A smartwatch is a computerized wristwatch with functionality that is enhanced beyond timekeeping. While early models can perform basic tasks, such as calculations, translations, and game-playing, modern smartwatches are effectively wearable computers. Many run mobile apps, using a mobile operating system.
Some smartwatches function as portable media players, offering playback of FM radio, audio, and video files to the user via a Bluetooth or USB headset. Some models, also called 'watch phones', feature full mobile phone capability, and can make or answer phone calls.
Internal hardware is various. Most have a rechargeable battery and graphical display and many have a touch screen. Peripheral devices may include camera, thermometer, accelerometer, altimeter, barometer, compass, GPS receiver, speaker and SDcard that is recognized as a mass storage device by a computer. Software may include Map display, scheduler and personal organizer, calculator, and various kinds of watch face. The watch may communicate with external devices such as sensors, a wireless headset, or a heads-up display.
Like other computers, a smartwatch may collect information from internal or external sensors. 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" simply serves as a front end for a remote system, communicating by various radio technologies.
Smartwatches are advancing, especially their user interfaces and health related applications.
- 1 Features and applications
- 2 History
- 3 Smartwatch operating systems
- 4 List of smart watches in production
- 5 Comparison
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Features and applications
|This section does not cite any sources. (September 2013)|
Many smartwatch models manufactured in the 21st century 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.
"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 the 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.
As companies continually 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.
||There is a proposal that this section be split into a new article. (Discuss) (May 2016)|
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 stems 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 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.
The famous 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.
In 1998, Steve Mann invented, designed, and built the world's first Linux wristwatch, which he presented at IEEE ISSCC2000, 2000 February 7, 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. Ouside 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).
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.
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 8MB 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.
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.
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.
Sony Ericsson launches the Sony Ericsson LiveView, a wearable watch device which is basically an external Bluetooth display for an Android Smartphone.
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, 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:
- The physical size of smartwatches is likely to be large.
- Insufficient battery life is an ongoing problem for smartwatch developers, as the battery life of devices at the time of publication was three to four days and this is likely to be reduced if further functions are added.
- New display technologies will be invented as a result of smartwatch research.
- The success level of smartwatches is unpredictable, as they may follow a similar trajectory to netbooks, or they may fulfill aims akin to those of Google Glass, another wearable electronic product.
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."
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:
There's clearly gonna be something that changes on your wrist, how it works and what exactly it is is something our teams are working on hard. Whatever it is, it has to compete with what works now ... We can't have something fragile, we can't have something that needs to be charged everyday. You're going to have to have some functionality that's just killer otherwise why spend the money on yet another product.
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.
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.
On October 2015, Samsung unveil its 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.
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 and is where you can explores its smart features.
Smartwatch operating systems
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 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 smart watches in production
- While more are in production with current development, some companies are using popular outlets such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo to fund their projects.
