There’s been a lot of hype recently about Smart Watches. It began with the pebble which blew up on kickstarter when it was funded $10,266,845 of its $100,000 dollar goal – a truly massive feat. The pebble wasn’t the first smart watch to be put into production though!
Samsung, Sony and LG have all previously released watchphones – although they haven’t been incredibly successful. There has never really been a set way for a smart watch to function.
What features should it have? What should its display be like? Does it need a touchscreen or will buttons do? How should you charge it?
Pebble had a go at answering these questions. With an e-ink display, bluetooth and good old buttons the pebble smart watch has proved incredibly popular. Whether that’s because it’s the first or because it’s the best I don’t know. The Pebble is feature rich and customizable. You’re able to add your own watch faces, receive notifications from iOS and Android Phones, view caller IDs and use internet connected apps – all via bluetooth.
The offerings from Samsung and LG both tried to be phones in their own right. While being cool, it’s not practical for long term use. Watches are small, on your wrist and you can’t hold them up to your ear that easily should you forget to have your headphones with you – which you wouldn’t want plugged into your watch the whole time anyway.
Sony’s Live View 2 is perhaps a better option. It is similar to the pebble, although the implementation isn’t quite as smooth. Apps run on your phone rather than the watch and output is sent over bluetooth constantly. With a full colour display as well as a touchscreen battery life isn’t that great either. It comes across as a bit of a gimmick.
If Apple really are creating a smart watch of their own I hope they get it right. It’s about time we saw something really new and exciting come out from Cupertino. Long battery life and clever software is key to the smart watch being a success. A really gorgeous watch face would be nice too – based on Apples previous designs it will be a gorgeous device.
Other features I’d like to see… Perhaps a build in sports wristband. Apple pushed the Nike integration with the iPod Nano. A watch seems like the perfect device to further this. The ability to “snooze” notifications the way you would an alarm. Five minutes, an hour, a day should all be options. If it was done properly, a small on screen keyboard for quick short replies might be nice, provided it doesn’t stray into the Samsung and LG watch phone gimmick territory. Proper implementation of apps that connect to the web via your phone would be nice, or even a small built in wifi chip – they’re getting so small these days you can stick em in anything! GPS is another must have – like other sport watches that have full colour maps and a GPS module this would be very handy.
It’s just another step towards the Internet of Things!