Use SmartWatches as an extension to your SmartPhone for help with daily life and emergencies.
With voice controls and digital assistants like Siri and Google, you can now:
Set and receive reminders for appointments, taking meds, and checking the stove,
Call 911, family or friends if you fall and can’t get to your phone,
Dictate a text message to 911 (If your 911 accepts text messages; must register), and
Let people find you if lost or wandering (with some SmartWatches).
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
A compatible SmartPhone, and
A mobile voice and text service plan.
Data services optional.
you may want a data service plan for other uses outside the home such as email, maps and traffic, directions, find-my-friend apps if worried about getting lost, and anything else that runs over the web or through an online app.
COST RANGE: $200-$550 CDN or US
American costs are generally 25-30% less.
Find quality SmartWatches with essential features at the low end of price range.
Costs assume you have an existing compatible SmartPhone and mobile service plan.
ESSENTIAL FEATURES TO LOOK FOR
A digital assistant like Google or Siri,
A microphone (mic) and speaker to talk with your digital assistant, make phone calls, and dictate text messages,
A vibrate feature for silent notifications or hearing challenges, and
WiFi to have more complete in-home coverage. (The default distance is the 15'-30' Bluetooth range of your SmartPhone)
PREMIUM FEATURES TO CONSIDER
Heart rate monitor,
Shower approved (for risk of falls in the shower), and
GPS and/or cellular connectivity (for location finding).
WHAT TO AVOID
Do NOT pair an Android Wear Smart Watch with the iPhone!
They don't play well together and you won't be able to call 911 from the watch!
Regular voice calls & text messaging will NOT work even if the specifications say they are compatible. Compatibility is claimed when it's just email, alerts, apps & internet access. If I ever discover another SmartWatch that is fully compatible with the iPhone I will update my readers through email alerts!
Do not use a waterproof SmartWatch in the Shower unless approved for use in the shower by the manufacturer.
Avoid SmartWatches with a reputation for poor battery performance when compared to competitors with similar features. (Check online reviews.)
HAVE QUESTIONS? LIKE SOME HELP GETTING STARTED?
Find practical details and tips for buying a SmartWatch in the Guide to SmartWatches on The HUB. There you'll find:
How SmartWatches work,
Product examples, costs and comparisons,
A shopping checklist,
A budget planner, and
A discussion forum to ask questions and learn more from your peers.
Wishing you all the best,