’re driving and don’t want to test the airbags.
8/10 for keeping me in control of data whiplash
3. Human voice is a natural yet untapped interface
The Martian is the world’s first voice controlled watch, the key distinguisher from Pebble, Cookoo, Samsung Gear Fit and a growing number of market entrants. Voice remains one of the most exciting, untapped, natural UIs and my Martian has amplified the delights of Siri. Walking to the train station in the morning I now ask my watch to read out today’s meetings, the weather forecast or set a reminder for when I get to work (triggered by GPS). During the day I can send texts, fire off an email, set up or cancel a meeting… without looking at a screen. This is just the start of Artificial Intelligence.
10/10 for unlocking the power of voice control
4. The last thing we need is another screen
I have a 4inch screen in my pocket, 7inches in my jacket, 15inches on my desk, 42inches in the sitting room… Do I really need another screen on my wrist? The iWatch will of course be a Sir Jonathan Ive thing of sapphire glass beauty, however the Martian has found the perfect balance between small OLED ticker screen and mastery of voice command. It has in fact relegated my mobile to third place device behind smartwatch and tablet (ignoring the fact the mobile is 3G connected). It’s also socially acceptable to wear a watch, whilst smart glasses have received mixed reviews, and I’ve enjoyed the ability to glance at my watch during conversation rather than divert attention to a mobile.
7/10 for keeping it real
5. Kickstarter drives innovation and new markets
I love the fact the Martian was a crowd-funded project, as was the Pebble, and it’s always good to support independent innovation. There are 4,244 projects currently on Kickstarter (filtered by Technology + Earth + Magic) including augmented reality books, a drone copter, portable wind turbines and a watch that can charge your mobile.
10/10 for driving innovation
Living with a Martian has exceeded my expectations.
An impressive 9/10 for both style and substance.