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The Apple Watch

My experience has been really mixed. I’ve avoided writing about it mainly because I think the experience is largely going to be personal – and its an experience worth trying. Then I stumbled across this interview with William Gibson:

What are your thoughts on Apple’s introduction of a product that, in a very specific way, is attempting to occupy the place once held by wristwatches? Is the Apple watch a watch at all?

I backed Pebble’s original Kickstarter, then wore Pebble exclusively for the better part of a year. Fascinating experience. It’s not “a watch”, as I assume the Apple, which I’ve yet to try, also isn’t. The fundamental difference between a watch and a smartwatch is that a watch’s central functionality is to tell time in isolation. That’s the essential core goal of the science of horology, really. A watch can perform its functions perfectly from within a Faraday cage. A smartwatch can’t: its function is to be a node in a distributed network. That was easy to see in the first Pebble: it had all the physical gravitas of the cheapest Bic pen, but, eventually, it had amazingly varied functionality, via connectivity. The Apple looks like jewelry. It’ll aspire to heirloom status but I doubt it will ever be that. Attempts to render smartphones as power jewelry fail. The Apple watch, I imagine, will be a dead platform in a few years, no more collectible than old iPhones. Because it’s nothing, really, without access to a system, and the system constantly outgrows it, evolves beyond it.

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