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Coming sooon: The Bluetooth Watch

Thursday, December 31, 2009 by Dave Winer.

Like Checkbox News, the Social Camera and the Twitter Camera, this product is just around the corner. Someday soon we'll all have watches that do Bluetooth. Permalink to this paragraph

Here's the pitch. Permalink to this paragraph

Earlier this decade Microsoft started an effort they called the Smart Watch. It pretty much failed. Some people wore watches with keypads, presumably so they could do calculations or write memos. You'd have to have fingers about 1/100th the size of human fingers for that to work. I'm sure there were lots of other early attempts to digitize watches, but in the end, watches are good for telling time and not much more.  Permalink to this paragraph

The reason -- to be ergonomic a watch has to be small. But to have a decent user interface a watch has to be big. Too big.  Permalink to this paragraph

That's why the functionality that could have conceivably gone on our wrists is now in our pockets -- on smart phones, Blackberry, iPhone, Droid.  Permalink to this paragraph

In-our-pocket is the wrong place for quick text messages. They should be on our wrist! Permalink to this paragraph

Enter Bluetooth. Permalink to this paragraph

wrist watchI don't know the economics but I imagine a digital watch could be made to look beautiful and also to have a mode where it couples with our phone and acts as a receiver for text messages. That way every time someone DMs you on Twitter it could show up on your wrist, with a little vibration only you feel.  Permalink to this paragraph

I considered calling this the Twitter Watch, but enough with Twitter. They get too much free publicity. A picture named sidesmiley.gif Permalink to this paragraph

Discuss! Permalink to this paragraph

PS: I know there are Bluetooth Watches, but they got it wrong. The display should be the whole watch face, not a sliver of tiny text beneath an analog watch face. And it's nice they can show you the caller ID, but I don't get nearly as many phone calls as text messages. A watch could display 140 characters, if you temporarily displace the time display (until you click the face to dismiss). The ones that try to be an MP3 player or cell phone are just as ridiculous and doomed to fail as the smart watches of the 90s. Permalink to this paragraph

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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.


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