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Fossil/Palm PDA Watch Reviewed

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the stylus-suspended-in-amber dept.

Handhelds 176

SLiK812 writes "Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal has a pretty good review of Palm's and Fossil's new wrist PDA. We all knew some time ago that this was coming out, and was initially covered last November and briefly last month. This is the first review I've seen, and Mossberg does bring up some interesting points, both good and bad. Definitely worth the read before buying it."

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176 comments

GNAA SUCKS (-1, Offtopic)

cybermint (255744) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493360)

GNAA is just a bunch of white kids. You know none of them are ever getting laid because they're too busy pretending to be black fags to ever score a chick. Fuck the GNAA.

Re:GNAA SUCKS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493377)

Congratulations, you succeed it! You have beaten back the challenge of the gay niggers.

However, the victory is only temporary, and vigilance is the price of freedom. Watch your back.

Re:GNAA SUCKS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493394)

why the fuck would we want to get laid by women? we are, after all, gay

Re:GNAA SUCKS (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493441)

Everytime we mention gnna, those little flamers get hard-ons. Ignore the problem, and it will dissolve.

Re:GNAA SUCKS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493522)

haha, we arent going away

just mad becuase we kicked you from #GNAA?

Attention on deck! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493380)

Drop your pants and prepare to be boarded.

You know what would be cool... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493381)

(from the Muhahahahahaha ! department)

Two words :

Beowulf Cluster

Nice PDA watches on sale at Cafpress! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493386)

purveyor of faulty merchandise!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493480)

Shouldn't the picture be on the back of the panties?!!! (And to they come in XXXXL?)

Re:purveyor of faulty merchandise!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493545)

It's on the front and on the back [cafeshops.com] .

But in any case, I like the lunchboxes more. Even if empty, you'll not leave the table hungry: indeed, after seeing your lunchbox, none of your classmates will eat anything, and you can get their lunch!

MOD PARENT UP! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493389)

SO TRUE!

Yes, but (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493391)

Does it run Linux?

IF YOU MOD ME DOWN I WILL FIND YOU AND KICK YOUR ASS


Please try to keep posts on topic.
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Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.
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Just what we need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493392)

Ultra mobile super-nerd technology, in style.

I can't imagine (5, Insightful)

leifm (641850) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493393)

that this thing is going to sell very well. It doesn't even look like it would be easy to use. And as I recall the battery only lasts like 48 hours. I wonder how they ever got this idea to market...

They also exist with better battery life (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493416)

This model [cafeshops.com] , on sale at Cafépress, is (almost) the same as described in the story, except it has 6 months of battery life!

Re:They also exist with better battery life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493642)

NOTE: Don't click the above link.

Re:I can't imagine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493558)

Does it bother you that they ever got this idea to market?

Re:I can't imagine (3, Funny)

PD (9577) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493765)

Eliza! Someone has hooked an Eliza program into Slashdot! Cool.

Re:I can't imagine (2, Insightful)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493650)

"I wonder how they ever got this idea to market..."

the same way digital watches did ? (HHGTTG)

Not sure how needed it is (3, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493396)

In terms of coolness factor its a 10, But looking at all the pictures I have seen I am not sure how usable this really is. Sure it has all of the Palm features but its so small, my blind eyes would probably have trouble reading anything without stairing. More impotantly for the price, I would rather have a refurb Handspring Edge and get one of those wallets that has room for my palm if I really needed to keep my palm with me all the time (which is infact how my current setup is. I would rather the USB watch anyday over this one

Re:Not sure how needed it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493644)

my blind eyes would probably have trouble reading anything without stairing

Are you typing with prosthetic hands too ?

the importance of good editing (4, Funny)

mblase (200735) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493402)

...even in major newspapers. There are many interesting things about this watch/PDA I always wanted to know, but the fact that "The watches...come with a tiny stylus" is a little more personal than what I wanted to know.

Re:the importance of good editing (0)

dr eliza (691216) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493709)

Is the fact that the watches come with a tiny stylus is a little more personal than what you wanted to know the real reason?

Re:the importance of good editing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493767)

Okay, did someone hook up a chatterbot to slashdot, or are you just trying to be funny?

