Why I’m scared of Wearable Tech and the Apple Watch

It's all about high tech wearables
It’s all about high tech wearables

I’ll admit it. I’m scared to death of the Apple Watch.  I’ll also admit that was not my first thought when I watched Tim Cook unveil “One More Thing” during the livestream of the Apple Keynote.

Mr. Cook, you had me at “One”…

Yes, I love Apple products so much I sit in my office on the day of the keynote and watch it.  I also refresh my browser on all the tech sites like Mashable, Apple Insider, Tech Crunch, CNET, CNN, and USAToday to see what the analysts think of the announcement.  Will it or won’t it be a hit with the public?

I ordered the iPhone 6 the moment online ordering became available and I waited around my office till the end of the day last Friday until the UPS man brought the little brown box which held a little white box that held my precious idevice. Then I proceeded to spend my Friday with my new friend and some craft beers — I couldn’t have been happier.

So there it is. I’m an iNerd.

Which has me thinking a lot about the Apple Watch.  My first thought when I saw the deliciously sleek and stylish device was “I am getting one of those. First in line!”.  What was not to like?  I was going to have heartbeat contests with my friends, check out my Facebook page during meetings, and send my loved ones little doodles of funny faces and vibrating love taps.  I was all in.

But then I started to realize, how connected do I need to be?  I already have a hard time paying attention and not checking my phone.  I went on a camping trip to the mountains. Hiked up to 10,500 feet here in Colorado. The scenery and experience where otherworldly and I was at the top of the mountain, waiting for my Mountain House to rehydrate, and checking my iPhone!  And I wasn’t trying to address one of global crises of the moment — I was playing on Facebook, Instagram, and obsessively monitoring my fantasy football scores.  It has become nearly impossible for me to disconnect. Matter of fact, one of my big life long goals is to go on vacation and put my iPhone in a safe for a week.  It’s a huge goal because it seems so foreign, so hard to do. It’s something that’s akin to retirement — it just doesn’t seem possible!

So now I need constant reminders of when I need to move? How I’m breathing?  Am I hot am I cold?

Apple’s greatest talent is also a source of great concern. They are able to make technology extremely personal.  That was the allure of the iPhone — it wasn’t the first but it was the most personal and that’s what we love about it.  The same can be said for the Apple Watch — but is it too personal? Think about it for a moment — right now we keep our smart phones on our person, next to the bed, on the desk. They’re never too far away but they aren’t attached.  Now we’re going to be wearing computers on our wrists.

Wearing computers on our wrists!  Had you told me this when I was a kid I would have thought it to be the coolest thing in the world. Now I’m getting the willies.

Sleek and Stylish. So hard to resist.

The challenge of a smart watch like the one for Apple is that it brings incredible control and robs you of it at the same time.  I have always liked the saying “I don’t know what I don’t know yet” and implicit is the idea that I don’t have to know everything.  Before watches and clocks were invented people didn’t have to know the exact time, but now we are held to the precise second in our daily lives.  Sure it’s going to be awesome to be aware of my heart rate (this actually is important to me) and how many calories I’ve consumed.  But is it going to be awesome if everything I do is because the Apple Watch tells me it’s time to eat? To stop eating because my calorie limit for the day has been reached?  Do I really need to know that my buddy ate at Larkburger in real time?  Is that worth being interrupted with a buzz or a tone while I’m reading to my kids? Listening to a client tell their life story?

Do I really need this information. Is it making life better or worse? That is the fundamental question I’m wrestling with as I think about where we’re headed in the future.

It makes me wonder, where is this all going to lead? Are we going to smart-hats? — we already have Google Glass and “glassholes” — , smart shirts?  What about the Apple Implant — a device surgically implanted so that you can be connected at every moment?  Sounds crazy, but is it really that far off?  I’m no alarmist but it feels like we’re becoming a bad made for TV version of The Matrix.  Will the new devices tell us when we’re ready to eat, sleep, drink, love, think….where does it end?

I’ve decided that there has to be a limit.  It’s going to be hard. I have an instinctive reflex to be first on an Apple new release. I want to be part of the in-crowd. It feeds my ego and makes me feel like I belong to a first wave of avant-garde technology cool kids.  But, for now, as I see it the negatives outweigh the positives. I’m already addicted to my smartphone — I think the Apple Watch would take that several notches in the wrong direction.  I’ve said it. Declared it in print. I’m scared of the Apple Watch and I’m sure as hell going to try not buying one.

I think.


What do you think of the Apple Watch and wearable tech? Are you in? Scared? Creeped Out? Join the discussion and leave your comments below.

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