Long Live Cuddle Time, Thanks to Apple Watch

Long Live Cuddle Time, Thanks to Apple Watch

Shane BarnhillThursday,11 June 2015

Several weeks ago, I wrote up my initial observations about the Apple Watch, in which I concluded, “But there’s something about the Apple Watch that does grab you after a few days, leaving you with the distinct feeling that you don’t ever want to go back to the way things were before you tried one. But what is that value proposition, exactly? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.” Mostly, those observations still stand. The watch is very much a version 1.0 product: underpowered, without breakthrough apps, and in no way a “must have” device.  There are a lot of subtle conveniences that you grow used to over time and definitely wouldn’t want to have to give up once you’re accustomed to them, but I wouldn’t recommend rushing out to drop $400-$17,000 for information that it only takes ten additional seconds to retrieve on your smartphone.

But the Apple Watch has changed my life in one very significant and personal way.

Every night, after bedtime stories, my 8 year old son asks me to stay and cuddle with him for a few additional minutes while he falls asleep. This has been a standard part of his bedtime routine for years now, and I (almost) always oblige, because, as any parent with children who’ve grown into their teen/tween years will tell you, you miss those moments of “cuddle time” when they’re gone.

The problem is, I fall asleep nearly as fast as my young son does each night. About 2-3 nights per week, I blink my eyes open to realize that a few minutes of cuddle time has turned into 5 1/2 hours of sleep. It may seem like only a few minutes have passed, but it’s suddenly 1:30am and all of the items on my evening to-do list (catching up on work, editing articles for TSD, etc.) aren’t done, which means that I’ll have to rush through them at a later, less convenient time.

In the past, I’ve used my iPhone to set an alarm to wake me up and prevent oversleeping through the evening. This approach, however, is fraught with problems. The sounds, buzzes and glowing screens from notifications keep my son awake, and even when I put my phone into “Do Not Disturb” mode, the alarm always has the potential to wake both my son and me, defeating its purpose by re-starting the bedtime routine.

Enter the Apple Watch.

The watch’s alarm is (or at least can be, if you’ve turned off sounds) completely silent, and the vibrations are so subtle that they can’t be perceived by others. An alarm just feels like a persistent tap on the wrist. To feel the sensation for yourself, take your index finger and gently tap your wrist about 30 times. It doesn’t produce a sound, and yet, after about 20 taps are so, it starts to become a little annoying.

That’s what the Apple Watch’s alarm feels like, and it works perfectly. I wake up, and my son isn’t disturbed in the process. He gets a good night sleep, and I get a brief nap before tackling my to-do list.  So I guess I’ll amend my previous conclusion about the Apple Watch’s value proposition. It has very personal value to me.

Long live cuddle time.

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