Peter Bromhead: Smartwatch

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Illustration / Peter Bromhead
Illustration / Peter Bromhead

After the release of Samsung's new smartwatch in Berlin this week, I hope to be first in the queue to own one.

This is because it's psychologically important for me to believe I'm still on the cutting edge. Plus, this is a gadget I've desired since 1940, when my boyhood comic hero, detective Dick Tracy, communicated via such devices.

As usual, the caregiver scoffs at the idea that I need a sophisticated mini-computer on my wrist, just to tell the time.

"I also need it for health reasons," I protested. "This watch has a camera, so I can photograph my food and then tag it according to its grains or fat content."

"Geeks in Palo Alto are working with Samsung to develop food and health tracking applications, as well as measuring the humidity and temperature of my environment. I'll be able to keep up-to-date diet checks."

My rationale for ownership met with a stony silence.

"It'll also be useful when I'm in the gym, or out jogging," I added.

"It not only tracks my exercise movements, but measures my heart rate. And because it's voice-activated, I can also call my friends and proclaim how well I'm doing on Facebook or Twitter, because I'll have these social media services at my fingertips," I explained, tapping my wrist.

"The only problem is," replied the caregiver wearily, "you never diet or visit gyms or go jogging and even if you did, you don't have any friends to proclaim your progress on social networks."

"Perhaps," I retorted, "if I owned such a watch, it might assist me to become more healthy, especially if it gives me little warning beeps every time I consume too many cheeseburgers and fries. It's bound to be monitoring my blood pressure and glucose levels while I eat."

After another long silence, the caregiver finally asked, "tell me, does it have a tracking device?"

"Naturally, it'll include a GPS location app," I replied loftily.

"Does that mean I could always locate you, if you absent-mindedly wander off?"

"Probably," I replied cautiously, not understanding the drift of the conversation.

"Well, in that case, I've changed my mind," the caregiver proclaimed.

"I think now you're a fully-fledged octogenarian, you should definitely wear one - especially when leaving the sanctuary of the home," she concluded, sympathetically patting me on the head.

Sometimes, I don't know what makes women tick.

- NZ Herald

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