Smart watch insights – now I can’t do without it

Watch, fitness, weather, smart home control all in one

A couple of weeks ago I got an  Apple Watch.  I’d had a Nike fuel band before and am no stranger to wearable tech, but I’ve never really worn a watch.  I’ve been surrounded by things that tell us the time since I was a child so I’ve got used to not wearing anything on my wrist1  However, when my other half decided not to wear his, I thought I’d give it a go before we sold it.

I’ve had it for a couple of weeks now and, while I’m still not used to the feel of a watch on my wrist, I’ve fallen head first into its features, particularly the fitness aspect.  If you follow this blog, you’ll know just how goal-oriented I am and the achievements system for the fitness app on the iWatch feeds those addictions in me.  I can’t get to the end of the day without reaching my stand, exercise and move goals.  When I did my latest OU exam, I was frustrated at missing out on stand hours and didn’t make my targets for that day.  I don’t know why, but because of a small amount of automated digital acceptance I want to make sure I do all my exercise.  This can only be a good thing for my general fitness

However, I have noted the following oddities:

  • 10 hours of thorough housework that left me exhausted only counted as 100 active calories and 8 minutes of exercise, while walking my daughter to school and back (which I barely count as exercise) hit my targets without trying.  I’m not sure if I’m doing the housework wrong or if it really isn’t as intensive as it felt 2.
  • After putting my watch back on after my latest OU exam, it logged 100 active calories while I was sat still in the car.  I can only conclude my pulse was still racing after 3 hours of intense concentration.
  • Sit-ups/Push-ups don’t seem to count (for me) I had to do over 30 mins of exercise to get 5 mins logged.

Still, after 2 weeks, it’s still upping my calorie goals, and I know that while I have a target to meet, I’ll keep exceeding it.  I wonder if it will level out at some point or if I’ll just end up being super fit.  I hope it’s the latter.

One of the things I love is being able to have my phone buried away in my bag while I’m commuting and still respond to texts, emails and slack alerts.  Now I’ve got the hang of the scribble feature, I’m almost as fast as typing in my responses so I don’t need to stick to short answers. I try to avoid taking calls on it as I feel quite conspicuous talking into my watch3, not to mention everyone around me hearing both sides of the call.

I have the smart home app linked through so I can control the lights in my house as I don’t have an echo for every room (yet).  It took a few minutes to set up the routines I wanted to control  within the smart things app on the phone and then they were there.  It just worked, seamlessly.

It’s also really great having the iPhone wallet contents mirrored to the watch – I attended a conference last week and had the QR code for my ticket quickly available without having to scrabble around in my bag.  I don’t know whether shops will get used to us paying for things with our watches (definitely more odd the further you get out of London), but it’s just so much easier (particularly when wrangling one or more children) even than using contactless.

I’m not sure how I managed before I got the watch, I know it’d be difficult doing without it now, and I definitely wouldn’t be finishing the post quickly as I’ve just been reminded that I’ve been inactive for too long… 🙂


  1.   Except the odd bracelet, but that’s very rare for me.
  2.   Okay, so the Roomba helped, but not that much 😉
  3.   Maybe I just need the communicator noise to overcome this 😉

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Dr Janet is a Molecular Biochemistry graduate from Oxford University with a doctorate in Computational Neuroscience from Sussex. I’m currently studying for a third degree in Mathematics with Open University. During the day, and sometimes out of hours, I work as a Chief Science Officer. You can read all about that on my LinkedIn page.