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11 Smartwatch Apps That Would Actually Be Useful

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Over the weekend, we asked you
to have a think about what kind of apps you’d want on your wrist if you were a designer. We encouraged you to go big-and go big you did, suggesting everything from a universal translator to walkie-talkies.

We received over a hundred comments on the original post, but below you’ll find eleven of the most intriguing ideas for your dream apps. For those of you who are smartwatch skeptics, tell us in the comments whether any of these would convince you to strap a hunk of metal on your wrist.

A Real-Time Translator

Travelling in another country and need to have a conversation, you can turn it on and have it listen. – Paulie76

Car Locking and Starting

Lock + Unlock + Remote Start my car. I have a Viper cellular remote start system so it should be pretty easy. – thefinalmonster

Great Voice Control

My dream smart-watch app would be a advanced AI app that I can talk too (in my normal speech pattern) and get proper 99% error results. The keyboard is extinct. (like Tony Starks J.A.R.V.I.S.) – Babylon System

Teaching Tools

As a teacher, I’d love some classroom tools. Perhaps a controller for keynote presentations that includes a means to move a “laser pointer” around a slide or draw on it. Or a timer that changes background colors and taps you to remind you when to move into the next part of your lesson – all programmable before-hand from a phone or computer. – Eggyhead

A Shutter Remote

I have a gorillapod with a phone clamp. I would use an app that allowed me to remotely activate the camera, so that I could set it up and stand back while taking a picture. – Sabriel

Transit for Wrist

There’s a app called Transit, which looks up arrival times for buses based on your location, for android/iOS … A watch version would be awesome

– thisismyid2

Precise Biometrics

One that monitors blood sugar level, kidney and liver function, various hormone levels, and lets users correlate these with what they eat, how they sleep, and their exercise habits. Maybe include monitoring the effects of drugs, alcohol, cigarette smoking. Brain activity monitoring would be good as well, can’t they detect these based on what is happening in the rest of the body?

Could add some Carnival type functions like mood rings, are you in love, are you telling the truth, etc. – PatriceBoivin

Great Comms

I want a watch with enough minimal communication functionality that i can leave my phone at home on a wifi connection and still do some communication. like send and receive texts. I would like to workout or swim and have my watch update me with whats going on with my phone over the gym wifi. Id love it if i could have all the emergency communication and fitness tracking without needing my phone on me. – boneheadotto

Location-Based Reminders For Apple Watch

Seems kinda obvious, but haven’t seen it mentioned yet… at least I don’t believe I have. This is primarily for the Apple Watch I guess but there should be integration with Find My iPhone so if you leave your iPhone/iPad/Mac for a certain amount of time or a preset distance your Apple Watch will give you a little warning that you can either ignore or decide to track. You may be at a restaurant with friends and leave it at the table while you go to the restroom for a minute or something, in which case you can ignore it. I think it’d be really useful, and be even cooler if you could customize the time/distance away from the device to your preference. Or you can designate “safe zones”, like your home or friends house, where it wouldn’t bother you, you can just pull the app up if you misplace it in a couch cushion or something and save the warnings for when you’re out and about and it’s really necessary. – JMnemonic

A Walkie-Talkie App

Real time, GPS enabled, position mapping of a network of other registered watches. That way when I am some event (concert, festival, etc) with a handful of other people, we can each effectively have a compass that gives the distance and bearing to every other member of the group. – Kevin

DVR Control

My AT&T U-verse app updated recently and I noticed there was a new option on my Moto 360 for it. I got all excited thinking that I could use my watch to control my DVR better. Nope, just changing channels. Blech. You know when I actually flip through channels now? Never. I go to the guide and search through there if I’m that bored, but going through each channel one by one, I haven’t done that in years. Now if the phone app actually allowed you to pause or fast forward on a DVR show you’re watching that would be just perfect.

– Veras Gunn

Lead image: Tom Simpson on Flickr/CC.