We've Been Smart Watching-ing a Lot Longer Than You Think

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Caliber26, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. Caliber26 macrumors 68000

    Caliber26

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #1
    All this Apple Watch hype in the last couple of weeks has made me look back on this longtime fascination I’ve had with watches that were quite smart and innovative back in their day:

    I'm an 80s kid but it wasn’t until the very early 90s that “digital diaries” and “electronic organizers” became popular and that’s around when I discovered the Casio Databank Telememo watch. I vividly remember the first time I saw it. My older cousin had just gotten one and he was showing off to me how he could store people’s names and numbers into it. For some unexplainable reason, this blew my mind away. I needed this watch immediately. Days later, my poor uncle had to walk up and down the streets of Chinatown in NYC until he was finally able to track one down at one of those mom-and-pop closet-sized jewelry stores. I can recall the joy that took over me and how that watch became my everything. I was approximately 9 years old at the time so, obviously, I didn’t have any contacts to actually put into the watch so, in addition to my home number, I programmed all of my grandmother’s friends’ phone numbers because I didn’t know anyone else I could use for this purpose. This didn't matter to me at all. All that mattered was that this watch could perform sorcery (at least that's how it felt to me at that age lol) and that it was finally on my wrist.

    [​IMG]


    A couple years later, among an array of calculator watches and more advanced databank-type watches, the Casio Wrist Remote Controller emerged. I remember seeing one for the first time in a Service Merchandise catalog and, instantly, it became a must-have for me. Within days, I had convinced my parents of how necessary this watch was in my life and they got me one. This watch was able to turn a TV on & off, it also controlled the channels and volume in a simple up/down fashion, and it performed basic functions on a VCR (stop, play rewind, fast forward). Perhaps with the exception of tech geeks and other kids like me, it felt like nobody else knew of this watch and that allowed me to have a lot of fun messing with people’s TVs at their homes, at restaurants, laundromats, etc, but my favorite place to mess with people was at school. It goes without saying that I pissed off a few teachers and students anytime we got to watch videos in class. :D

    [​IMG]


    In the mid-90s Timex rolled out the popular Indiglo series of watches that changed how digital watches lit up in low light situations. Up until that point, the lighting on digital watches was very basic so this became my newest obsession and I had a couple of these watches throughout junior high. Although these particular watches didn't do anything cool, like store phone numbers or control TVs, it did introduce to me a new technology that I found to be very cool and innovative at the time so that’s why I included it in this post.

    [​IMG]


    I’m 33 years old now and it’s been approximately eight years since I’ve actively worn a watch. I’ve owned a few throughout that time but they just sit in a drawer 99% of the time. I’m not sure why I lost interest in watches but I think that the introduction of the iPod and iPhone played a huge role in that. And I’d heard of watches such as the Pebble but for some reason they’ve never sparked any interest in me. But here we are, about to usher in a new era for Apple, and one that is going to reignite my love for awesome, wow-inducing watches. I know there are many people out there who don't see the purpose of an Apple Watch or view it as nothing more than an extension of the iPhone but that doesn't matter. Nine year-old me is so excited for this and all the possibilities that this watch could bring to us. It feels awesome to have this feeling come back after so many years and I think this is going to be my favorite Apple toy yet.
     
  2. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #2
    I have a Suunto in 2004 and THAT is a computer in itself. It synced data to your computer like the iPod with iTunes.
     
  3. jwball macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #3
    I had a Casio that would dial phone numbers.
    It took an age to enter data and then the dialler function was hit and miss.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. jamesapp macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    #4
    Op great post.

    My brother talks about a watch that had Pac man on it, anyone remember those?
     
  5. slvrscoobie macrumors 6502a

    slvrscoobie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Location:
    NJ
    #5
    What did you forget about the nerds like me who NEEDED to have a calculator on their wrist in 1988?
    [​IMG]
    And look, it too came in gold!!
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Esoom macrumors 6502

    Esoom

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #6
    I must have had a half dozen Data Banks over the years, finally gave them up after so many died, and computers became so much more prevalent (with their built in calculators).
     
  7. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #7
    This one...
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #8
    I've not worn a watch since 1999 when a watch almost ended my life so I'm excited about getting my apple watch but scared stiff about putting it on
     
  9. kovey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #9
    You can't make a statement like that and not tell how you were almost killed by a watch.

    Great original post to the OP, by the way.
     
  10. dannyyankou, Mar 24, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015

    dannyyankou macrumors 603

    dannyyankou

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    #10
    Anyone remember this? LG Watch Phone from 2009.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #11
    80s kid here and I've had the calculator and pacman watches too.
     
  12. arubinst macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Lausanne - Switzerland
    #12
    I was born in 1971.

