Will the smart watch catch on?

I hadn't been planning to be an early adopter of the Apple Watch—or even an Android version. But Christopher Mims in his Keywords column in the Wall Street Journal is quite enthusiastic about what he calls the wrist-top computer.

Apple Watch and its competitors will have a place in the apps and hardware ecosystem that will make them indispensable, he writes. He cites wearables such as pressure-sensor-laden socks from Sensoria that can help runners minimize their chance of injury and shirts that can measure heart rate. Such a shirt could be used as part of a payment authentication system that would match the wearer's heart-beat pattern with, for example, your heart-beat pattern stored in the cloud. My concern about any biometric data—if it's stored in the cloud, it could be hacked.


Nevertheless, developers are pushing ahead. BMW has an app for the Apple Watch that lets owners unlock their i-series electric vehicles, Mims writes. But do we really need such a complex, expensive version of a key fob?

I remain skeptical, but Mims concludes, “These devices will be the way we connect ourselves—directly—to all the technology that surrounds us. And opting out simply won't be an option.”

I guess it's a good idea to set a few hundred dollars aside for when that happens.

More in Components