hp-michael-bastian-smartwatch-2014-08-01-02

AH Primetime: Smartwatches – Why Are So Many Square When Round Turns Us On?

August 6, 2014 - Written By Cory McNutt

Round is such a natural shape – just look at the sun, the moon and the planets, including the very earth we inhabit…all round.  The steering wheel of a car, the pulleys, the belts, the cylinders, the pistons, the valves and the wheels on a bus go round-and-round.  Look at the great Roman Coliseum, ancient Stonehenge and other sundials – all are round.  The many rotundas on the Capitol and monuments – all are round.  Ferris Wheels, Merry-go-Rounds and all around the Maypole…round is so much a part of our very nature, you wonder how right angles became so popular…what the hell has 90-degrees ever done for you – except make you want to go swimming!  What about jewelry – it’s wedding rings, not wedding squares…that infinitive shape that has no beginning or end, like infinity itself. The rotary dial on the old-time telephones – if you are old enough, you remember putting your finger in a round hole to dial a phone number and watching the rotary dial first go in a counter clockwise motion.  Then we would catch ourselves staring, as though we were mesmerized as we watched it spin back in a clockwise direction…especially if it was a zero.  Even after the push-button phones were all the rage, we still always, even to this day on our modern smartphones, say that we are ‘dialing’ a number or contact.

Take a quick look TV and audio equipment – speakers and microphones were always round.  We had round knobs on everything…remember how we used to grab the knob to change a channel and give it a good spin around all six or seven channels without stopping until our wrist would turn no more!  Inside, all of the tubes and capacitors were round.  The first radio dials were round and even the first picture tubes were round.  The old vinyl records and turntables we played them on were all round.  The large tape recorders had reels of tape and even inside the old 8-tracks and cassettes the recording tape was going in a circular motion.  Remember the old Laser Discs and even the new CDs and DVDs are all…round.  I am telling you that round is where it’s at. Even our basic timepieces were all round, a trend that surely started with a sundial to tell time.  Big Ben is round, just as the old pocket watches were all round, as were the faces of grandfather clocks to mantle clocks.  When someone got the bright idea to put a timepiece on our wrist – guess what shape it was – round!  How then did we get to the point that a square or rectangle was the proper shape for a smartwatch?  Look at them all – Samsung Galaxy Gear, Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, Gear Live, Gear Fit, the LG G Watch, the Pebble, the Qualcomm Toq, the Sony SmartWatch and SmartWatch 2 – they are all ‘squarish’ – not a round one in the bunch.

I think it’s strange that the most talked about smartwatch isn’t even out yet – is it because it’s coming from Motorola…is it because it’s running Android Wear…is it because of its name: Moto 360…or is it because it’s – wait for it – ROUND!  That is my theory and I am sticking to it. Back in the day, hip people would bang on their round bongos, smoking their round joints, looking through their round spectacles, while drinking bourbon in a round glass and would call the outsiders…’squares’ – they were not ’rounds’ but ‘squares.’  Do you really want to be a ‘square,’ of course not, because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you can handle the truth, and the truth is we are tired of squares and we want ’round.’  It is part of our very nature, just like the Circle of Life, and so shall we wait for the Moto 360 – the smartwatch with the great name and a round and friendly ‘face.’