Smart watches on campus

Apple watch works with one's iPhone to help count calories. (Wikimedia Commons / raneko)

Apple watch works with in conjunction with an iPhone to help count calories. (Wikimedia Commons / raneko)

College requires a certain level of organization and awareness but do smart watches such as the Apple Watch and the Fitbit Blaze help make us better students? These watches have features that allow us to access our messages more easily, keep track of our fitness goals, and stay in touch with social media applications.

The fitness results that an Apple Watch or Fitbit Blaze give you could possibly help you stay more focused in class. The ease of accessibility when checking upcoming events or assignments may help you feel more confident about how you manage your time. However there are three factors a potential buyer should look into when purchasing one of these products. Are they practical, can they easily be replaced by your phone,and are they worth it? Should you shell out $350 for something that might not be good enough?

Fitness seems to be one of the most important features in these devices. Cumulative data collected from heart rate monitors and pedometers may be one of the main reasons you decided to become healthy in the first place.

Unfortunately, staying active does not necessary help out your GPA. Though studies show that those that are more active have longer attention spans the difference is not very significant.

“I don’t even use it for fitness purposes,” said Capistrano Valley High School student Sabina Domingo.

One of the most useful things to a college student would be the notifications received through email or text messages. Conveniently both watches give you alerts, incoming calls and messages.

On the other hand, these functions are limited. For example, the Apple Watch can not receive mail and both watches do not allow replies to texts unless it is a short pre-made message like, “I’m in class.” However, Stickers and emojis are a more simple and entertaining way to communicate.

New animated stickers and full screen effects allow you to express yourself “more visually” said Malarie Gokey, a blogger on the site Digital Trends.

When I asked students around campus how useful their product was, their general response was that they hardly use it.

“Not much use for school mostly for work,” said Tyler Rojas a Saddleback College student, when asked how useful he considered his Apple watch.

Texting and receiving email might be useful, but it seems that it is not enough.

All of these communication functions are also available on the iPhone, so it’s very possible that people simply don’t have a need to check one’s wrist for information when it is already in his or her pocket.

In this case, the price outweighs the academic use. Unless you are buying this product for health or fashion purposes.

Photo credit: By raneko (Apple Watch) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons