If you can't take the heat, don't be an early tech adopterAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Adopting early forms of technology can be a very exciting thing to be able to take part in. Being able to experience new technology first-hand can be a refreshingly untainted experience. You're a pioneer of the modern age, which is certainly something worth bragging about when it comes to certain products as the future becomes more and more tech-driven over time. In fact, it wasn't even that long ago that people were just discovering the marvel of smartphones. Now it's 2014, and while smartphones are still going full speed ahead into the future, so are the accessories meant to accompany them.
The term "smartwatch" is probably a term that you've heard more than once over the past year or so, and although smartwatches have technically been around since the early 1970's, 2013 has been dubbed by some as "Year of the Smartwatch" as the components to create them, as well as their purpose, have gotten to a point where it makes sense to want to purchase one to accompany the functions of our ever-important smartphones. Manufacturers like Pebble, Sony, Qualcomm and Samsung have made some notable attempts at creating some of the first smartwatches made for smartphones. However, it goes without saying that although these smartwatches are certainly usable, they don't come without the issues that most first generation products go through.
First and foremost, you're going to have technical problems, and probably a lot of them. It might be a battery not holding a charge long enough, or perhaps an application that isn't working correctly between your smartphone and your smartwatch. As developers try and perfect the communication between the two devices, it is your job as an early adopter to help fix these problems by reporting them. But perhaps even more importantly than dealing with the obvious things like battery life and bug reports, new technology also comes with a bubble of misunderstanding surrounding the true intentions behind the use of a gadget that, more than likely, hasn't been seen before by a lot of people.
Both smartwatches and another wearable technology that you've probably heard of, Google Glass, have already gone through plenty of trials and tribulations regarding their usage. Even I have questioned the true purpose of why people would want to buy a pair of Google Glass at one point. Although people might know about the device, the fact that they typically don't know what the gadget is capable of, or what the user intends to use the technology for, might cause them to act a little more cautiously around you. In some cases, they might even act a little irrational about it, which is natural. This is new technology that we're not used to seeing. As most of us know, the true use of technology can be used for both good and malicious purposes.
It's too early to tell exactly when gadgets like Google Glass and smartwatches should or shouldn't be used. That's another part of being a tech pioneer - sometimes when using the technology in public, you're going to end up taking one for the team. The lady who was ticketed for wearing Google Glass while driving, along with the man who was allegedly interrogated for hours because he was wearing Google Glass in a movie theatre are perfect examples of how new tech is perceived in the public eye before the technology is really widely used, understood or accepted.
In all likelihood, you're probably not going to be confronted about it - but it's still dangerous waters to tread, and whether you're actually doing something wrong or not doesn't really matter in the end. You're the modern day witches of Salem, or if you're a male you might prefer the phrase, "Yer a wizard, Harry." You've got something that most people don't have or understand, which makes you a perfect target in the event that something doesn't seem right with a situation. Fortunately, in a few years' time we'll all probably be looking back on these situations and laughing about them.