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A smartwatch is a computerized wristwatch with functionality that goes beyond timekeeping. While early models can perform basic tasks, such as calculations, translations, and game-playing, 2010s smartwatches are effectively wearable computers. Many run mobile apps, using a mobile operating system. Some smartwatches function as portable media players, with FM radio and playback of digital audio and video files via a Bluetooth or USB headset. Some models, also called 'watch phones', feature full mobile phone capability, and can make or answer phone calls or text messages.
While internal hardware varies, most have an electronic visual display, either backlit LCD or OLED. Some use transflective or electronic paper, to consume less power. Most have a rechargeable battery and many have a touchscreen. Peripheral devices may include digital cameras, thermometers, accelerometers, altimeters, barometers, compasses, GPS receivers, tiny speakers, and SD card (that are recognized as a storage device by a computer).
Software may include digital maps, schedulers and personal organizers, calculators, and various kinds of watch faces. The watch may communicate with external devices such as sensors, wireless headsets, or a heads-up display. Like other computers, a smartwatch may collect information from internal or external sensors and it may control, or retrieve data from, other instruments or computers. It may support wireless technologies like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS. For many purposes, a "wristwatch computer" serves as a front end for a remote system such as a smartphone, communicating with the smartphone using various wireless technologies. Smartwatches are advancing, especially their design, battery capacity, and health related applications.Contents
Many smartwatch models manufactured in the 2010s are completely functional as standalone products. Some serve as sport watches, the GPS tracking unit being used to record historical data. For example, after a workout, data can be uploaded onto a computer or online to create a log of activities for analysis or sharing. Some watches can serve as full GPS watches, displaying maps and current coordinates, and recording tracks. Users can "mark" their current location and then edit the entry's name and coordinates, which enables navigation to those new coordinates. As companies add competitive products into the market, media space is becoming a desired commodity on smart watches. With Apple, Sony, Samsung, and Motorola introducing their smart watch models, 15% of tech consumers use wearable technologies. This is a dense market of tech consumers who possess buying power, which has attracted many advertisers. It is expected for mobile advertising on wearable devices to increase heavily by 2017 as advanced hypertargeting modules are introduced to the devices. In order for an advertisement to be effective on a smart watch, companies have stated that the ad must be able to create experiences native to the smart watch itself.
"Sport watch" functionality often includes activity tracker features (also known as "fitness tracker") as seen in GPS watches made for training, diving, and outdoor sports. Functions may include training programs (such as intervals), lap times, speed display, GPS tracking unit, Route tracking, dive computer, heart rate monitor compatibility, Cadence sensor compatibility, and compatibility with sport transitions (as in triathlons). Other watches can cooperate with an app in a smartphone to carry out their functions. They may be little more than timepieces unless they are paired, usually by Bluetooth, with a mobile phone. Some of these only work with a phone that runs the same mobile operating system; others use a unique watch OS, or otherwise are able to work with most smartphones. Paired, the watch may function as a remote to the phone. This allows the watch to display data such as calls, SMS messages, emails, and calendar invites, and any data that may be made available by relevant phone apps. Some fitness tracker watches give users reports on the number of kilometers they walked, hours of sleep, and so on.History It has been suggested that this section be split out into another article. (Discuss) (May 2016) Early years
The first digital watch, which debuted in 1972, was the Pulsar manufactured by Hamilton Watch Company. "Pulsar" became a brand name which would later be acquired by Seiko in 1978. In 1982, a Pulsar watch (NL C01) was released which could store 24 digits, making it most likely the first watch with user-programmable memory, or "memorybank" watch. With the introduction of personal computers in the 1980s, Seiko began to develop watches with computing ability. The Data 2000 watch (1983) came with an external keyboard for data-entry. Data was synced from the keyboard to the watch via electro-magnetic coupling (wireless docking). The name comes from its ability to store 2000 characters. The D409 was the first Seiko model with on-board data entry (via a miniature keyboard) and featured a dot matrix display. Its memory was tiny, at only 112 digits. It was released in 1984, in gold, silver and black. These models were followed by many others by Seiko during the 1980s, most notably the "RC Series": During the 1980s, Casio began to market a successful line of "computer watches", in addition to its calculator watches. Most notable was the Casio data bank series. Novelty "game watches", such as the Nelsonic game watches, were also produced by Casio and other companies.Seiko RC series