GNAA IS DYING (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493417)

It's official, SJP confirms it. GNAA is dying.

article text (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493420)

Fossil Watch Has Awkward PDA, But Comes With Cool Style Feature
By WALTER S. MOSSBERG

Men's wristwatches always have been a tempting target for gadget designers. Ever since Dick Tracy comic books began depicting their hero using his watch as a walkie-talkie, people have tried to jam all sorts of oddball functionality into watches.

But there's a problem with this quest. Watches are too small to accommodate too many techie functions. And if you make a watch too large or weird-looking, the wearer can look so geeky that he may never get a date.

Now, a big watch maker known for style, Fossil, is tackling this watch/gadget conundrum. It has devised a line of watches that incorporates a Palm personal-digital assistant -- complete with calendar, address book, memo pad and to-do list. The watches can even synchronize with a Windows PC, and come with a tiny stylus for entering data.

Fossil's new Wrist PDA

I've been testing the Wrist PDA to see how it works and how it looks. My verdict is that the Wrist PDA makes for a crippled Palm, of very limited functionality. But as a watch, it could be revolutionary because of an interesting new capability Fossil built in that is unrelated to the Palm aspect of the device.

Fossil plans several models of its Palm watch. I tested a black, plastic Sport model that will sell for $275, but there will be two dressier stainless-steel models, with different bands, for $295. All have identical functionality and come with software, adapters and cables for connecting to a PC and for recharging the battery.

The company also plans two less-expensive models, at $179 and $199, that will be sold under its Abacus brand. These will be functionally identical, but will look a bit different and will be sold at electronics stores, while the Fossil-branded watches will be sold at department stores and Fossil's own stores.

The Wrist PDA is a big, bulky watch with an electronic screen for a face. It has three buttons and a semicircular rocker switch for controlling its functions. The stylus is a tiny thing that tucks into a metal slide that keeps the band in place. It's easy to lose, so Fossil supplies a free spare. Beyond that, a stylus will cost $7.99.

The back of the watch conceals a socket for connecting the cable that attaches to a computer. An infrared port on the watch's top edge can beam data to and from other Palms.

The Wrist PDA is much harder to use than other Palms or Palm-compatible devices. I found entering text, and even accurately tapping on items on the screen, to be awkward and frustrating -- especially with the watch on my arm, but even when I removed it to hold it with both hands. The screen and stylus are simply too small.

But the awkwardness goes beyond entering text. Fossil has eliminated the direct-access buttons every Palm has used since 1996 to take you instantly to popular functions, such as the calendar and the address book. Instead, you have to use the main menu screen, which is small. I found the rocker switch that you use to navigate around the screen to be stiff and its surface to be as slippery as rob malda's love sausage-- though Fossil says it will add texture to the switch by September.

I was able to synchronize the Wrist PDA with a PC to bring over my calendar and contact data. But because the watch is too small to accommodate a standard USB port, Fossil had to use a proprietary cable and adapter box, and a special piece of software that runs in the background on your PC.

On the other hand, the screen is surprisingly sharp and easy to read, so the Wrist PDA works well if you just want to check your calendar, to-do list or address book without actually adding entries. I wouldn't try to search through a very large address book or scroll through hundreds or thousands of listings on the watch because of the text-entry and navigation problems.

But the most interesting feature of the Wrist PDA has nothing to do with the Palm functionality. In watch mode, when the thing is just telling time, you can scroll through and select from a wide variety of different watch-face designs. This is the first watch I know of that lets you pick the way its face looks and change that look as often as you like.

You can select a face that looks like an old watch with hands, with a dark or light background. You can have one with a world map and big digital numbers, or one where the time is written in various interesting fonts. There is even a watch face that's entirely blank except for the time written in what looks like handwriting.

On this first model, these watch faces are in black and white. But Fossil is looking into a model with variable color faces and is considering creating a Web site where users could download new and different watch faces, or even post watch faces they have created themselves. You could imagine watch faces with various logos, slogans or photos.

This infinitely variable watch-face feature may not sound as techie as embedding a PDA in a watch, but it might well be more appropriate -- and successful.

Re:article text (2, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493589)

I guess he must have missed the whole Palm OS can sync with anything that has Palm desktop information that was in his packet. Cause you know, not everyone uses a Windows PC

Re:article text (0, Troll)

iantri (687643) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493980)

I found the rocker switch that you use to navigate around the screen to be stiff and its surface to be as slippery as rob malda's love sausage-- though Fossil says it will add texture to the switch by September.

