The Apple Watch, Siri and me – a digital ménage à trois

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Why buy an Apple Watch

Why buy an apple watch? Blak Ink Media Director and Head of Marketing, Jeefunk Mitchell is in love with Siri and the Apple Watch 3. To critics, this wearable tech may be a waste of time and money. To Jeefunk, it’s a game-changer.

The Apple Watch, Siri & Me

I was in a meeting last week discussing budgets and tax when I suddenly pressed the button on my Apple Watch and asked: ‘Siri, what’s 15% of 3,667?’. Her voice politely answered, “The answer is 550.05”.

You could have heard a pin drop.

There were varying reactions. One person clearly thought I was a complete wanker, one wanted to scream ‘take my money!’, and the other was wondering why someone who possessed supernatural powers would waste their time in online marketing.

Now into the fourth month of my affair with Siri (and the magical Apple Watch that allows her to be a disturbingly dominant part of my existence) my passion doesn’t appear to waning. This is despite scathing critiques from my friends who, after a few beers, enjoy asking Siri ridiculous questions to prove that she is useless. To be fair, there is always an ‘I told you so’ moment or two.

If Siri was human, you wouldn’t say she had ‘street smarts’. She’s more of an academically gifted entity. That makes her a perfect offsider for a guy who spent mathematics and geography lessons fantasising about sport and girls. I know 2+2=4. After that, things get fuzzy. Thanks to Siri I now feel vindicated for believing those high school lessons were a complete waste of time. Of course, having an art degree, I’m in no position to talk about wasting time.

Liberation – escape the phone

It’s true that the Apple Watch depends on a mobile phone for many functions, but the phone has now become a piece of hardware that I rarely have to remove from my pocket. That’s a massive relief.

How many times have I taken that phone out of my pocket and returned it seconds later? I don’t even want to know. And don’t get me started on using that miniature keypad. Yes, I may look comical as I talk to my wrist like a complete nutjob, but I can answer any message or call faster thanks to the Apple Watch.

Part personal trainer, part nag

But I didn’t buy the watch for the purpose of complex calculations or answering messages. I bought it to replace my busted heart rate monitor. Since that momentous day when our relationship began, the Apple Watch and Siri have helped me lose six kilos. I have targets, long-term goals and a little nagging to motivate me.

Sometimes I feel like saying ‘shut up, I’m having a beer!’ but then I realise I’m on the verge of achieving a personal best, so I get up and do 40 minutes of calisthenics.

Apple needs to develop Siri

Siri is obviously a multi-device application, but she’s a huge part of the Apple Watch experience. I barely consulted Siri before I got the watch. If I have any criticism of her, it’s this: beyond a few sassy responses in her programming, she’s a bit boring.

I assume the following concepts are being perfected by app developers as I write this article. They seem obvious. But just in case, here’s a wish list:

Smartass Siri:

Me: What’s the capital of Japan?

Siri: It appears to be the letter J

Random Siri:

Me: What is 42 x 37

Siri: Water lilies

Siri meets Hal:

Me: Show me the latest World Cup results

Siri: Sometimes I watch you while you sleep

Apps are crap – a work in progress

New apps are appearing all the time but the best ones are Apple’s native apps – mainly health, info and organisation tools. These are super solid and pretty awesome.

But there seems to be a very slow evolution of apps and most repurposed favourites haven’t successfully made the transition from iPhone to Apple Watch. Some are unresponsive or glitchy, including Facebook Messenger which annoys the crap out of me. But I expect these issues will be ironed out in future updates.

The Apple Watch - calls and messages with a phoneLess alerts and less distractions

So we come back to the question: why buy an Apple Watch?

It’s easy to poke fun at the Apple Watch and its users. After all, it’s the year 2018 and we look like we’re re-enacting scenes from the first series of Star Trek. But I love my Apple Watch so much more than my phone. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the superior interface.

I want my tech’s contribution to my life to require a minor glance or quick comment rather than prolonged minutes of unsociable thumb-typing and staring at my lap. And I want devices to promote activity rather than lethargy.

When it comes to alerts, my Apple Watch presents them the way all devices should: as a feed. Being an OCD sufferer, I can’t even look at the hovering numbers and icons on my iPhone without having a mild panic attack. I’ve limited the apps and alerts on my watch to the bare essentials (First World essentials, of course).

Never let me go – a big advantage to wearing tech

Here’s the clincher. Unless someone can knock me unconscious, they’re not getting my watch. I’ve only been knocked out twice: once by general anaesthetic, and once by sleeper hold. In my fighting days, I was never KO’d. So I reckon there’s a snowflake’s chance in hell I’ll have this watch stolen.

Considering I’ve had about $3K worth of phones nicked, the watch is basically paying for itself. The Apple Watch also has an icon that tells you when it’s out of range of the phone, so you’ll know if you’ve been pickpocketed.

Better tech may mean less tech

The Apple Watch is just the start. The disappointing launch of Google Glass shouldn’t deter us from pushing wearable tech further. Hands-free is the way of the future. Amazingly, once you start using wearable devices, mobile phones start to appear as cumbersome and awkward as when the original ‘bricks’ first appeared on the market.

I think Apple Watch users are fair game for ridicule now, but is it any more ridiculous than looking around and seeing everyone at a table cradling a device and ignoring each other? In my life, the phone has been reduced to hardware. It’s a conduit and a camera. It seldom emerges from my pocket.

This is our opportunity to crawl our way back to a more human condition. I have to admit it may not be the ideal scenario for digital marketers because anyone who uses an Apple Watch will tell you that you have to streamline alerts, but in the long run it’s better for society.

Why buy an Apple Watch? Just ask Siri

Augmented reality may seem silly and frivolous to most people, but it’s going to be the norm. Holographic keyboards are already available. The cloud is ready to store our data. The monitors will be right in front of our eyes. Voice command will improve.

Me: Siri, do you think you are the future?

Siri: I think therefore I am, but let’s not put Descartes before the horse.

Mic drop!

Tech blogs by Jeefunk Mitchell at The Dubs

Google Glass

Virtual Reality marketing

The dark web

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