← to the HSITA Home Page

Watches and rings are sticky products

Wearables of continuous use seem special

There’s something powerful about watches and rings that you don’t find very often.

At first, you need to force yourself to start using them. It’s kind of unpleasant and annoying to have a strange object hanging on your arm or finger during the first, say, 3 days.

I guess this unpleasant part is like the initial effort that typically occurs with lots of things we start to do and use (e.g. getting used to new shoes or to unusual food).

But then, with watches and rings, something magical happens after a few days.

Suppose you go for walk but forget your watch at home. You suddenly feel there’s something in you that is missing. You feel naked without it. It becomes part of you. It’s visceral. You start to crave the feeling of having it on you.

What causes this feeling?

I speculate it probably is the result of a conditioned touch, the somatosensation, for long periods of continuous use. Our nervous system likely adapts to it.

In a way, we create a sense of extended self with the object.

I wonder what this dynamics says about how habits are formed.

And also about how ubiquitous tech wearables could be. From this lense, wearables do seem like a powerful trojan horse (as something we would use anyway) for sensors, actuators, and software.

Subscribe to new posts via email

Like what you’ve just read?

Enter your email address to receive updates when (and only when) there’s a new essay.

I will never spam you and I won’t share your email address with anybody else.
Mailing list is powered by TinyLetter.