First Click: Apple Watch is the lingerie of gadgets

July 27th, 2015


I don’t need a smartwatch but my wife does. Thing is, she doesn’t want one as much as I want her to have one.

See, Nguyen’s phone is always in a bag. Her phone doesn’t fit in her tiny front pockets, and she’s wise enough not to carry it in the back in a city where pockets are occasionally picked. Of course, when she’s wearing a skirt or dress she doesn’t have any pockets at all. A confluence of fashion and technology that, despite our vows, could our union put asunder.

Slack, Whatsapp, Messages, SMS, and DM have conditioned me to expect real-time access to my friends and colleagues. When I hit send I expect a response within seconds, and definitely within a few minutes. Otherwise, my mind races to black: are they dead? did I offend? is the internet down?

This type of communication works because the recipient either hears or feels my advances. But when I try to communicate with my wife — the most important person in my life — I never know when she might respond because she often misses the alert. What's usually just an annoyance can quickly foster panic during the inevitable family emergency.

That’s where smartwatch alerts can help.

On a recent trip to the Apple store Nguyen saw the Watch for the first time. “Ohhh nice,” she said, eyes widened with delight. A response she’s never expressed when looking at my Pebble or a Galaxy Gear. She likes the 38mm Sport model with white band, but at €400 she also says it’s too expensive.

Truth be told, Nguyen doesn’t want a smartwatch at all but she might humor me by wearing it if I gave it to her as a gift. In that way, it’s a lot like lingerie: I benefit directly by giving her something with more frills than what she usually wears; that’s really just an expensive, pretty, and sexed-up variation of something far more utilitarian. An object that ultimately interests me a lot more than it interests her.

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