The RC-1000 Wrist Terminal was the first Seiko model to interface with a computer, and was released in 1984. It was developed by Seiko Epson and was powered by a computer on a chip. It was compatible with most of the popular PCs of that time, including Apple II,II+ and IIe, the Commodore 64, IBM PC, NEC 8201, Tandy Color Computer, Model 1000, 1200, 2000 and TRS-80 Model I, III, 4 and 4p. The RC-20 Wrist Computer was released in 1985, under the joint brand name "Seiko Epson". It had a SMC84C00 8-bit Z-80 microprocessor; 8 KB of ROM and 2 KB of RAM. It had applications for scheduling, memos, and world time and a four-function calculator app. The dot-matrix LCD displayed 42×32 pixels, and more importantly, was touch-sensitive. Like the RC-1000, it could be connected to a personal computer, in this case through a proprietary cable. It was also notable in that it could be programmed, although its small display and limited storage severely limited application development. The RC-4000 PC Data graph also released in 1985, was dubbed the "world's smallest computer terminal". It had 2 KB of storage. The RC-4500 (1985), also known as the Wrist Mac, had the same features as the RC-4000, but came in a variety of bright, flashy colors.Timex Datalink Model 150 as worn by commander William Shepherd during Expedition 1 and cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, Expedition 14, on the ISS in 2006 1994
The Timex Datalink, a so-called wristwatch, product line was introduced in 1994. The early Timex Datalink Smartwatches realized a wireless data transfer mode to communicate with a PC. Appointments and contacts created with Microsoft Schedule+, the predecessor of MS Outlook, could be easily transmitted to the watch via a screen blinking light protocol.1998
In 1998, Steve Mann invented, designed, and built the world's first Linux wristwatch, which he presented at IEEE ISSCC2000 on 7 February 2000, where he was named "the father of wearable computing". See also Linux Journal, where Mann's Linux wristwatch appeared on the cover and was the feature article of LJ Issue 75. Seiko launched the Ruputer in Japan - a wristwatch computer with a 3.6 MHz processor. It was not very successful since instead of a touchscreen it used a joystick alike device to input characters, much like high scores in arcade games and the small screen with a resolution at 102x64 in 4 greyscales made it hard to read large amounts of text. Outside of Japan this watch was distributed as the Matsucom onHand PC. Despite the rather low demand the Matsucom onHand PC was distributed until 2006, making it a smartwatch with a rather long life cycle. Ruputer and onHand PC applications are 100% compatible. This watch is sometimes considered the first smartwatch since it was the first watch to offer graphics display (albeit monochrome) and many 3rd party applications (mostly homebrew).1999
In 1999, Samsung launched the world's first watch phone, the SPH-WP10. It had a protruding antenna, a monochrome LCD screen, and a 90-minutes of talk time with an integrated speaker and microphone.2000 The first Linux Smartwatch was presented at IEEE ISSCC2000 on 7 February 2000, where presenter Steve Mann was named "the father of wearable computing". This watch also appeared on the cover and was the feature article of LJ Issue 75.
In June 2000, IBM displayed a prototype for a wristwatch that ran Linux. The original version had only 6 hours of battery life, which was later extended to 12. It featured 8 MB of memory and ran Linux 2.2. The device was later upgraded with an accelerometer, vibrating mechanism, and fingerprint sensor. IBM began to collaborate with Citizen Watch Co. to create the "WatchPad". The WatchPad 1.5 features a 320 × 240 QVGA monochrome touch sensitive display and runs Linux 2.4. It also features calendar software, Bluetooth, 8 MB of RAM and 16 MB of flash memory. Citizen was hoping to market the watch to students and businessmen, with a retail price of around $399. Epson Seiko introduced their Chrono-bit wristwatch in September 2000. The Chrono-bit watches feature a rotating bezel for data input, synchronize PIM data via a serial cable, and can load custom watch faces.2003
In 2003, Fossil released the Wrist PDA, a watch which ran the Palm OS and contained 8 MB of RAM and 4 MB of flash memory. It contained a built in stylus to help use the tiny monochrome display, which had a resolution of 160×160 pixels. Although many reviewers declared the watch revolutionary, it was criticized for its weight (108 grams) and was ultimately discontinued in 2005.2004
Microsoft releases the SPOT smartwatch. SPOT stands for Smart Personal Objects Technology, an initiative by Microsoft to personalize household electronics and other everyday gadgets. The watch was supposed to offer information at a glance where other devices would have required more immersion and interaction. The SPOT Watch had a monochrome 90×126 pixel screen.2006
Sony Ericsson teamed up with Fossils, and released the first watch, MBW-100, that connected to Bluetooth. This watch notified the user when receiving calls and text messages. Though the watch was not popular as it would only connect and work with Sony Ericsson cell phones.2009
In 2009, Samsung launched the S9110 Watch Phone which featured a 1.76-inch (45 mm) color LCD display and was 11.98 millimetres (0.472 in) thin.2010
Sony Ericsson launches the Sony Ericsson LiveView, a wearable watch device which is basically an external Bluetooth display for an Android Smartphone. Vyzin Electronics private Limited unveiled their first medical alert smart watch for health with cellular, GPS and medicine reminder and SOS for help during emergency.2011
Vyzin Electronics Private Limited launched a ZigBee enabled smart watch with cellular connectivity for remote health monitoring called VESAG.2013
In 2013, the claim to first ever smartwatch to capture the full capability of a smartphone was laid by startup Omate with the TrueSmart. The TrueSmart originated from a Kickstarter campaign which raised over 1 million dollars, making it the 5th most successful Kickstarter to date. The TrueSmart made its public debut in early 2014. Consumer device analyst Avi Greengart, from research firm Current Analysis, suggested that 2013 may be the "year of the smartwatch", as "the components have gotten small enough and cheap enough" and many consumers own smartphones that are compatible with a wearable device. Wearable technology, such as Google Glass, may evolve into a business worth US$6 billion annually and a July 2013 media report, revealed that the majority of major consumer electronics manufacturers were undertaking work on a smartwatch device at the time of publication. The retail price of a smartwatch could be over US$300, plus data charges, while the minimum cost of smartphone-linked devices may be US$100.