||It has been suggested that this article be split into a new article titled Smartwatch comparison. (Discuss.) (May 2016)|
|It has been suggested that portions of #Smartwatch software comparison be split from it and merged into this section. (Discuss)|
|Product||Announced||SIM card||Processor||RAM/Flash||Resolution||Display type||Always-on display||Battery (mAh)||BT||Microphone|
|Razer Nabu Watch||January 2016||no||128 x 16 single color||OLED||(1 year)||CR2032 and USB||4.0 LE|
|Samsung Galaxy Gear||4 September 2013||no||Single-Core 800 MHz (Dual-Core 1.6 GHz)||512MB/4GB||320x320||OLED (Super AMOLED)||315||4.0 LE|
|Samsung Gear 2||22 February 2014||no||Dual-Core 1 GHz Exynos3250||512MB/4GB||320x320||OLED (Super AMOLED)||300||4.0 LE|
|Samsung Gear 2 Neo||22 February 2014||no||Dual-Core 1 GHz Exynos3250||512MB/4GB||320x320||300||4.0 LE|
|Samsung Gear Live||25 June 2014||no||Single-Core 1.2 GHz MSM8226||512MB/4GB||320x320||OLED (SuperAMOLED)||300||4.0 LE|
|Samsung Gear Fit||11 April 2014||no||STM32F439 160 MHz||16MB||128x432||OLED (curved AMOLED)||210||4.0|
|Samsung Gear S||28 August 2014||nano-SIM||Dual-Core 1 GHz||512MB/4GB||360x480||OLED (curved SuperAMOLED)||300||4.1|
|LG G Watch||25 June 2014||no||Quad-Core 1.2 GHz MSM8226||512MB/4GB||280x280||LCD||400||4.0 LE|
|LG G Watch R||4 September 2014||no||Quad-Core 1.2 GHz MSM8226||512MB/4GB||320x320||OLED||410||4.0 LE|
|LG Watch Urbane||7 January 2015||no||Quad-Core 1.2 GHz MSM8226||512MB/4GB||320x320||OLED (P-OLED)||410||4.1 LE|
|LG Watch Urbane LTE||21 April 2015||Quad-Core 1.2 GHz MSM8226||1GB/4GB||320x320||700||4.1 LE|
|Asus ZenWatch||3 September 2014||no||Quad-Core 1.2 GHz MSM8226||512MB/4GB||320x320||OLED (SuperAMOLED)||410||4.0 LE|
|Sony SmartWatch 2||25 June 2013||no||Single-Core 180 MHz CM4||220x176||OLED||225||3.0|
|Sony SmartWatch 3||3 September 2014||no||Quad-Core 1.2 GHz BCM23550||512MB/4GB||320x320||420||4.0 LE|
|Motorola Moto 360||18 March 2014||no||Single-Core 1 GHz TI OMAP 3||512MB/4GB||320x290||LCD||320||4.0 LE|
|Apple Watch||9 September 2014||no||Apple S1||512MB/8GB||38mm:
|OLED (AMOLED)||205||4.0 LE|
|Pebble Watch||11 April 2012||no||Single-Core STM32F205RE 80 MHz CM3||128KB/4MB||144x168||LCD (e-paper)||140||4.0 LE||no|
|Pebble Time||May 2015||no||Single-Core STM32F439ZG 100 MHz CM4||256KB/16MB||144x168||LCD (e-paper)||150||4.0 LE||yes|
|Pebble 2||24 May 2016||no||LCD (e-paper)||yes|
|Pebble time 2||24 May 2016||no||LCD (e-paper)||yes|
|Qualcomm Toq||4 September 2013||no||200 MHz CM3||288x192||IMOD-Mirasol||240||3.0|
|Exetech XS3||1 November 2013||Yes||MTK 6577||512MB/32GB||240x240||420||4.0|
|U Watch U8||MTK2502C||128MB||128×128||TFT LCD||230||3.0+EDR|
|U Watch U11 ||MTK6260 360 MHZ||320x320 HD||360||4.0+EDR|
|Smart watch||Company||OS||Android version||iOS version||CPU Type||Bluetooth||NFC||Developer Options||GPS||Notify Link Loss Alert||Notify Missed Call||Notify Timer||Notify View Content||Call Conversation||Find My Phone||Voice Control||Respond to Notifications||Notify Sound||Notify Backlit Screen||Notify Vibration||Ambient Light Sensor||Gyroscope||Magnetometer||Multi-touch||Accelerometer||Dust and Water Resistance||Clock Display Type||Screen Size, Inches||Screen Resolution, pixels||Pixel density, ppi||Display Technology||Average Battery Life, days||Battery Capacity, mAh||Battery Technology||Case Diameter, mm||Case Thickness, mm||Wrist Band Width, mm||Weight (main unit+watchband), g||Wristband Options||Replaceable Wristbands||LED Flashlight|
