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Sony’s New SmartWatch Isn’t Smart At All

Lately, different tech categories have been suffering from an identity crisis: new TVs are coming with computer processors and running smartphone operating systems; All-in-one PCs are sporting 3D technology and tablet-touch sensibilities; the humble phone has morphed into a power-crazed remote that manages information hubs (and even automated homes).

When did technology stop being simple? And above all—the catalyst of this rant—why does my watch need to feed me Twitter updates instead of legibly, clearly, communicating the time?

We’ve reached the point of information saturation, where companies want to aid sloth by spoon feeding useless tid-bits. Sony will unfortunately endure the brunt of this rant after the company made their SmartWatch available from their online store, but they are not alone in offering such trivial luxuries.

It features a 1.3 inch touch screen and communicates emails, twitter feeds, texts and weather info. But it’s a one way relationship, with its small display making it tough for text input, relying on predefined messages. So if a matter doesn’t fit into “Sorry, I’ll call you back” or “I’m in a meeting”, you’ll have to whip out your smartphone anyway.

A Sananews review claims “it’s best to think of the SmartWatch as a remote control for your Android smartphone.” But the common day smartphone has become the universal remote control. Does that mean my remote control needs its own remote control?

In its defence, it does manage phone calls through a Bluetooth connection, and will fulfil some Dick-Tracey fantasies.

But unlike Motorola’s MotoActiv, the SmartWatch barely does anything independently. If you want to track your exercise progress, you’ll need to take your phone with you. It’s the same story if you just want to listen to some music. Having an additional device that ushers is nothing new—other than circumnavigating your pocket—seems a little redundant.

Sony would like to take the trouble out of pocket diving for a cool US$150.