As the founder and CEO of MYLE, it’s one of the questions I get asked most frequently. Why would a guy like me who has actively been using a smartwatch for almost three years need an additional gadget?
The answer is: simplicity, convenience, and efficiency.
It’s true that smartwatches have significantly changed the technological landscape in the past few years. Thanks to guys like Eric Migikovsky, the Steve Jobs of the smartwatch field, they became ubiquitous, and won the hearts of millions of users.
In a previous post, I talked about why smartwatches are so useful: they can provide your most pertinent information and notifications — like emails, messages, weather updates — while you keep your phone in your pocket. In many cases, such brief information is enough to get updated and make decisions. But, there’s a catch: namely, how to feed your smartphone with information, and how to do it in a simple yet effective way. And this is what smartwatches cannot do.
Well, you can put information into your phone by tapping tiny buttons on some smartwatches (though you’re unlikely to have the patience to do this — I know I don’t) or using Speech-to-Text (or Voice-to-Text) recognition. The latter can significantly simplify the data input process, and many smartwatch developers have raced each other to add this new feature to their devices. But the question is how they do it.
I myself played with a few watches with these capabilities. In fact, in the early stages of MYLE’s development, I intended to use smartwatches for data input purposes rather than inventing an entirely new device. I had to give up on that idea fairly early on. Here’s why:
First off: Simplicity. If your smartwatch operates as a remote mic, you still need to go through several steps to put your voice into it — unlock the smartwatch if required, find the right button to start communication or to save an audio note (how and where — is another problem).
All these operations are the simplicity killers — wouldn’t it be easier to just take out your phone? Not to mention how strange you’ll look doing all of this. Most of the people I discussed this concept with admitted, besides the sheer inconvenience of such a process, they don’t like the idea of talking to their watches. They don’t want to look like a spy.
And, there’s another problem. A smartwatch has to be connected to your phone at all times, and we all know how often they end up reporting they’re out-of-range. Try to imagine you have a million-dollar-idea and you are trying to save it in your Evernote — “save the idea to my Evernote account — here’s how we can send people to Mars” — but there would be no connection at the moment. You’d try again and again, with the same result. Then, you get distracted, you focus on something else…and a few years later you see in the news that Elon Musk is going to send some folks to Mars, and he’s got a few billion bucks to do it.
“But it was my idea!” you say. “I wish I’d recorded it at the time!” This is why we made MYLE operate independently, and collect everything into its memory, with further automatic connection to a smartphone and the cloud, to transmit the data, convert it to text, analyze, categorize, and fulfill. Nothing will be lost or forgotten.
Speaking of Evernote… Have you ever thought of how many apps you use? Have you dreamed about a magic tool to instantly put your information in there? Have you ever used smartwatches for that purpose? I did. It went poorly.
Most applications provided by smartwatch makers are focused on a few general things, and aren’t flexible enough to be customized for personal needs. Undoubtedly, Sky Guide or Hole19 are cool apps; people have fun playing with them. But, what if I need to do something more specific, like sharing my idea with my team via Slack, logging my work hours into a timesheet system, adding items to my grocery list, or counting the calories I consumed? With a smartwatch, I run up against limitations.
I always dreamed of making a personalized tool that would serve as a real personal assistant — a Mrs. or Mr. Johnson who appears invisibly behind my shoulder with a notebook and a pen in hand, and who writes down all my thoughts, ideas, and commands, and executes them immediately. I just need to speak out my mind, and that’s it. My assistant knows my habits and my behaviour, and anticipates my needs to meet them at precisely the right time. MYLE was born out of these dreams…
MYLE’s biggest advantage is in its analytics; it’s able to model your behavioral patterns and vocabulary, instantly improve your speech recognition quality, and align with your particular manner of speaking and accent. Those who, like me, speak English with an accent can understand me well, and know that the joke about two Scots in the elevator, “Eleven,” is only partially a joke. One of MYLE’s goals is to make your speech understandable, recognizable, and actionable, regardless of who you are and how you speak. No smartwatch can even come close.
And finally, there’s cost. The average Android-based smartwatch is priced around $350. The Apple Watch will cost you twice that. MYLE comes in at a tenth of that price — $99 on pre-order (and you can also get $20 off if you use a magic word – GETMYLE ).
So, if care about your time and money, and want to use them more effectively, you need MYLE.
If you have hundreds of thoughts and ideas in your mind and want to remember all of them (as well as to get results from them), you need MYLE. If you’re running a company with dozens if not thousands of employees, and want to give them a simple, effective tool for timesheet reporting, communication, project management, and other related tasks, you need MYLE.
Actually, I can hardly imagine a crowd of field technicians with Apple Watches, who deliver their services and talk to their wrists: “I’ve just finished a door installation. Roger that.” Can you?
With MYLE, it’s a different story — a tiny, simple and affordable device on a technician’s collar or pocket that can operate without any smartphone, and collect all of his or her notes and commands with a single finger tap. For instance, “I started a door installation,” “I’m driving” or, “I need to buy milk and eggs.”
The notes are automatically processed, deployed between the tech’s applications (both business and personal), and fulfilled. Some will go to the company’s timesheet or corporate communication system; others to a grocery shopping list. Oh, and in addition to audio and text, MYLE will provide you with a GPS location and time stamp for each recorded note.
So, comparing MYLE and smartwatches we can see clearly that they have been designed for very different purposes. Smartwatches are information outputs, whereas MYLE is a crucial information input that collects thoughts and commands from you, processes them, and executes.
My Pebble saves me 20 minutes a day by providing updates and notifications and letting my smartphone stay in the pocket; MYLE saves me an additional hour per day by keeping my phone in the same place and feeding it information. This is why I need them both. They’re not competitors — they supplement each other.
So, really, question should be, “Why don’t I use MYLE if I have a smartwatch?” To see for yourself, pre-order a MYLE.