The smart watch has been a future fiction muse for decades. Dick Tracy used his to keep in touch with The Chief; the crew of Starship Enterprise called for beam-ups; George Jetson undoubtedly strapped one on before heading to work and leaving Rosie to take care of the kids and his
shopping-obsessed fashionable wife. But here’s what all the clever creators behind those characters were missing: wrist-based tech that wasn’t just for business. We don’t lock our smartphones in the desk drawer at the five o’clock buzzer, so why should a watch be different?
Whether it’s tucked under the cuff of a sport coat or a sweatshirt, the Qualcomm Toq excels at conveniently (and discretely) connecting users to their digital livelihoods. Its biggest advantage over the competition in the category is its proprietary Mirasol display touchscreen, which is crisp, easily read even in harsh light (we’re talking both white sand beaches and the white light of your god-awful apartment’s translucent bulbs), and much more efficient than comparable LED screens, improving battery life to multiple days, making it great for traveling.
It also boasts a seamless and subtle aesthetic by eschewing ports or buttons — it charges wirelessly, and both homepage navigation and brightness are controlled by tapping the wristband above or below the watch. The clean look is classic enough to not draw confused stares but modern enough to draw a conversation starter from one bar stool over.
So how will strapping on a Toq affect the smart man’s daily life? Calls from volatile exes can be screened and answered (or not) through the optional paired Bluetooth headsets, for one; notifications of texts, emails, alarms, etc., can also be customized to appear on the watch’s display, and you can even be alerted via vibration. If action is required, the Toq’s “Comm Hub” can initiate calls and respond with canned text messages like “Text you back soon” with just a few taps. In other words, you can spend less time loving your phone and more time loving life.
It doesn’t stop there. Plenty of other useful options are available from its wide range of apps, which include tools for detailed calendar controls, weather, locating a misplaced phone, adjusting your phone’s ring or vibrate settings, and more. Of course there are the social media musts like Twitter and Google Hangouts — meeting with friends at the best bar in town or letting the world know just what you think about Kanye’s latest album just became all the easier.
That ease of our everyday tech addiction is the whole point of the Toq. Technology is seeping more and more into our personal lives — when was the last time you walked into the men’s room without checking the Instagram? — and for our money, the smart folks will be the ones who make tech work for them rather than the other way round.