According to various sources and media outlets, three technology giants, Apple, Google, and Samsung, received patents to create a brand new “SmartWatch”. Although other players attempted to create the SmartWatch in the past, it has never resulted in success; but it appears that Apple, Google, and Samsung have now figured it out. Now consumers must simply wait until these SmartWatches hit the market in order to see if they are truly revolutionary innovations, but here is what is known so far about these mysterious devices:
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Although there is plenty of speculation, not much is factually known regarding Apple’s development of the iWatch. One can assume the SmartWatch will have the capability to connect and sync with all other Apple devices. The iWatch will likely allow users to read emails, iMessages, and most other notifications.
Regardless of what Apple has in store, there is no question that they are attempting to come out with some sort of iWatch. According to Bloomberg, Apple has over 100 employees currently working on a watch. In addition to this, Bloomberg also reported that “Apple has filed applications and received numerous patents for technologies related to watch-like devices, including at least 79 that mention the word wrist.”
In February 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revealed a patent application from Apple for a wearable computer in the form of a flexible bracelet that wraps around the wrist. According to the patent, that watch would include a multi-touch display that would allow the user to “accomplish a number of different tasks including adjusting the order of a current playlist, or reviewing a list of recent phone calls. A response to a current text message can even be managed given a simple virtual keyboard configuration across the face of the flexible display.”
Just as the rumors of the Google Glass surfaced, it has been leaked that Google is now developing a new SmartWatch. According to a patent, this wearable technology powered by Android should feature a dual-touchscreen “flip-up display” with a camera.
The display will show information such as geographic location, text, and e-mail. In short, the SmartWatch can serve as a miniature smartphone. This has not been confirmed, but according to the patent, the watch design seems to be bulky and “toyish”. If Google wants their Android SmartWatch to be a success, it is safe to say that they must rival Apple’s always innovative and sleek style.
According to pictures leaked this past February, Samsung’s SmartWatch, called the Galaxy Altius, should be able to handle media, messages, and e-mail. Running on their new operating system Altius OS, the interface seems to imitate the panels of the Windows Phone. In addition, the screen will likely be a bendable OLED screen that would provide users maximum flexibility and comfort.
Out of all three companies, Samsung seems to be the closest to releasing the SmartWatch. According to Lee Young Hee, the Executive Vice President of Samsung’s mobile business, “[Samsung has] been preparing the watch product for so long. We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.”
Consumers can expect to see Samsung’s version of the SmartWatch on the market by Christmas time.
Do we need it?
While there are no clear facts regarding the features and design aspects of these SmartWatches, consumers will wonder whether or not this will be a technological innovation worth backing. Speculation reveals that the SmartWatch, regardless of the company producing it, will replicate many of the functions that smartphones already provide. In fact, the widespread use of mobile phones has made the wristwatch almost obsolete from a functional standpoint. Consumers now purchase watches primarily as a fashion statement and use their mobile devices to tell time. So the big question remains, what place will the SmartWatch hold in the market? The only indisputable answer for which is simply that time will tell.
Andrew blogs about the latest and greatest in technology; he currently works for Phoenix TS, a computer, management and IT training company based in Maryland.