|HOT Smart Watch||PHTL||Proprietary||2.3-4.2||5-7||ARM Cortex M3 Processor||4.0||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Splash Proof||Digital||1.26||Unknown||Black and White ePaper||3||Unknown||Lithium-ion||54||8||24.4||Unknown||Unknown||No||Yes|
|Pebble||Pebble||Pebble OS||2.3-5.0||5-7||ARM Cortex-M3||4.0||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||50m (5 atm)||Digital||1.26||144x168||Black and White ePaper||7||140||Lithium-ion||58.4||11||22||38||White, Black||Yes||No|
|Pebble Steel||Pebble||Pebble OS||2.3-5.0||5-7||ARM Cortex-M3||4.0||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||IP67 / 50m (5 atm)||Digital||1.26||144x168||Black and White ePaper||Unknown||130||Lithium-ion||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Yes||No|
|Pebble Time||Pebble||Pebble OS||ARM Cortex M4||4.0+||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||30m (3 atm)||Digital / Analog||1.25||144x168||Color ePaper||7||150||Lithium-ion||38||9.5||22||45.5||Possible to change to smart-straps||Yes||No|
|Pebble Time Steel||Pebble||Pebble OS||ARM Cortex M4||4.0+||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||50m (5 atm)||Digital / Analog||1.25||144x168||Color ePaper||10||Lithium-ion||47||10.5||22||62.3||Possible to change to smart-straps||Yes||No|
|Pebble Time Round||Pebble||Pebble OS||ARM Cortex M4||4.0+||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||1m (Splash Proof) IPX7||Digital / Analog||1||180x180||Color ePaper||2||56||Lithium-ion||38.5||7.5||14||28/32||Yes||No|
|Pebble 2||Pebble||Pebble OS||ARM Cortex M4||4.1||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||30m||Digital / Analog||1.26||144x128||153||Black and White ePaper||7||39.5||9.8||22||31.7||Possible to change to smart-straps||Yes||No|
|Pebble Time 2||Pebble||Pebble OS||ARM Cortex M7||4.1||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||30m||Digital / Analog||1.5||200x228||202||Color ePaper||10||40.5||10.8||22||64.6||Possible to change to smart-straps||Yes||No|
|SmartWatch 2||Sony||Micrium uC/OS-II||4.0+||No||ARM Cortex-M4 (STM32F439)||3.0||Yes||Yes||No||Unknown||Unknown||No||Yes||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Yes||Yes||No||Unknown||No||Yes||Yes||IP57||Digital||1.6||220x176||LCD||4||225||Lithium-ion||58.6||9||24||123||Unknown||Yes||No|
|SmartWatch 3||Sony||Android Wear||4.3+||No||ARM Cortex-A7 (BCM23550)||4.0||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||IP68||Digital||1.6||320x320||LCD (Transflective)||2||420||Lithium-ion||51||10||36||Unknown||Silicon (Black/White/Lime), Stainless Steel||Yes||No|
|Watch Urbane||LG||Android Wear||4.3+||No||1,2 GHz Snapdragon 400||4.0||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||IP67||Digital||1.3||320x320||P-OLED||1||410||Lithium-ion||52.2||10.9||45.5||115||Unknown||Yes||No|
|Watch Urbane LTE||LG||WebOS||No||ARM Cortex-A7 (Qualcomm 400)||4.0||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||IP67||Digital||1.3||320x320||P-OLED||1||410||Lithium-ion||52.2||10.9||45.5||115||Unknown||Yes||No|
|Apple Watch||Apple||watchOS||No||8.2+||Apple S1||4.0 LE||Yes||Yes||From paired iPhone||Unknown||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown||Yes||Yes||IPX7||Digital||1.7 / 1.5||319x390 / 272x340||AMOLED||1.5||250 / 205||Lithium-ion||42mm / 38mm||12.46 / 12.3||36.2 / 32.9||Unknown||Yes||Yes||No|
- Apple Watch
- Android Wear
- Automatic parking and connected car
- Button cell
- Clock face
- GPS locator
- GPS watch
- IP Code
- Key finder
- Open-source computing hardware
- Personal organizer
- Remote shutter
- Rollable display
- Smart band
- Smart keychain (NFC keychain)
- Wearable computer
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