Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Dumb

Shawn Blanc likes his watches dumb:

My affinity for analog watches doesn’t mean I dislike the concept of the smartwatch. My iPhone is one of the most incredible items I have ever owned and used. But my experience with it has also taught me that the promise of convenient notifications and relevant information is almost always paired with the reality of constant distractions, tugs for attention, and perhaps even an addiction to the “just checks”.

There are people who like constant notification. They might have a smartphone with a little light on it which blinks different colours to tell them what has arrived since they last looked at its screen, or they might have six different news apps, all with breaking news notifications turned on. And, therefore, they might enjoy a smartwatch which buzzes their wrist every time someone mentions them on Twitter.

I kind of get this philosophy; I am, after all, someone who has toyed with the idea of hanging one of those ultra-slim-bezel televisions vertically above my desk with today’s weather, email, and newsy things on it. But I haven’t actually proceeded with that idea. It’s a distraction, and it’s unnecessary.