Later on, when I was in High School, I got my first calculator. That calculator really stands out as a perfect tech gift from Santa (my grandfather really). It was the RPN (Reverse Polish Notation) HP-25C. It was an awesome gift for a high school geek and future engineer. But what do you do when the gift isn't perfect?
This year I gave Santa my VISA card and had him bring me a Citizen Eco-Drive Bluetooth Proximity watch. It sounded perfect: Bluetooth communication with my iPhone, on the wrist alerts for email & phone calls all in a great looking solar powered body.
On Christmas day, after the carnage of the all the wrapping paper was cleared, I sat down to set it up. I read the manual, watched the set up movies on the included USB drive and finally got it to work, ... for about 5 minutes. That's when things went south. I'm talking southern hemisphere south.
The watch relies on a cool iOS app that sets things up for you. You first must pair the watch and your phone but once you have that working the app allows you to sync time, receive alerts & find your phone if you've misplaced it.
So if you hear a giant "but" coming you're right. Yes the watch is complex and not easy to set up but I figured that I would only need to do the paring and set up once. The problem is keeping it paired and working. I discovered that if the Bluetooth connection between the watch and your iPhone drops it just won't work again unless you go through the whole pairing/set-up procedure again. After the fifth time this happened I hit the Internet and found I wasn't alone.
A whole host of issues is outlined on the Amazon review section for the watch. Various blog posts and tech reviews also outline some of the issues. Couple this issue with the fact that the watch won't alert you to SMS & iMessage texts and I realized that just maybe this was one tech gift that didn't work out.
I'll admit it, I was blinded by the tech and the all the promises the PR guys made. The watch is beautiful and and has potential but like the eMate or Newton it just wasn't ready for prime time yet. After agonizing for a day or two I decided to return it.
The moral of the story is that for every HP calculator, iPhone or iPod there's a Nokia N-Gage or Microsoft BOB. I have no doubt that in the near future someone will get it right. Maybe it will come from Pebble or Meta Watch or just maybe (fingers crossed) it will come from Apple.
As a true watch lover I won't be one of those youngsters who give up their watch and exclusively use their cell phone. I want both. And I want them to work together. Maybe next year.