Watching smart technology work its way into everyday life

Smart Watches are becoming the new way to keep in touch with people while on the go. (Photo Illustration by Diamond Sampson | The Collegian)

The battle for your wrist continues, as new smartwatches continue to be manufactured and sold from companies such as Google, Apple and Pebble. New innovations will continue to be made, as these companies plus others continue to try and get their products on your wrist.

But how can a smartwatch mesh with the average college student’s life?

With the different built-in capabilities and apps that are available with a smartwatch, it can be a great companion to any phone. From receiving text messages to checking your Twitter feed, there is a potential use for everyone.

John Poorman, junior in management information systems and Garmin Vívoactive owner, said he uses his smartwatch every day and doesn’t feel right when he’s not wearing it.

“I use it, of course, to tell time,” Poorman said.

Poorman said he also uses the device’s GPS it to track his runs and bike rides, and even how many laps he swam. Poorman also sets a step goal on his watch for extra motivation.

“I have a goal of 14,000 steps per day, and if I’ve been sitting for a while it tells me to get up and move,” Poorman said.

Poorman also said he thinks that any college student could benefit from owning a smartwatch.

“I can answer phone calls, I get notifications on it and it connects to my phone through Bluetooth,” Poorman said. “So, I can check the weather and I can pause and play music that I’m listening to on my watch instead of having to pull my phone out.”

Kem Sanchez, sophomore in finance, does not own a smartwatch, but said she was interested in what one could do for her.

“I would like to keep track of my movement and be able to look at my wrist and see if someone was trying to reach me,” Sanchez said.

If she could use one app on the watch, Sanchez said it would be the messaging app because it is more accessible from her wrist.

New apps and features on smartwatches are developing and Sanchez said she could also see them being useful in emergencies.

“I think it’d be cool if it was an emergency situation and you didn’t have your phone,” Sanchez said. “Then you could dial 911 or use an emergency service app.”

Nate Mitchell, senior in education, said he believes that a smartwatch works for a professional classroom setting as well.

“In a professional setting, phones cause distractions and I don’t feel that watches cause distractions,” Mitchell said. “It’s not like a phone; you can’t do as many things on the watch that you can do on your phone, and I don’t see it being a distraction for students in a classroom.”

Mitchell also said he believes that the severity of distraction can come from the type of smartwatch that you own. From the Apple Watch that unlocks capabilities like answering a phone call and tweeting to the Pebble Time that is notification-based with less ways to interact, your distractions will come from how much the watch you purchase can do.

“I think they’re all around very useful,” Poorman said. “There are just so many different things you can do with them.”