I'm excited about the Apple Watch, and what it might mean in the way we communicate. It's an elegant piece of wearable tech that offers a lot of features, but for now I'm waiting.
First, I'm not the guy who buys the first new version of a product. I didn't buy the first iPhone, I waited a year and bought the iPhone 3G. With the new model designations I'm now the 's' guy - not the iPhone 4 but the 4s, not the iPhone5 but the 5s.
Second, when it comes to watches I'm kind of tough on them, and that may be the real stopper for me.
In this blog you'll find a photo of the Watch (we all thought it would be the iWatch it's just the Watch) with all its brightness and unique and elegant design. I would expect no less. You'll also find a photo of the watch I'm wearing as I write this. And it's not so elegant (but it is new - which I'll explain in a moment).
I'm an avid watch wearer, always have been. And I've found the Timex IronMan series to be a dependable watch that can stand up to the kind of abuse I dish out. From banging it on door frames to swimming with it; from running with it and tracking my time to just keeping time, the watch does well. And it costs $35, or so, when it's replacement time. By the way this is not an endorsement of the Timex, I'm sure another brand of sport watch in the same price category would work as well, it's just that I started with an IronMan and frankly I know how to run it and set it.
The Apple Watch starts at $349 (for people with smaller wrists) and goes up to $17,000 (the price of a good acre of land in some parts of Iowa). Yet the sport version is not water proof, which concerns me about its ability to perform during a hot summer run, where sweat is an issue. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple says he's been working out with one for months, so I'll give him that. But swim with it on? No way.
That durability may be the biggest single stumbling block for me. We work in agriculture, climbing on and off equipment, working on things, hitting stuff with hammers. Is the Watch up to the task? No way to know, though perhaps a test in the future is worth a try.
Yet, recently I've seen some interesting posts on Facebook from friends with other smart watches that failed in a few months of working out, and wear. That's a concern, I don't want an expensive watch that will just stop working. Add in that you have to charge the Apple Watch every day - something I don't worry about for months at a time - and there's another concern.
Sure, the Watch will provide an excellent way to communicate, keep up, and someday we all may be wearing them. The first batch is already sold out, and buyers this week are being told they'll wait a month or longer to get one. It's popular.
If there's a farmer reading this who ordered one, I'd entertain your comments below, but for now I'm taking a wait and see attitude. And trust me I've been interested in the fitness tracking ability of the new Apple Watch, I just don't think it's ready for 'farm time.' Or perhaps. "Willie Time."
And why is my IronMan new? For some reason a saltwater swim in Hawaii had my last one showing just gibberish before it went blank. Apparently after a while they're not waterproof anymore. That's a challenge. But replacing it was easy, a trip to a nearby Target and a quick purchase.
Tech should make our lives easier. My iPhone does for sure. But frankly the Apple Watch isn't there ... yet. I trust the folks at Apple, and I'll be looking forward to seeing the next iteration of the Watch next year to see what it offers. Maybe by then they'll make it water proof and even tougher. We'll see.