With all of the hype surrounding the Apple Watch, I decided to go through my entire “graveyard” (or more appropriately, my personal “boulevard of broken dreams” given the promise each had) of wearables devices, from smart watches, fitness watches, activity bands, sleep trackers, etc. The tally was over 15 (the picture here only notes the smart/fitness watches & activity bands)! However, I must begin by saying that I’m a total wearables geek and will jump to get the newest gadget that helps me with fitness, activity, or sleep.
- Klugey hardware/software design. At the core, my biggest disappointment to date has been the interfaces – very klugey, inefficient, and sometimes, ineffective.
- Look & feel. Similar to the design is the look & feel – after a few weeks (or even a few days), I stopped wearing them – just didn’t like the look. This speaks to the importance of style in any wearable that wants to break out.
- Use case mismatch. Initially, I thought I’d love having applications on top of my smart watch or wearable (get messages, email notifications, music control, etc), but at the end of the day, the main reasons I wear them is (1) activity/fitness tracking; (2) sleep tracking; and (3) style. I’m sure I will revise this thinking once Apple enters the fray!
So, after trying many devices over the past 3-5 years, I’ve locked in on the Jawbone UP24, which has effectively become my personal “system of record” for health. I think the product looks great, but more importantly, it does a few things really well – it tracks my activity, tracks my sleep, and integrates with a host of mobile health & fitness apps.