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The Smartwatch And Body Language

Smartwatches are starting to be a thing, out in the wild and being used by customers. Here in New Zealand the Apple Watch hasn't launched yet, so most of these are one form or another of Samsung's Gear, although the Pebble, Sony Smartwatch and Moto 360 are becoming more common.

Its interesting to watch how the new technology is changing the interaction between people.

First of all, an observation. all those dark screens on people's wrists look a bit strange. The sooner Google gets its latest Android Wear update out and turns them all permanently on the better. Apart from anything else, having the screen turn on as the person you're talking too waves their arms about is incredibly distracting. In Italy I'd imagine that the lighting and dousing of screens as natives talk with their hands will be enough to trigger epileptic seizures in those who are susceptable.

If you're in the middle of a conversation and a notification comes in on your phone it's pretty easy to ignore. Once you've finished your conversation, or meeting or whatever else you were doing you can fish your phone out of your pocket and see what the new item is. If it comes in on your smartwatch the natural reaction seems to be to look at it to see whether it needs your attention. Of course by current convention, someone looking at their watch when you're mid-conversation suggests they have to be somewhere or you are boring the pants off them. Not a good message to send.

So if you're going to choose to wear a smartwatch be very careful about the notifications that you enable. Get it wrong and you may inadvertently insult your friends, family and colleagues.

Image: Mario Pesce/Flickr 


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