Ever since watches became a commonly worn item, one of the most frequently asked questions in the world has to be, “Hey. Got the time?” Now, instead of a quick answer, you may hear, “Hang on. Let me clear this text first.” Smart watches are the next gadget that consumer electronics companies are betting will catch on.
I don’t actually know many people who wear a watch. It seems kind of superfluous when our mobile devices can tell us the time without having something clinging to your wrist. That hasn’t stopped Sony, Apple, Samsung, Google and many other companies from attempting to update the classic timepiece with modern technology.
The idea for a smart watch probably came from the iPod Nano. It’s roughly watch shaped, and it didn’t take too long for some entrepreneur to notice and figure out a way to attach it to a watch band. Following on the heels of that innovation was the Pebble, which raised more than $10 million on Kickstarter.
The Pebble has a fairly simple black-and-white display that interfaces with both iOS and Android smart phones. Along with showing the time, it can control your music library and alert you to incoming emails and texts with a preview. This is a pretty common theme with all smart watches. Rather than attempting to replace your smart phone, the devices operate in tandem, hopefully reducing the time you shuffle your phone in and out of a pocket.
If the idea catches on, expect more functionality from smart watches in the form of apps. Google is already talking about using its smart watch as a remote control for Google TV. Other apps in the pipeline include exercise aids, games and voice recognition. One would think the watches also have a chance of reducing accidents, as it’s easier to take a peek at your wrist than to dig your phone out of a pocket and muck around with it to find out who just sent you a text.
Below you’ll find a video that covers the features of a few different smart watches.