Last week I purchased a red Pebble Smartwatch. I then took a weekend in Chicago and wore it the whole time without really thinking about it. I was able to adapt pretty quick and began to find myself using it effectively. When I got home from the weekend my roommates caught a glance and had a reaction which I didn't expect. One roommate said he isn't excited at all for smart wearables because it's one more thing that will distract him. I hadn't thought about this before he mentioned it, but he did raise a good point and it's moved me to write a piece on why I'm not only not bothered by smart wearables, but why I think they're a great enhancement to how we interact with our other devices, particularly our phones.
The number one reason I think the smartwatch is going to improve how we are dealing with technology is that it's subtle. When you get a notification on your phone, in order to check it, first your phone must announce you notification - often audibly, then you have to take your phone out of your pocket, turn the screen on, unlock the screen, and then check the notification. On the smartwatch (the Pebble at least) each notification vibrates the watch and the information is displayed on the screen. Not that checking your watch is a respectful thing to do when you're deep in conversation with another person, but it's a lot easier to get away with if your conversation buddy gets distracted for a second. It makes what is quite the ordeal a simple glance down. I don't even use a ringtone anymore.
But I haven't really addressed my roommates issue. In order to disconnect, I have to leave my phone and now my watch behind. It's not a huge pain in the butt, but I get that it will keep you connected more than it would if you didn't have it around. It is harder to get away from the buzz of the world and retreat. There are silent hours that you can set on the watch itself, but random moments of peace will be easily interrupted.
For me, the smartwatch is a great tool which allows me to be in the moment while still being someone who the rest of the world can continuously depend on. After a lesson or two in balancing being present virtually and physically and mentally, it's allowing me to be more present with all everyone without burdening those who I'm with.