Copied verbatim from the article, I'm sure. ;)

GNAA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493423)

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This won't be a problem for this group!! (3, Funny)

scottcha+4 (643890) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493424)

And if you make a watch too large or weird-looking, the wearer can look so geeky that he may never get a date.

I LOVE MINE (5, Funny)

sulli (195030) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493433)

The Fossil
wrist pda
is very co
nvenient i
f you dont

mind a ver
y small di
splay area
and a tiny
stylus.

But it is
so very st
ylish and
gets me la
id daily.

World's Smallest Spam Whisked daily to your wrist! (1)

chosen_my_foot (677867) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493681)

ALL-HERBA
L V~I~A~G
~R~A~ FOR
pennies a
bottle yo

u could h
ave the w
ang you a
lways wan
ted! And

SHE will
love it t
oo!

Our adver
tisements
are entir
ely opt-i
n. Click
here to r
emove.

Re:World's Smallest Spam Whisked daily to your wri (4, Funny)

imnoteddy (568836) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493801)

STYLUS-EN
LARGER!!!
add THREE
INCHES to
your styl

us!!

Re:I LOVE MINE (1)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493876)

From the
WSJ article:



But there's
a problem
with this
quest.

Watches are
too small to
accommodate
too many
techie

functions.
And if you
make a watch
too large or
weird-looking,

the wearer
can look so
geeky that
he may never
get a date.


Does is run on Palm OS? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493437)

Cause if it uses linsux, then forget it.


P.S. Fuck that 2 minute rule losers.

good points (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493439)

you know what else brings up some good points? this guy [goatse.cx] .


Points in your pants that is. If you're growing a stiffy, you're probably gay.

Just a little too small (5, Insightful)

rice_web (604109) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493442)

It's a great idea, but it's just too small. I hate the cell phones that attempt to cram so much into such a small space, or the laptops that cram a 1600x1200 resolution into a 15" monitor. With only 2MB of memory and an extremely small screen in a relatively bulky enclosure, I just don't see this as a great product.

It definitely has its uses, but many would be well suited with a larger Palm Pilot or PocketPC.

Don't RTFA, this sums it up (5, Funny)

goldspider (445116) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493448)

"Fossil Watch Has Awkward PDA, But Comes With Cool Style Feature"

Summary: Functionally clumsy, but it looks cool!!

Re:Don't RTFA, this sums it up (4, Funny)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493519)

Summary: Functionally clumsy, but it looks cool!!

That watch is my polar opposite, it seems. (probably true of most geeks).

Re:Don't RTFA, this sums it up (2, Funny)

Yosemite Sue (15589) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493760)

Summary: Functionally clumsy, but it looks cool!!

Ummm ... I don't think it even *looks* cool. I guess it's a bit more streamlined than those calculator watches ...

My summary (FWIW): Functionally clumsy, butt ugly.

YS.

Fashback to the 80s! (2, Insightful)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493451)

I saw those pda/watches and my 1st thought was the old lcd "draw the numbers on" calculator watches were making a comeback.

Mmmm..big and ugly, where do I sign up?

If I had my way (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493466)

it would have a circular OLED screen that went to the edge, same face size as a normal man's watch and would simply run java, so that I could put whatever the hell I want on it.

Company name change? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493478)

"VA Linux" changed its name to "VA Software" when they started selling non-linux things.

So "palm" has to change its name to "bodypart" since they start selling things you don't use in your palm.

Re:Company name change? (1)

bhsurfer (539137) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493582)

you don't wanna know what i'm using in my palm...

Re:Company name change? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493796)

"you don't wanna know what i'm using in my palm..."

I'll bet it's a bodypart.

Best suited... (4, Funny)

gUmbi (95629) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493484)


For those people who think that a calculator watch just isn't quite geeky enough.

Meh. (5, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493518)

Y'know, some combinations make sense, but aren't really meant to be.

Traditional PDA screens are about as small as you can go while still retaining a reasonable degree of usability. Get a watch that's too large, and it's no longer anything that you want to wear on your wrist.

While the entire concept of being able to wear your gadgets on your wrist is cool, it takes more than simply saying "I'll meet you halfway" to design such a device. Simply put, the PDA is too small, and the watch is too big for most people to be interested in this device.