    I had a radio watch that looked something like this:

    [​IMG]

    I had 3 different Casio calculator watches. One had rubber keys that were very soft and would break if you pinched them with your fingernails. One of them had metal keys and the other I had didn't have real keys but a plastic cover you would tap on.

    I had a Casio remote watch and a Databank.

    I had (and still have collecting dust in some drawer) a pretty amazing multifunction Lorus. What was special about this watch was that it would use the main hands for different functions. It had alarm, chronometer, timer... Selecting the function would rearrange the hands and it was super cool to witness.

    I had a Seiko titanium/solar watch. It had a very clever power saving mode, where the hands would stop but the watch would keep counting the right time in "memory". Whenever charge was enough again to fucntion, the hands would quickly move to show the right time again.

    We have indeed been using smart watches for sometime...
     
  13. JohnApples macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2014
    #13
    Ahh I remember my 9-year-old self wanting all the cool new (useless) tech! I was never too big on watches, but there was one watch that I had to have.

    I saw it in a toy catalog that got sent to my house once a month. There was an entire page dedicated to "spy gear" and among it was a spy watch. It didn't do any fancy calculations or have any games on it, but it did have a secret 'lie detector' built in.

    [​IMG]

    All you had to do was have someone put two fingers on the metal contacts on the top, ask them a question, then hold down the 'detect' button as they answer and it would "scan" their pulse and tell you if they were lying or telling the truth.

    I can't imagine a $20 watch being a very accurate lie detector, but I was the coolest kid in school for a few days!
     
  14. TallManNY macrumors 68040

    TallManNY

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    #14
    Ha, I had that dialer as well. I'd forgotten about that. Pull up phone number, pop a quarter in the pay phone, press dial and hold it up to the headset. It was pretty neat when it worked.
     
  15. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #15
    I was at work and we had an auto loading cardboard compactor, basically a 30 foot conveyor that fed into the compactor. I was called over to fix a blockage which I did, to reset the machine I had to remove some card from the opening to the conveyor. As I lifted the card the machine jumped back to life, my watch caught on the join in the belt and I was dragged into the shoot. I made it 25 foot down the conveyor before my calls for help were answered. Needless to say the ordeal and broken wrist made me never put a watch on again.
     
  16. mchoffa macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    #16
    I had a Mario watch and a Zelda watch, and I wore one on each wrist.
    [​IMG]

    ----------

    Just make sure to remove that :apple:Watch before operating any heavy machinery. BTW, I think that would make me more afraid of cardboard than anything.
     
  17. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020

    8CoreWhore

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Big D
    #17
    I've been wanting a Suunto watch for 20 years but didn't buy it because of its $300+ price.
     
  18. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, USA
    #18
    Wow. Close shave.

    Wonder if Apple's magnetic watch bands would detach in such a scenario?
     
  19. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, USA
    #19
    Gave me a good laugh. Thanks. Brought back memories of how I'd mercilessly grind my parents' nerves down. I was quite a horror-child back then.

    Happy days! :)
     
  20. Sirobin macrumors 6502

    Sirobin

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #20
    I totally had that watch too! All I can remember is people trying to beat it by having me ask questions like what their name was. Not exactly the sort of lie to set off a lie detector, although, like you said, at $20, that’s probably irrelevant anyway haha.
     
  21. MasterRyu2011 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #21
    No, but looks nice, better than their current square-faced watch.
     
  22. camtechman56 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Location:
    Warren, pa.
    #22
    Boy does this thread bring back fond memories, it even brought back memories of the first personal computer i had, the timex sinclair 1000, and hand held calculators. thank you! Now I feel old :eek:
     
  23. Caliber26 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Caliber26

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #23
    Actually, no. I'm surprised I hadn't heard of this one. I was probably too busy playing my 3GS at the time, to take notice of anything else going on in the tech world. It's actually impressive that they somehow crammed a phone into a watch but it looks like they may have been a little ahead of their time. I expect the Apple Watch to evolve into a stand-alone device, eventually. I don't think it'll ever replace an actual phone because of the screen size, but I do think it'll be able to place calls & texts and do GPS without needing the phone to be present.

    Of course not! I did mention them briefly. ;) As far as I'm concerned, these calculator watches will always be the original smart watches.

    Glad I could do that for ya! I'm an only child so I definitely had an advantage there. Casio was pretty much my favorite 'toy' maker back in the day. Aside from electronic organizers and watches, I also lusted after portable TVs. My mother was so against me having one of these but, of course, I won.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. rjlawrencejr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    LA/OC/IE
    #24
    That was a great little TV. Unfortunately once digital became mandatory a few years ago they've been rendered useless.
     

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