Americans began giving up wearing wristwatches more than 20 years ago when the beepers and cell phones in their pockets made wristwatches look old-fashioned. What technology took away, though, it seems to be on the verge of bringing back again, in particularly high-tech form. While Sony is first to market with this new device that it calls a smartwatch, many other electronics majors have announced their plans to rush these products out.
At the moment, the only real smartwatches in existence are the models by Sony and small companies like Pebble, Tom Tom and Martian. As the popular press constantly reports, Apple is suspected to be working on an iWatch and Samsung is expected with its own Galaxy watch, too.
What exactly is a smartwatch?
Smartwatches, as a category, are a work in progress. As they exist today, they are easy-to-access remote controls on your wrist that help you control your smartphone over Bluetooth. If taking your phone out of your pocket to check every Facebook update, Tweet, call, text message or email seems like a chore, a smartwatch on your wrist is supposed to be a readily accessible remote control that helps you get the essentials done.
A smartwatch can also be a more accessible interface for a smartphone in a number of situations where using your phone isn’t appropriate. A runner, for instance, can more readily glance at his smartwatch for GPS or distance information or quickly change songs. If you didn’t have a smartwatch, you would have to break your stride while you fumbled with your phone.
A smartwatch can be an important tool in certain social situations where using a phone is either not allowed or is considered socially embarrassing. At business meetings where glancing at your phone is considered unacceptable, a smartwatch can achieve a lot. To a person who needs to quickly consult the Internet for information to introduce into the conversation – a new word from the dictionary, statistics from Wikipedia or anything else – an accessible Internet surface has the potential to be a lifesaver.
Named watches as they are, they certainly tell time, too.
Many people note that few of the things that smartwatches do are new – they are merely functions that smartphone perform very well now. The innovation that the smartwatch brings, though, lies in the way it allows one to do those things in a handier and more accessible way. One day, seven, smart watches could progress to being standalone devices. Services such as InternetServiceProvider.net could connect them directly to the Internet.
So far, smart watches don’t look like game changers
The buzz that surrounds the arrival of smartwatches doesn’t go to their ability to be good remote controls. The excited anticipation comes from trying to guess at what the category might bring once the competition heats up with Apple and Samsung entering the race. Smartwatches could have a few interesting applications as smartphone accessories one day. For instance, connected to the wrist as they are, they could be useful medical devices that help measure the vitals. A smartwatch with NFC (near field communications) could also make payments at the cash register much more accessible.