TECH/GADGETS: SMART WATCHES THE WAY FORWARD?

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Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

With  the smartphone revolution almost over, the advent of wearable technology like the Google glass and smart watches, are on the rise. Smartphones replaced the need to carry individual devices for different purposes like an MP3 player for music and watches for checking the time and date. But watches are being brought back into existence by making them smart. Current smart watches can sync via Bluetooth to Apple and Android smartphones showing the time, date, weather and notifications, all at a glance without touching the phone in your pocket. There is the possibility of  smart watches being stand-alone devices which  can be used to replace a phone.Here are some of the first smart watch offerings with rumors of future ones like the Google, Apple and Firefox watch to follow soon.

NEPTUNE PIN ANDROID SMART WATCH

First stop is the Neptune Pin smart watch which is a bit different from the smart watches around. It comes with it’s own microSim-Card slot which enables a user to make or receive calls, a 2.5 inch Touchscreen display, has a 5-megapixel camera in front and runs a full version of android with an overlay called Leaf  UI.

The smart watch also has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS with storage ranging from 8 to 32GB. The Neptune Pin smart watch is different in that it can act as a stand-alone device and replace a smartphone. It performs all the functions of a phone like making of calls , browsing etc.

SONY SMARTWATCH

Sony released it’s SmartWatch in 2012. It comes with a micro display of 128 x 128 pixels, 1.3 inch OLED touch display, splash proof screen along with Bluetooth and add-on features like accelerometer, vibrating unit etc.

It can store up to a whopping 255 widgets with most capable of interacting with Android 2.1+ version which is the major point of this watch. The SmartWatch has an operating range of 10 meters.

PEBBLE E-PAPER WATCH

The Pebble E-Paper is also interesting in the sense that once it’s connected to your Iphone or Android smartphone , it alerts you with silent vibration when there is incoming call, email or  a message received and can be dismissed by just the shake of a wrist.

It allows the reading even of email and messages on the device display itself and also comes with internet connected apps which are customizable.

The Pebble E-Paper display is 144 x 168 pixels (Amazon Kindle reader-like), has 4 buttons with 3 axis accelerometer and Bluetooth 2.1. It is a water, scratch and shatter resistant device with anti-glare optical coating.

THE WAY FORWARD?

With rumors of Google, Apple and Firefox releasing their own smart watches, the question is: ARE THEY THE WAY FORWARD? The answer is both YES and NO.

YES, smart watches will be great as secondary add-ons for smartphones.This is where you can take a peek at the time, weather, email alerts, notifications, messages without taking a smartphone out of the pocket. This gives the user to prioritise whatever is incoming and choose to act on it or not. Also music can be changed using the watch since head phones are not giving us that feature. As complementary devices smart watches will be great.

NO, smart watches cannot take the place of  smartphones and act as stand-alone devices in our lives now. Almost everyone who uses a smartphone is used to large display screen phones now and will not like to use a device with small screen since it won’t give the same satisfaction. It will be very impractical for smart watches to have large display screens because it will be worn on the wrist most of the time and will cause discomfort for the wearer.

So depending on the use that smart watches are to be put to, will either make it the way forward or not.

 

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