As of July 2013, the list of companies that were engaged in smartwatch development activities consists of Acer, Apple, BlackBerry, Foxconn/Hon Hai, Google, LG, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony, VESAG and Toshiba. Some notable omissions from this list include HP, HTC, Lenovo, and Nokia. Science and technology journalist Christopher Mims identified the following points in relation to the future of smartwatches:
Acer's S.T. Liew stated in an interview with British gadget website Pocket-Lint, "... I think every consumer company should be looking at wearable. Wearable isn’t new … it just hasn’t exploded in the way that it should. But the opportunity’s for billions of dollars’ worth of industry."HOT Watch by PHTL features a speaker and microphone on the strap allowing for calls to be answered on the watch. HOT Watch speaker and microphone embedded on the strap. Magnetic charging pins at left.
As of 4 September 2013, three new smartwatches have been launched: the Samsung Galaxy Gear, Sony SmartWatch 2, and the Qualcomm Toq. PHTL, a company based in Dallas, Texas, completed is crowd-funding process on Kickstarter for its HOT Watch smartwatch in September 2013. This device enables users to leave their handsets in their pockets, since it has a speaker for phone calls in both quiet and noisy environments. In a September 2013 interview, Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky stated that his company was not interested in any acquisition offers, but revealed in a November 2013 interview, that his company has sold 190,000 smartwatches, the majority of which were sold after its Kickstarter campaign closed.
Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside confirmed that his company is working on a smartwatch during a December 2013 interview. Woodside showed an awareness of the difficulties that other companies have experienced with wrist-wearable technologies and explained:2014
At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, a large number of new smartwatches were released from various companies such as Razer Inc, Archos, and several other companies, as well as a few startups. Some have begun to call the 2014 CES, a "wrist revolution" because of the amount of smartwatches release and the huge amount of publicity they began to receive at the start of 2014. At Google I/O on 25 June 2014, the Android Wear platform was introduced and the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live were released. The Wear-based Moto 360 was announced by Motorola in 2014. At the end of July, Swatch's CEO Nick Hayek announced that they will launch a Swatch Touch with smartwatch technologies in 2015. In the UK, the Wearable Technology Show had its début in London, and was host to several smartwatch companies exhibiting their newest models.
The launch of Samsung's Gear S smartwatch was covered by the media in late August 2014. The model features a curved Super AMOLED display and a built-in 3G modem, with technology writer Darrell Etherington stating on the TechCrunch website, "we’re finally starting to see displays that wrap around the contours of the wrist, rather than sticking out as a traditional flat surface." The corporation will commence selling the Gear S smartwatch in October 2014, alongside the Gear Circle headset accessory. At IFA 2014 Sony Mobile announced the third generation of its smartwatch series, the Sony Smartwatch 3 powered by Android Wear. Also was announced the Fashion Entertainments' e-paper watch.Apple Watch
On 9 September 2014, Apple Inc. announced its first smartwatch called Apple Watch to be released in early 2015. On 24 April 2015, Apple Watch began shipping across the world. Apple’s first foray into wearable technology was met with considerable criticism during the pre-launch period, with many early technology reviews citing issues with battery life and hardware malfunctions. However, others praise Apple for creating a potentially fashionable device that can compete with "traditional watches", not just the smartwatch industry in general. The watch only turns on when you activate the watch (either by lifting your wrist, touching the screen or pressing a button). On 29 October 2014, Microsoft announced the Microsoft Band, a smart fitness tracker and the company's first venture into wrist worn devices since SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology) a decade earlier. The Microsoft Band was released at $199 the following day, on 30 October 2014.2015
In October 2015, Samsung unveiled the Samsung Gear S2. It features a rotating bezel for ease of use, and an IP68 rating for water resistance up to 1.5 meters deep in 30 minutes. The watch is compatible with industry-standard 20 mm straps.2016
At the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, Razer released the Nabu Watch, a dual-screen smartwatch: integrates an always-on illuminated backlit display, that takes care of some pretty standard features as date and time, and a second OLED screen, which is activated by raising your wrist, allows access to extra smart features. Luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer released TAG Heuer Connected, a smartwatch powered by Android Wear.