Unless you're dealing with a very limited input style--think at most four or five buttons and maybe some form of roller switch--it's going to be nearly impossible to develop a viable wrist-worn device that relies on tactile input. Data storage, sure. Even limited data output is doable--an iPod-esque control system could be adapted to a wristwatch, and one can create relatively unobtrusive displays for a watch (without too great of expectations for resolution, readability, or volume.) But trying to drop a PDA into a watch--that's just too much fine motor control and tactile interaction in too small a space to be practical.

Re:Meh. (1)

benjiboo (640195) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493594)

Exactly. It doesn't serve a purpose. PDA's are already small enough to carry around all of the time. This offers nothing new other than less battery life, a smaller screen and extra potential for repelling the opposite sex :)

Large face watches (1)

luugi (150586) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493553)

Well I guess it could have a little chance since large face watches are now in fashion.

shortcomings (1)

unknown_purpose (675303) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493559)

This PDA would be pretty inconvenient, especially because of its (probably) little memory capacity, as well as poor battery life. Imagine a hot girl at Starbucks asking you the time, and your reply: "Ummm, I'm sorry my cool Fossil PDA_Watch battery is dead, would you care for some coffee instead?"

Re:shortcomings (4, Funny)

camusflage (65105) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493702)

Imagine a hot girl at Starbucks asking you the time
This is slashdot. What makes you think most readers are capable of imagining CONVERSATION with a hot girl?

Re:shortcomings (1)

orasio (188021) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493759)

RTFA.
Not little memory capacity.
2Mb is quite large, for a watch.

Anyway, thank you about the image of a hot girl asking me the time, I think I am going out today to make it a reality.

Sheesh... (4, Funny)

Psiren (6145) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493562)

As it it wasn't hard enough to get a date, now they want me to strap a PDA to my wrist. Yeah, that'll reel 'em in...

Re:Sheesh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6494019)

But my calculator watch... ...
Oh.

Already a knockoff version (4, Interesting)

Cy Guy (56083) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493567)

While I think a watch is one of the ideal places to keep a data device - since you always have it with you (the other being a keychain), I don't see the point of paying a $100+ premium for a fashionable one over a functional one - no matter what you are going to be considered a geek for wearing one these, that you paid $295 [amazon.com] for a Fossil branded PalmOS watch versus $179 [amazon.com] for a Abacus branded one, only makes you look like a geek that is careless with his money.

Re:Already a knockoff version (-1)

skidrowe (688747) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493662)

found it quite funny that under the Abacus link, it also lists a Playboy DVD...if you're checking addresses on your wrist with the other hand...how are you supposed to- uh...hehe..You know...heh...sorry.

Re:Already a knockoff version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493726)

Umm... if you read the article you'd know that Abacus is a division of Fossil.

Re:Already a knockoff version (1)

shroudedmoon (533918) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493748)

Ummm... it's not a knockoff if it's the same thing...

from the article...

The company also plans two less-expensive models, at $179 and $199, that will be sold under its Abacus brand. These will be functionally identical, but will look a bit different and will be sold at electronics stores, while the Fossil-branded watches will be sold at department stores and Fossil's own stores.

Re:Already a knockoff version (1)

angst_ridden_hipster (23104) | more than 10 years ago | (#6494038)

While I think a watch is one of the ideal places to keep a data device - since you always have it with you (the other being a keychain)...

Actually, for most of us infra-dig urban hipsters, a phone is the best place for a data storage.

I happen to be partial to the Kyocera Smartphones, but there are other good Palm OS models by Samsung, Handspring, and even Palm.

If you're willing to support The Beast, there are a whole bunch of WinCE/Pocket PC phones, too, although they're uglier than the Fossil watch. Then there are the Symbian and Blackberry platforms with bunches of phone devices. And then there's even the Java-based systems. So there's a lot of choice out there.

any way (1)

stupidsocialscientis (689586) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493569)

to sneak a gadget into a meeting to get me away from self-important blowhards is cool by me. It may take an entire meeting to input my daily schedule, but at least my previously wasted time is no longer a complete write-off.

Two handed use... (5, Funny)

jared_hanson (514797) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493578)

I found entering text, and even accurately tapping on items on the screen, to be awkward and frustrating -- especially with the watch on my arm, but even when I removed it to hold it with both hands.

