Is your wrist ready for a smartwatch?
Posted: 10th Jul 2013
Given all the news articles about it, you might think that the next big thing in wearable computing is Google’s inventive Glass product, the clever wraparound headset which puts a small display screen right in front of your eyes.
Did you own a Casio calculator watch?
More likely, however, is that the first part of your body you’ll be accessorising with a clever piece of kit will be your wrist: smartwatches are coming, and they’re really rather good.
So, what are they all about?
The idea of smartwatches has been around since the ’70s, when Casio‘s calculator watch was the timepiece to be seen in for a while. It was only last year, however, that they really came into their own.
A new device called Pebble became the most heavily funded item on Kickstarter ever, raising over $10m of development money for its makers – considerably more than the $100,000 they were looking for.
Pebble is now shipping in the US, and users have been delighted with it.
Using Bluetooth, Pebble syncs with your mobile phone, allowing you to do simple things like check for new messages and change music without touching your handset.
Even more excitingly, developers can create new apps for Pebble to allow it to grab even more information from your phone and become customised to your needs.
It also tells the time, and you can alter the look of the clock-face too.
More to come…
The Pebble is already shipping to its Kickstarter backers.
Other companies have been quick to get in on the act. Sony, which already had an Android-powered smartwatch out, has just revamped its device for the Smartwatch 2, with more features and ways to interface with your phone.
If rumours are to be believed, Google has plans to release an official Android smartwatch and Samsung has one on the way too.
Apple is attempting to register iwatch as a trademark too, suggesting that there’s something designed to supplement the iPhone on the horizon.
Just as laptops supplanted PCs and mobile phones supplanted laptops as our primary way of accessing information, the speed and convenience of tapping your wrist to read the news or activate other devices – like a TV – in your house suggests that smartwatches really could be the next big thing. And going by the price of the Pebble and Sony’s range they won’t be overly expensive either.
So, would you buy a smartwatch?
You might also like to read:
- Watch out: it’s the Google Android Smart Watch
- Sony SmartWatch 2 announced
- Try Google Glass today
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- Are you ready for a 3D phone?