It wasn’t long ago that you had only one friend who had a smartphone. The need to always be connected to the Internet, and to carry a computer in your pocket, made these very useful phones spread like wildfire. Later on, tablets arrived on the scene, making the screen size of a smartphone seem really small, and then people wanted t to enjoy the latest in technology on a 10-inch screen. Now, the new fashion accessory are smart watches – the intelligent watch that syncs with your smartphone.
This latest trend in watches doesn’t have a lot of competition – the market is basically shared between Sony, Samsung, and Apple, even though they aren’t to any degree the pioneers in wristwatch computing technology. In the early 70’s Seiko, the Japanese watch company, released its first digital watch that by 1980 would already come with a calculator, voice recorder, and TV. Four years later, the technological revolution took one step further by developing model with computer capabilities, and Seiko released its D409 model, equipped with data entry capabilities using a mini-keyboard.
Fashion trends always come back around, and the most powerful companies on the market invest in them. Smart watches provide users with quick and practical access to their mobile device, allowing them to access messaging services, social networks, and even calls when you have your bluetooth activated. They also come with a news reader, weather app, and music player.
Time will tell if users are willing to pay the high cost of this accessory, but even still, the three largest phone manufacturers are taking the risk. Besides, small projects are rising, trying to take place in the new market, like Pebble.
Even though they are still just rumors, Apple isn’t denying them. The supposed watch from Apple will be released towards the end of 2013, and will run iOS 7, according to Bloomberg. The iWatch would be capable of making and receiving calls, identify the person who is calling, and would include basic sensors, such as a step counter and a heart-rate monitor. It is said that it would even possibly come with a camera. The New York Times revealed that Apple is working on a watch manufactured with a flexible screen so it can curve around the rest.
The South Korean company, Samsung, confirmed that it is developing a smartwatch after a flurry of rumors spread that it was chasing after its main competitor, Apple. Samsung was working on its own smart watch, and it is still unknown if it will integrate the Android operating system. Lee Young Hee, the executive vice president of Samsung, didn’t reveal the watch’s price nor the date of the release, she did confirm that the watch industry will generate more than $60 million this year. “We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them,” Young Hee said.
The one smart watch that is already on sale: Sony’s watch is designed to be the perfect companion to Android phones, as it acts as a remote control via Bluetooth. Its OLED screen displays basic programs such as the weather forecast, your Twitter account, and your email. This model will display who is calling, and allows you to answer the phone if you use a Bluetooth device. It weighs only 26 grams, and is charged using via a USB.