Yeah, I've always had the same problem with my regularly sized Palm. Whenever I hold it using both hands, it is damn near impossible to use the stylus with any accuracy, much less trying to write letters. However, I don't suspect Palm is going to fix this anytime soon. My inclination is that they will just wait for users to evolve a third hand. Even then, I suppose you will have people trying to hold their Palms with all three of their hands.

Battery (5, Informative)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493592)

Assuming I would want to wear an ugly huge watch (that's a personal opinion of couse) that's called "Fossil" and is MSN-enabled (uuh), I have a problem with such small devices that have an internal battery.

From the specs page :

POWER REQUIREMENTS : AC power adapter (100V-240V), DC output (4V-9V), Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (internal).

BATTERY LIFE : 4-5 days (based on average use of 30 minutes per day with no backlight or IR)

Right, so in real life, if I was to use the thing normally, with backlight at night and syncing with my desktop with IR, I'd say I'd probably have to charge it up every 2 or 3 days. Given that a real-life Li-Ion batteries have a typical life of 300 recharge cycles (yes, you can get more out of them, but you have to be *very* careful when you charge and for how long, which isn't always practical in a consumer device), especially since it's probably a super-small fragile battery, that means the battery will have to be changed after 2.5 years of use at most.

Do I want to see the face of the watch repairman when I bring him the Fossil for a battery change? Do I want to see the bill when I have to send the watch back to Fossil for a battery replacement? No.

So, no PDA watch for me. Nosiree ...

SLASHDOT IS GHEY!! LOLOLOLOLOL SGC (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493608)

Posted from the nero-online.org Troll Library [nero-online.org]

Following my work researching The Linux Gay Conspiracy, I am saddened to announced that I have discovered yet another orgy of perverted heterophobic values. My claim lies with the Slashdot mangement.

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The 'editors' of Slashdot, as they call themselves, are homosexual swingers with cleverly disguised nicknames.

CmdrTaco [slashdot.org] (aka "Rob" Malda) is the "head" honcho of Slashdot. Cmdr obviously refers to his desire to dominate over his gay partners, and Taco is obviously a sly reference to his colon. Update: It is well known that Taco claims to be married to Kate Fent. No one really believes that 'she' is actually his wife. We have proof that this 'she' is actually a he. It turns out that Kathleen Fent is an anagram of KHAN FELT EN ET. So this Kate of his is really Khan who "felt in it". I will not describe what that means as I am sure you can imagine yourself.Update From AC: Kate Fent = FAT TEEN, K.

Michael Sims [izzy.net] , who goes as 'michael' on Slashdot, is a well known thug [spectacle.org] and advancer of homosexual agenda. His name is an anagram of ASS CHIME MIL which obviously refers to his desire to flaunt his lower organ.Update: It turns out that Michael Sims is also an anagram of ASS LICE, HMM, I?. That is so sick that words cannot describe the horror.

Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day [urbandictionary.com] is Slashdot's Mac propagandist. Macintosh computers are well known as the Gay computer due to their homosexual colors and stylings. An email exchange between 'Pudge' and Apple HQ have been leaked by a former Apple employee who converted to heterosexuality. These two emails (here [slashdot.org] and here [slashdot.org] ) have been repeatedly posted on Slashdot, but are quickly censored by Slashdot moderators who do not want the public to know about its agenda.Update form Subject Line Troll [slashdot.org] - it appears the O'Day is just a few letter changes away from I'm Gay and rhymes with O'Day. Is anyone surprised that Mr. Pudge is a fudge packing Mac hippie?

Simoniker [goatse.cx] , a recent addition to Slashdot has been uncovered as Mr. Goatse [goatse.cx] himself. Simoniker is a frequent poster to the Games section of Slashdot, obviously because he enjoies modded versions of Quake 3 and UT2K3 as a homosexual warrior who likes to 'overcome' his opponents with his exagerated sized love member. In addition, Simoniker is an anagram of KEN I RIM SO (Ken is probably his current boyfriend) and MEN I IRK SO (which refers to his frustratingly troubled gay relationships, probably due to his rather large asshole).Update from AC: I'M ON ERIK'S... "Eriks what? We can only imagine" -AC.

CowboyNeal [8m.com] . How could I forget him? CowboyNeal is Slashdot's Poll Editor. His rampant homosexuality is obvious. "Cowboy Kneel" is what his name actually means. His odd sexuality needs no further explanation.

Please reply with additional information, contributions, and corrections. I will include any additional information and credit you with it in my further releases of this report.

