Smartwatch: The Next Big Thing?

Now that we have filled our lives with with smartphones and tablets, the mobile industry isn’t satisfied. They want to keep selling us devices. The next device to follow is the smartwatch. Timepieces aren’t just for telling time anymore.

Smartphones connect back to a smartphone via Bluetooth, allowing them to play music, videos and even work with apps. They come with a range of functions to allow everything you wanted a digital watch to do previously. Additionally, they can allow smartphone functions to be even more convenient. Instead of digging your phone out of your pocket, you can access the function right on your wrist.

Smartwatch-Sony

In truth, it’s not a completely new idea. Computer watches date back as far as 1984, being compatible with Commodore 64s, IBM PCs, and Apple IIs. Things have changed a lot in thirty years, though. We don’t want the same capabilities we have on our computers. We want the same capabilities we have on our mobile phones. The Sony SmartWatch connects back to Android, allowing you to read texts, emails, and social networking, and also utilizes apps.

The newest smartphone out is the Pebble E-Paper Watch. It became the most highly-funded Kickstarter project, raising over $10 million. The biggest immediate difference from the Sony SmartWatch is that it works with both Android and Apple’s iOS. Apparently Pebble wanted to make sure they didn’t leave the Apple fans out of the excitement.

Smartwatch-Pebble

It doesn’t look like Apple fans would have been left out anyway. Apple has always been a company to keep their projects on the “down-low,” but Apple quietly applied for a patent back in 2011. It’s for a device worn on the wrist that has a flexible touchscreen display that connects via Bluetooth or WiFI. It’s being coined the iWatch, of course.

Smartwatch-Patent

All of this could just make wearing a watch cool again. Many people stopped wearing watches, as the need just wasn’t there. With cell phones coming in and out of the pocket so often, it’s easy just to check the time then. However, smartwatches not only equal that convenience, they add to it by adding all the additional functionality. You can now glance at your wrist to check Facebook statuses or to see if someone returned your text.

Wristwatches have somehow gone from a forgotten accessory to the newest tech gadget. The smartwatch somehow taps into what the tech world is desiring. They are kitschy, geeky, useful, and convenient. It could be an interesting trend to follow. If they end up saturating the market, what will be the next device?

Image sources: AP, crave.cnet.co.u, and wristwatchspot.wordpress.com

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