PineTime is a $25 Linux Smartwatch, Coming Next Year.

While I’d say it sounds more like a hack your pen than a consumer product, I have to admit it solves my number one beef with smart watches: cost.

You see, unless I can leave my smart phone at home there’s not much you can offer me that’s worth several hundred bucks. I don’t live an active enough life to need the cool fitness features and it’s unlikely you’re going to replace my instant messaging any better than Google’s failed to do so. Thus in the end, I still need a phone.

Most of my life between ten and twenty, I typically wore a watch. I also grew up in an era where a calculator and stop watch function was about as smart as most watches got. Then I got a smart phone around age 22, and shortly there after I just stopped wearing a watch.

I kind of believe that form follows function, and a traditional watch doesn’t have enough function to me that it’d be worth spending for a really nice one. My smart phone is more than I really want to carry but is far more functional than a dumb watch. It’s also got more features than a watch cool enough to sync to an atomic clock. In short, I’m not the kinda person you can market smart watches to, I’m the one in the back rolling his eyes. For some use cases smart watches are really nifty. They just don’t fit into my life. A smart phone is more practical for my life than what current smart watches offer.

On the flipside, I find the PineTime kind of interesting. Because it’s cheap and it’ll probably be the easiest to roll your own software for. But multiply the price by ten, and not even that would be attractive for a mook like me. Most really good watches, and most smart ones, cost more than that.