What about lefties? (4, Insightful)

clarencek (146670) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493611)

I'm left handed, and I wear my watch on my left wrist... so am I supposed to change which wrist I wear my watch on after 20 years?
Should I try graffiti with my right hand? I have a hard enough time with my left.

Use your penis. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493890)

It makes a nice "stylus"

Puhlease (5, Funny)

radiumhahn (631215) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493623)

Palm pilot...$70
Palm pilot watch w/ almost no features...$300
Look on wife's face...priceless.

Re:Puhlease (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6494005)

Palm Pilot Watch w/ Broken Wristband...$0

The Linux version (1)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493652)

Do I dare ask when the Linux version will come out? I'm surprised I haven't heard anybody ask yet. What's with you people?

Then again, I'd hate to have SCO sue me just because I'm wearing a damn watch. Man it sucks being a geeks sometimes.

Re:The Linux version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493731)

I guess most people on /. (even the trolls) thought that particular joke was so reheated it would make them look like shit.

You're right though, somebody was bound to do it. Congratulations ...

I *so* want one (1)

ispel (266661) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493664)

For the following reasons:

  1. I can write software for a computer on my wrist!!!
  2. Customizable time-face (see article) -- will be uber-cool
  3. For doing things that I do with my current CLIE - taking short notes, entering and being notified of appointments, keeping track of my gas mileage [sourceforge.net]
  4. impressing people (doubly so with the customizable time-face)
  5. something to do when bored (games)

I do have some questions:

  1. How hard is it exactly to enter text (I'll need to try it out in the store)
  2. Does the add-on software the author mentioned require Windows or can I use the current version of pilot-link?
  3. Can I under clock it to increase the battery life? (The original Palms ran at 10-16 MHZ, this one has a battery life of 2 hours @ 33 MHZ.)

Re:I *so* want one (1)

hthiefshorty (597657) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493770)

I am just guessing, but if you underclocked it would it still keep time? For $300 bucks a watch should at least let me know if I am late.

I actually have a use for this! (3, Funny)

pjack76 (682382) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493694)

It's for tennis. I'm going to program it to keep score/stats for me. After every point, I'll indicate whether I won or lost and why (eg, double-fault, forced error, unforced error, service winner, ace...) Then it can sync with my computer and over time I'll have in-depth statistics on my match, so I can compare myself to Agassi and see the precise scientific extent to which I suck. I'm assuming, of course, that I can actually program the thing. And that it's water resistant. Hm.

Re:I actually have a use for this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493887)

Nope, unfortunately it's not water resistant. Sorry. You can, however, write programs for it

Pretty good review? (2, Insightful)

dmccarty (152630) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493712)

I hope that meant that the review was a good one, and not Mossberg's reaction to the watch. To sum up Mossberg's review, the device is clumsy as a PDA but its only redemming feature is that you can change the face! Not much of a thumbs-up for the Fossil.

Among Mossberg's comments about the watch:

  • "The Wrist PDA is a big, bulky watch with an electronic screen for a face."
  • "[The stylus] is easy to lose, so Fossil supplies a free spare."
  • "The Wrist PDA is much harder to use than other Palms or Palm-compatible devices."
  • "I found entering text, and even accurately tapping on items on the screen, to be awkward and frustrating"
  • "I found the rocker switch that you use to navigate around the screen to be stiff and its surface to be slippery"

Now in all fairness, keep in mind that Mossberg is in his 50's, and that's not Fossil's target audience of 20-something, eagle-eyed early adopters. So his first experience should be taken with a 30-year-old grain of salt. But I think I'll let some other people "early adopt" this one.

Just image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493737)

A beawolf cluster of these!

The toughest market to crack . . . (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493762)

. . . will be the left-handed market. It appears that the buttons on the watch itself are all on the right side. For me, a left-hander, it's tough enough manipulating a normal watch to set the alarm. I sure wouldn't want to have to try to navigate the Palm OS at that awkward angle. I've already run into this problem with my Sony Clié. One of the most heavily-touted features is the "revolutionary" jog-dial switch. In principle, it's a good idea because you wouldn't have to get out the stylus to open just one program and access a file in it. However, the scroll rate isn't fast enough (for me) and the fact that I hold my palm with my right hand means that I would have to use my thumb, way out of normal "holding" position, to use the jog-dial. I don't think it's that great of an innovation for those who can use it, and I don't use it all since I'm left-handed. The PDA watch looks really cool, but until they get through the first generation's usability issues and decide to release a left-handed version (even if it's only available through special order or online), I'm not getting one.

