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f you’ve grown tired of your iPhone’s functionality and have been looking for something to replace the watch you stopped wearing when you got the aforementioned iPhone, a smart watch might be right up your alley. Though the concept sounds like a joke to some—why are we going backwards and wearing watches again rather than using our phones to tell the time?—more manufacturers are coming up with their own smart watches to offer the masses.

Apple, Sony, Samsung, and Google are already working on smart watch designs, and speculation points to the iPod Nano as having been inspiration for the idea. Since it was small and could be visualized sitting atop a watchband, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine one actually materializing.

Smart watches are meant to be used in conjunction with smart phones, in order to minimize the time spent on the phones.

But smart watches aren’t aiming to replace your smart phone, just work with it. For example, the Pebble (which was funded on Kickstarter, where it raised more than $10 million) works with both iOS and Android phones, and shows the time, controls your music library, and alerts you to new texts and emails. You see a preview of what you’ve received, and you can see the full text on your phone.

The aim of smart watches is more to limit the amount of time you need to spend on your phone than it is to take over the need of having a phone. We can see the benefit of them for younger people especially—for example, when driving, they could just check their wrist quickly rather than shuffle around with a phone only to see that it was their mom texting them. Granted, texting and driving and distractions in general are no good, but people seem pretty glued to their habits and any way to minimize the danger is good with us.  

Apps, of course, are another feature—Google, for example, is considering using its watch as a remote control for Google TV. It seems intuitive that other apps— perhaps for weight loss or making grocery lists, among other tasks—would surface as well.

Would you buy a smart watch?