Swiss-Army Smart Watch Needed

I just finished a great article in Engadget on how super-multi-purpose smart watches may not be the answer for the future of wearables. Instead, with new single purpose wearables being shown at CES lastweek (from baby gear to ER patches), maybe Swiss Army Smart Watches are not needed.

My response: Some of us do need a Swiss-Army Smart Watch!

I waited until the third iteration before purchasing a smart watch this week. I stopped waiting because the next round of development, for example the Moto 360 Sport, still miss one or another of the keys to what I need.

I am a semi-retired executive who focused on personal technology since 1984, and personal fitness all my life. Recovering from brain surgery and stroke, a lover of the great outdoors and great tech. After seven years of hard work I can finally do some things again: swimming, mountain biking (used to road bike with son, traffic still too much), kayaking (first sport I could do, sitting, with screwed up right side making it), and hiking (still very painful).

I did a sprint distance Triathlon on my 45th birthday, hoping fitness would solve the brain issue. Didn’t. Now I want to do a kayak, mountain bike, hike triathlon at Port Gamble, WA this year or next. Can’t wait just to try and finish!

What kind of watch tech have I chosen? Why do I need a Swiss Army Smart Watch?

I needed a watch that was tough, and I need to swim and kayak and bike and hike with it. Needed to do training with it. If it had GPS and music, and acted like a regular office-worn Android Wear unit much of the time, then perfect. Needs to connect to my Samsung 12 Notebook Tablet and my Moto G smartphone. Can I do lists and tasks and text by voice in the office or outdoors? Can I see it clearly outdoors or in?

And, if it wasn’t crazy expensive even better, because rivers, bike trails and swimming alpine lakes can cause gear to be lost (I learned the hard way last summer) ! I went from a Samsung Galaxy Mega phone (love that screen), to a Moto G (3rd Gen) because it is waterproof. And instead of $450-$500, my Moto was only $170!

So, an Android Wear watch with maps, music (swimming in a lake with Beatles on waterproof Bluetooth earpieces), heart rate monitor, waterproof, with best battery life and indoor/outdoor screen. A watch where I don’t need a phone for quick runs or swims (I swim a mile once a week!), and affordable. So many watches have everything, but can I jump out of my kayak, into a lake, or ride my bike through rain forest along with all else? Does the training possibility include real heart monitoring?

Well I need all of that, but simply couldn’t find it all in one unit. Doesn’t exist yet, at right price. Compromise needed!

The winner: The Sony Smartwatch 3. $169 at Amazon!

A regular Android Wear unit, so I can try tons of apps and get it dialed in for everyday use, waterproof, battery lasts two days, and screen is visible open-air. What is missing? A heart rate monitor. Easy to solve though by strapping a Mio Link wrist band on my other wrist, when needed (I couldn’t settle for a Garmin with chest heart-strap , they never fit). Mio Link is also waterproof, and has LED indicators to indicate heart activity level. Other watches have heart monitors, but their water resistance is not swimmable. So my waterproof watch does it all, except heart monitoring. By using a separate heart-monitoring unit when needed, which can connect to watch or phone, problem solved. Will my next commando phone really do it all?

Yes, some of us do need a Swiss Army Watch! If Swiss design even cooler!