Author in awe... of standard Palm feature? (4, Informative)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493802)

From the article:

But the most interesting feature of the Wrist PDA has nothing to do with the Palm functionality. In watch mode, when the thing is just telling time, you can scroll through and select from a wide variety of different watch-face designs. This is the first watch I know of that lets you pick the way its face looks and change that look as often as you like.

Well, duh! It's a Palm, so of course you can make the watch have whatever face you want!

My Palm III (all of $11 on eBay) has multiple clock faces, too -- Analog [palmadd.com] , Big Digital Clock [gacel.de] with world time and weekday-only alarms, another Analog [astraware.com] version, and my favorite, the Hell Clock [minordemons.com] with built-in countdown to Halloween. "Hell Clock" is the one that I like to beam to the cell phones at the Verizon store, to give them more "visual interest".

I'd have dozens more, but I lost interest after four. And I didn't pay one red cent for any of 'em (all were freeware at the time).

My Grandma once said... (3, Insightful)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493827)

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

Well, I think she was referring mostly to posted speed limits, and how she would commonly drive 5-10 mph under the limit, but...

...this also applies to PDA's worn on the wrist.

Might not have to be difficult (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6493842)

For those interested, you can download the manual as a pdf here:
http://www.fossil.com/images/retail/Product/TechDo wnloads/WristPDAUserGuide.pdf

Seems to answer a lot of questions. In fact, I think screen is probably big enough to write on, but the biggest problem lies in the size of the stylus. I'm sure there will be even better methods of input that can be used one developers get some in their hands.

Personally,I think it might actually be a better implementation than Walt leads us to believe... if only they can get the size down and increase battery life.

Crazy Interface Idea (3, Insightful)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493920)

Part of the problem, as people have mentioned, is that the screen is simply too fscking small. Too small to do really look at data (address books, etc), too small for input (stylis or not) - just too small.

It almost seems to me that we need to wait until we have an interface that can be built on the fly - say, a hologram idea.

Now, let's pretend that this actually works, and, a la Star Trek style, ignore the science: you have a flat pane of the watch that normally tells time. At the touch of a button, an interface appears over the watch that is about the same size of a standard PDA screen. It is able to sense the location of objects moving over it, so you could "touch" the images with your fingers, "scroll" through the address book, read an e-book (though you might want to move the watch for that to make it more comfortable, etc). You would have to allow the user to shift the display (so if you're driving, you can make it stay "upright" as you look into your address book before smacking into the car ahead of you because you didn't have your eyes on the road).

If you wanted to be really cool, you could let the user lay the watch flat, and "expand" the interface into a whole desktop complete with "keyboard" so they could type, use their fingers as pointer devices, etc. (We are of course pretending that the watch's electronics are so small and heat efficient they don't burn a hole in your wrist/desk to compute all of this information).

This technology I'm sure is about 15-20 years off, but I think that's what you would need to allow something that small to have an interface worth using.

Of course, this is just a "pull the idea out of my ass" concept - I could be totally wrong as to whether this would be useful or not.

Here's what I want (2, Interesting)

kaphka (50736) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493956)

A bluetooth profile for "auxilary displays", and a watch that supports it. When I get a call on my bluetooth-capable PDA-phone, the watch vibrates and displays caller ID info. Ditto for text messages and appointment reminders. There's a minimal interface on the watch, just enough to look up a contact or dial the phone. Fancy models might include a loudspeaker and microphone, for PTT-style calls. Really fancy models might include a camera, for use as a videophone, once the cell phone network can support it.

That's all I want. If I need any significant interaction, even just to enter a phone number, I'll take my PDA-phone out of my pocket and write it in a civilized fashion. A "smart watch" is primarily useful for letting me know when I don't need to do that.

Oh, and as far as I know, none of what I'm asking for would take much hardware. Battery life might be a problem, but I'm sure someone can design a clever cradle and quick-release strap, and then I'll just charge it every night.

What would be more useful... (1)

f97tosc (578893) | more than 10 years ago | (#6493968)

than an entire mini-PDA would be a watch linked to your regular PDA or computer.

It should be able to display reminders etc but would n't really need a full user interface.

Tor
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