Wearables might save humanity

FOMO is the reason why


So there I was, in the usual spot at 6pm, making some cereal for my two baby twins.

Phone’s in my pocket, vibrating shortly to indicate I got an email. Hands are busy and messy. Can’t touch this.

Our board presentation was about to be in 2 days and I’m waiting for feedback on slides showing our progress on the product side of Roomer Travel in Q4.

And that’s where it (finally) hit me. Fear Of Missing Out does not belong exclusively to millennials or teenagers constantly checking their phones. It exists in most of us, even in a dead-serious 32-year-old person like myself, who mistakenly felt above all that. It appears that FOMO is not only social but also professional and work related.

In “hooked”, Nir Eyal talks a lot about this “itch” that keeps on itching, pushing our hands to our pockets whenever we feel bored, embarrassed, or anxious to check what have we missed. At that moment, in my kitchen, I felt that itch, curious to know if I got the feedback I was expecting.

That same moment, I understood the power and the necessity of a glance. Simply put, the glance concept is what smart-watches is all about — giving us a sneak peek at what’s going on with minimum interference to what we do.

Left to right: Motorola 360, Samsung Gear, Microsoft Band and Jawbone Bluetooth headset user demonstrating hands free

Smart watches to textual output is what Bluetooth headsets are to audio output. They both enable us to keep track of things while doing other things. Keeping track (of our professional life) had become our most important ongoing task these days. It’s so important because it has a major effect on our planning processes.

Once we know things we can think of how to react and plan our next move according to the state of things. Planning, to some extent, is a process that can happen in the back of our minds alongside other activities. It happens to all of us — while driving, washing the dishes or doing any other semi-automatic activity.

When I imagine myself in this kind of experience, getting a glance to an email on my wrist while making dinner, I feel the calming effect of control and the ease of knowing (and not being anxious to know…).

Winning by a knockout

The combination of touch-and-go push notifications over a platform that enables no more than a glance, seems like the perfect balance of life and technology. The screen size of the smartwatch alongside the limited input interface (voice only), makes it a much better life companion than the smartphone.

Today smartphones are inflated with apps, competing for people’s attention in the name of retention. Once passed the lock screen, people are flooded with notifications making them bounce from one app to the other in a vicious circle of procrastination and distraction. Smart Watches seem to offer a much cleaner experience enabling people to focus on what’s really important — Life.

Now I need to get one.

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