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Apple Watch: All fun and games until someone loses an eye

Published: Sat 13 Sep 2014 02:33 PM
Seen from afar Apple's Watch looks better than any other attempt at creating a smart watch. It has a sharp design and a solid feature set.
If I wanted a smart watch this would be it.
But I don't want a smart watch. At least not at the moment. That could change when I get to test the Apple Watch. I'm nothing but open-minded.
If anything my earlier, admittedly short, time with the Samsung Galaxy Gear convinced me a smart watch won't make me any more productive. Nor will it make me smarter, faster-moving or happier.
On the other hand — perhaps I should sayon the other wrist — a smart watch would suck up time and money that could be put to better use elsewhere.
That's not so say an Apple Watch won't help you. I'm a special case because I have an eye condition called macular degeneration. It's treatable, but there are times when I have difficulty reading normal size text. Glasses don't help. It's easy to whack the size up on a computer or tablet. I can even magnify text to useful sizes on a smartphone. But not on a wrist-size screen.
Incidentally, my eye condition is one reason I'm excited about the newer, large screen iPhone 6.
I've always been supportive ofassistive technologybut until now any interest has been academic. The first crop of smart watches isn't helpful to people with poor sight. Apple's taptic engine has the potential to change that. It could be particularly useful for blind people once developers get working on new ways to exploit the technology.
So, I'll set the alarm on buying an Apple Watch until I see what the world's smartest app programmers come up with. For now, I'll keep my Swatch.
Digitl
Freelance journalist.
Auckland-based Bill Bennett writes technology and business stories that are directly relevant to New Zealand readers.
His emphasis is on telecommunications, but he also covers other aspects of technology and business. You can find his features in the New Zealand Herald and hear him regularly on RNZ Nine to Noon and the NZ Tech Podcast.
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