AMITIAE - Sunday 16 August 2015
Cassandra: Apple Watch as Personal Accessory
By Graham K. Rogers
The Apple Watch has a wider choice of bands, including the Sport Bands and prices range from 20,500 baht (US$549) up to 41,500 baht (US$1099), depending on the watch face (38mm or 42mm), the strap and the bezel finish. Those with a Space Black bezel are the top of the Apple Watch range and come with a matching link bracelet. The one I am using has the stainless steel 42mm case with the Milanese Loop strap (US$699) which is priced at 26,500 baht here. I also have a spare white Sport Band (US$49) which costs 1900 baht. The Milanese Loop bought as an extra band comes to US$149 (5,900 baht).
Some want a sense of uniqueness, or a feeling of craftsmanship. There is also the device as investment. Another area which attracts people to expensive purchases, is the pen. I am happy with a Japanese pen (I always use the same type because it suits me) that costs around 50 baht. I recently saw several pens in Siam Paragon at between 5,000 and 15,000 baht; and online sources found me several pens between $40,000 and $60,000 with the most expensive being the Fulgor Nocturnus by pen-makers Tibaldi of Florence, which sold for $8 million. . . .
Because they can.
Apple Watch - Image Courtesy of Apple
There is also the acute awareness of health. For those who are regulars at a gym, these monitoring methods are familiar, but for those who are less active, the Watch can provide frequent reminders. In only a couple of days, this is making me acutely aware of the need to change behaviour. I set low goals initially for burning off calories and with my sedentary lifestyle have consistently failed to meet my targets, but with access to an in-my-face reminder - this was installed as one of the "glances" - I know where I am lagging.
I love the Stand up and Move Around reminder. Sitting in front of a computer for hours on end is not good for circulation as I used to find riding motorcycles long distances: the knees are the first to go. With bikes and computers another problem could be dehydration: I just forget to drink sometimes.
A colleague remarked on this last week at a camp, when she noted she had consumed two glasses of water, while I had just sipped at one. The reminder to stand is a double boon here: not only does it remind me to stand up and walk around, but I use it as a personal reminder to drink something. When it went off in the colleague's office and I started walking around: it caused her to giggle when she realised what this did.
Only a few apps are available at the moment, with a notable exception being Facebook, especially its Messenger app. They have the capability to provide this access if they wanted of course.
Things will improve later as the App Store opens up to 3rd party developers for Watch apps in the Fall. Right now, it is hit and miss as (at least in the Thai App Store) there is no separate heading to find those apps that work with iOS devices and the Watch.
As well as the health aspects, I have already found a number of features activated by apps - especially the camera and the app for Keynote - which surprised me: showing ways in which the original intent for such a device will easily be surpassed (as were iOS devices) when those 3rd party apps start arriving.
A watch, like a pen or a phone can be a personal statement. While I have relatively cheap pens, the specifications - roller ball of 0.7mm, black ink, fluted barrel - are my way of standardising my output and a mark of what I want. The same goes for my Macs and iOS devices. And, now the Apple Watch.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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