I experience deja vu quite often, as most others might, but conjure up explanations for it that I believe are logical.
Last week I was hit heavily by a bout of the feeling as I walked past the Apple Store at the Fashion Show Mall on the Las Vegas Strip.
There was a frenzied crowd that could only have been there for one thing – the unveiling of the Apple Watch. Because of a combination of factors, I knew without looking that this was the attraction, but I don’t quite know how, because I hadn’t been exposed to serious advertising around the event.
The night before, I had dreamt that my phone had beamed the time into the air when the alarm went off. The dream was some subconscious innovation arising out of some major irritation caused by my hotel clock radio.
I can’t account for how the damn thing was supposed to work but I had stood it for two days before thinking of doing anything about this clock. At a certain hour in the middle of the afternoon and again in the middle of the night, that alarm clock would go crazy and start making some rough sound as if someone was trying to change the channel using the dial back in 1971.
The combination of the irritation that clock caused me, and the subconscious anticipation of the launch of the Apple Watch, led to that dream:
In the dream, it was time to wake up and instead of the alarm clock going off, the time was beamed up into the air from a device on my bedside table. It went up like the genie in the Aladdin cartoon, and lit up in bright blue to read 05:45. Waving about in animated manner, the alarm clock time waited for me to react but I stayed still to nap up those last bits of sleep.
Because the gadget by my bedside was linked to the same wi-fi network as the band on my wrist, it could tell that I was not only motionless, but motionless in the exact position that I had once pinned as the GPS location of my bed. So after five minutes, without my having to press a snooze button, the gadget on my bedside table triggered vibrations in the wrist band I was wearing.
Being in such deep slumber and enjoying my sleep so thoroughly, I still didn’t move, and the gadgets sent a message to my MacBook Pro over the wireless network to switch it on, which it did and then activated my iTunes to play my favourite song at top volume.
I gave up and woke up – in my dream.
In reality, I was just anticipating what the Apple Watch and other wearables would possibly be capable of doing. I went into the Apple Store in Vegas and played around with a couple of the watches, after whooping at the prices – manageable at US$349 and incredible at US$17,000 for the highest end gold-lined one.
The functionalities of the watch are not as amazing as my dream would have it, but the manner in which it operates is. Surprisingly, Apple still has a way of astonishing you when you see the graphics and animations they produce. The dial on the watch smoothly animates the apps as you switch them, and the apps themselves shine with a glitter that makes you want to own one of these things.
But as a well-practiced gadget accumulator I know for sure that it would be just a matter of months before I’d be using the watch for the purpose of telling time and little else. I certainly don’t want to be using the speaker phone option off it, and won’t be wanting my WhatsApp or Text messages flagged on the watch when they arrive – just in case it is pointed at someone else at the time.
The exercise app(s) make full sense, as the Samsung Gear has proved, but for someone like me who has fat, fidgety fingers, anything to do with tapping on the face of the watch is just annoying.
Which introduces the usefulness of Siri, who has not been of any purpose to me off my iPad (I don’t use the iPhone anymore) but would be the go-to off an Apple Watch just to make it easier to use.
Still, I won’t be buying one in a hurry till I have tested the so-many cheaper options out there that sync quite easily with my Samsung smartphone.
And just for the record, when I do, I will aim at the US$17,000 one, but won’t be unhappy to settle for the US$349 one instead!