On 31 August 2016, Samsung unveiled the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch, with a higher specifications, there are at least two models, the Samsung Gear S3 Classic and the LTE version Samsung Gear S3 Frontier.2017
The top smartwatches that debuted at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show included the Casio WSD-F20, Misfit Wearables Vapor and the Garmin Fenix 5 series.Children's phone watches in China
In China, since around 2015, phone wristwatches have become widely used by schoolchildren. They are advertised on television throughout the country as a safety device whereby the child can call in case of emergency. These watches are commonly colourful and made of plastic. They normally have no display unless a button is pushed. Apart from being a phone, they also tell time, and sometimes air temperature. They cost around $100 to $200 USD.Operating systems Main article: Mobile operating system Android Main article: Android Wear
Android Wear is a smartwatch operating system developed by Google Inc.Main article: Android OS
Android OS is a smartwatch operating system that many watches use which means they can operate as a standalone phone. Examples are Finow Q1, X1, etc. These are not compatible with "Wear" and should not be confused. Advantages and disadvantages abound. For one thing many google apps for smartphones will work. For another, there may be issues with notifications.AsteroidOS Main article: AsteroidOS
AsteroidOS is an open source firmware replacement for some Android Wear devices focused on user freedom, privacy, and community development.Sailfish OS Main article: Sailfish OS
Sailfish OS is a Linux-based operating system scalable for various devices from Sailfish smartwatchs trough smartphones & tablets to laptops & desktops, including in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) devices, smart TVs, navigations, yachts equipment, house goods and other smart devices.WatchOS WatchOS Main article: WatchOS
WatchOS is a proprietary mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc.Tizen Tizen in a Samsung Gear2 Main article: Tizen
Tizen is a Linux-based operating system for devices, including smartphones, tablets, in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) devices, smart TVs, laptops and other smart devices. Tizen is a project within the Linux Foundation and is governed by a Technical Steering Group (TSG) composed of Samsung and Intel among others. Samsung released the Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, Samsung Gear S and the Samsung Gear S2 running Tizen.Ubuntu Touch Main article: Ubuntu Touch
Ubuntu Touch is a mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system developed by Canonical UK Ltd and Ubuntu Community. It is designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartwatches, smartphones and tablet computers.List of models in production This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. Smart watches Company Alcatel OneTouch Alcatel Asus ZenWatch Asus Asus ZenWatch 2 Asus ZenWatch 3 Apple Watch Apple Casio WSD-F10 Casio CoWatch iMCO F80 Watch Abardeen Fashion S9110 Unknown Fitbit Blaze Fitbit Fitbit Surge Fossil Q Crewmaster Fossil Fossil Q Founder, Founder 2.0 Fossil Q Gazer Fossil Q Marshal Fossil Q Nate Fossil Q Tailor Fossil Q Wander Garmin fenix 3 HR Garmin Hyundai MB 910 Hyundai iRist Intex Technologies LG G Watch, G Watch R LG LG Watch Urbane, Watch Urbane Luxe, Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LG Watch Sport, LG Watch Style Neptune Pine Neptune Computer Inc. Neptune Hub Model One Olio Moto 360 Motorola MetaWatch Strata Meta Watch, Ltd MetaWatch Frame MetaWatch M1 Nike+ SportWatch Nike, Inc. Nixion The Mission Nixon Omate TrueSmart Omate Pebble Classic, Steel Pebble Pebble Time, Time Steel, and Time Round Pebble 2, Time 2 Polar M600 Polar Qualcomm Toq Qualcomm Razer Nabu Watch Razer Ruputer Seiko Samsung Galaxy Gear Samsung Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit Samsung Gear Live Samsung Gear S2 Samsung Gear S3 Smart Touch Tissot Sony SmartWatch Sony SmartWatch 2 Sony SmartWatch 3 TAG Heuer Connected TAG Heuer Ticwatch 2 Mobvoi Timex Ironman ONE GPS+ Timex Group USA Timex Datalink Vector Luna Vector Smart Watch Vector Meridian Vivoactive Garmin Vivoactive HR Wearing Digital Weda (Slap Band) Wearing Digital WIMM One Wimm Labs, acquired by Google Z1 Android Watch-Phone Unknown Honor Z1 Huawei Honor Q-18 Unknown New Balance RunIQ New Balance
The Rising Craze for the Smart Watches