With reports stating that over 5 million smart watches will be shipped in 2014, it makes sense to look at smart watches as one of the key emerging markets for communication technology in the near future. The watches are meant to be accessories that work with the user’s smartphone, making it easier for the user to run applications or keep up with emails and text messages.
Most smart watches also have GPS capabilities. Many of the these devices use Bluetooth as a means of connection, though more and more smart watches are able to use Wi-Fi in order to communicate with smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Wi-Fi internet capability is an important factor for most smart watch users, and ease of access to Wi-Fi could make all the difference if manufacturers want to see smart watches used more widely.
There are rumors that Google, Apple, and other big manufacturers are going to be getting in on the smart watch game soon. Many companies both large and small are producing their own smart watches, so here is a critical comparison of some of the smart watches available for purchase.
Samsung Galaxy Gear
The Galaxy Gear was released in the summer of 2013 and reviews have been largely mixed. The smart watch has received praise for its attractiveness and easy-to-read screen, but it has also faced some criticism. The device connects to the parent phone through Bluetooth, meaning that it has no Wi-Fi capabilities.
While it is useful in that you can be alerted to texts and phone calls without digging out your phone, the Galaxy Gear currently lacks the ability to receive emails. Currently, it is only compatible with the Samsung Note, making the smart watch an unattractive option for anyone who does not use the Samsung-produced tablet.
Sony Smart Watch 2
This Sony smart watch retails for a very reasonable $149 and was developed to appeal to Android users. However, there isn’t much about the Sony Smart Watch 2 that is particularly innovative or game-changing. It features a large amount of apps, is water resistant, and features NFC.
These are all great, but the Sony Smart Watch 2 also uses outdated Bluetooth and has to be charged using a USB cable. While it’s a great placeholder until other smart watches debut on the market, Sony’s offering isn’t that stunning.
Pebble Smart Watch
The Pebble smart watch is the end result of an intense Kickstarter campaign, and many people have described it as the competitive underdog that the Galaxy Gear has to face. Its developers have made the smart watch an accessory that can enhance a person’s social life as well as their professional life.
The user can receive emails and texts right on the watch, as well as use an app for keeping tracking of their running exercises. It also works as a sort of remote for the user’s phone. The Pebble smart watch is definitely of the best on the market.
Smart Watches – What’s the Point?
Even with all of the buzz surrounding smart watches, they are still subject to skepticism. In the age of the smart phone, a smart watch might seem like a superfluous gadget. However, smart watches might represent another aspect of the “wearable tech” trend that has been started by the development of Google Glass. Given more time, expanded Wi-Fi internet capabilities, and more software and firmware updates, we may begin to see smart watches appearing on the wrists of more and more people across the world.