January 15, 2004
@ 07:00 AM

My boss, Mark Fussell, just purchased a Smart Watch with MSN Direct and I got to see one of them up close. In his post entitled Not an iPod Sheep [which is a reference to the fact that more and more folks on our team are geeking out Apple's lil' marvel] he writes

Today I picked up my rash and purely impulsive Christmas buy, a Fossil Wrist.NET Smart watch. It was probably sub-consciously induced by the new kid who came to our school (around 1977) with a calculator on his watch. No matter that it was impossible to press any of the buttons to do even the most simple sums and that this was tremendously useless, the fact that it was on a watch with a calculator built in made it ultra cool and an instant friend maker.

Now that I have my smart watch up and running (I had to leave the building and drive halfway home before it picked up a signal) I will say that it has some value. The #1 killer feature has to be the syncing with your Outlook calender appointments.... Of course having a wireless PC to look at the news and weather pretty much makes the other features on Smart watch useless, but “hey” I've just been told that George Bush wants to build a moon base by my watch - Wow! Now I can tell everyone all sorts of useless information. The #2 killer feature has to be the atomic clock accuracy, not that this is that necessary, but timing between meetings is everything. The #3 feature is the ability to send short (15 word?) instance messages to it.

Having a handy device that syncs to my Outlook calendar is something I definitely like but I consider a watch a fashion accessory not something that is primarily a gadget. The geek appeal of the watch is definitely high but I suspect I'll end up getting a SmartPhone instead. The main problem is that I'd like to be able to sync with Outlook when away from my work machine which may turn out to be quite expensive based on current cellular plans compared to having something like a SmartWatch.