The smartwatch war begins, which is why your child should be able to tell time

It has been brewing for a long time, the battle of the smartwatches. When the Pebble, thanks to a Kickstarter campaign earning a record-setting 10.2 million dollars, breathed new life into the concept of watches with the capabilities of a small computer, life was at the same time given to a new battle for the consumers’ favor. A battle Samsung seeks to win over Apple.

As reported by Bloomberg, Samsung is getting ready to present their new smartwatch, Samsung Galaxy Gear, at their press conference the 4th of September, ahead of the IFA consumer electronics tradeshow in Berlin. This will surely force Apple to present their coming smartwatch, nicknamed iWatch, too.

Can you tell time?
What does this mean? There are the obvious benefits, like being able to check mails, messages and more without ever needing to pull out your smartphone. You just need to peek at your watch and all your information needs are satisfied. But it’s not just pure technological bliss. What happens to the regular watch as a cultural and shaping element, for example?

According to a YouGov survey, almost 60% of 16-34 year olds use their phone as a timepiece instead of a watch. At this point, with smartphones and digital watches as the primary way to keep time, why should young people learn to tell time on a traditional clock? In short, because the analogue watch is a valuable part of our cultural heritage.

Jokes and expressions
We don’t need to mention all the various analogue clocks set up across the world. Famous clock towers, clocks at train stations and so on. The modern man will probably be exposed to analogue clocks at the very least twice every day, even if he might not notice it.
An aspect of clocks that might not be immediately obvious is how they have shaped our language. In English, German and a number of other languages expressions such as “clockwise” and “counterclockwise” describe turning. In military brevity code, a unindentified radar contact (a Bogey) is described according to clock positions.
These things are worth preserving, as they are a vital part of our lingual and cultural history. If the analogue clock is allowed to become some sort of arcane knowledge, a part of our history is lost. Jokes, like the one between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (“11 o’clock!” “What happens at 11?”), loses all meaning.

Apart from changing all clocks around the world to digital ones, and judging from the outrage BBC got for their 1980 April Fool’s joke that won’t be happening anytime soon, the only other thing to do is to preserve the analogue clock.
Here at Savivo we know the importance of knowing the analogue clock. The advent of smartwatches shouldn’t be ignored, but by giving children and young people the skills to decipher the analogue clock, smartwatches won’t cause us to lose part of our culture.foto 1Mingoville Fun Clock is created to make it easy to teach children how to tell time on an analogue clock. Some adults are even using it to learn how to tell time in different languages.
Fun Clock is available on Apple’s App Store, Google Play, Windows Store and Amazon Appstore.

Education on the app market

What is the definition of an educational app? We’d argue that it is a program, or game, which teaches you something you didn’t know before, or expands on previous taught skills and abilities.
But simply learning something new isn’t really enough. Most normal games teach you something, even if it just is “Touch this and it’s game over”. Having a creative content doesn’t cut it either. After all, playing with a virtual puppy or with virtual blocks might inspire you and stimulate your imagination, but downright teach you something? Probably not. For it to be an educational app, it would have to teach you something that makes you better and more productive, or gives you some necessary skills.

Little educational value
Take a look at the app market of your chosing, under the educational category. Right now, just looking at the Top 25 over paid apps, you might see at least 5 apps, which doesn’t exactly fit into the category. Some of them are simple toys without any kind of educational content, even if they are fun and creative toys.
Why, then, do these apps continue to pop up, and in some cases, dominate in the Educational Apps category?
sadmingoThe answer might be, that there’s no real control over what categories you assign your app to. No one makes sure that the app where you make sandwiches to anthropomorphic animals is indeed educational or more fitting for, say, the Games category.

Is the answer seperation?
Perhaps the real problem is, that there’s not category fitting for children games or apps. Them being shunted into Education might make some sense, from a developer’s point of view. But it does cause some problems.
First of all, genuine educational apps and games are easily lost in the heap of often well-made but not very educational apps. This makes it difficult to find the right app without wading through a sea of unrelated content.
Secondly, it makes for poor return of investment for any teachers looking for potential teaching aids. No teacher has the time to download and try out that many apps, hoping to find the burried treasure.

The solution to this problem could be a seperation of general children oriented content and educational content. I’m sure there’s some overlap between the two categories, but it would cut down on the trouble and hassle potential purchasers face, when looking for educational content for their phones and tablet.

Apple’s doing it. Google..?
Back in June, when Apple presented their new iOS7 operational system for mobile platforms, one of the, to us, major updates will be the introduction of a category for children. Instead of having apps and games for children spread across the entire App Store, they will in the future be showcased in a single, curated category.
Our hope is that Google will follow in their footsteps and introduce something similar. Google Play for Education, launching sometime this fall, might possibly be the answer to our prayers. Either way, fall 2013 looks to be very interesting for educational apps!happymiingo