I think these types of watches have so much potential. From reading emails and texts to answering the phone, etc., they can be indispensible. I'm waiting for my GPS watch to arrive as we speak. Oh yeah, they tell time too!
This may be the only way watches can save their market. Tons of people, including myself, quit wearing watches when they started carrying cell phones. The only way back for watches is to out-tech the smart phones.
Good point, Rob. Out-teching the smart phones is probably the only way to salvage the market. If they could put the phone in the watch (think of Dick Tracy's wrist radio), they might successfully combine two markets into one bigger one.
I'm still wearing my calculator watch from the mid 80's. It can even transform into a robot when the need arises, however it can't receive emails or text messages and I most certainly can't listen to music on it. It can still add, subtract, multiply and divide numbers though which is a plus.
Timex had a smart watch back in the Nineties. The Timex Datalink had a personal organizer App, and allowed the user to download other Apps into the watch. It was a simple dot matrix display, but the battery life was excellent. The really clever part of the watch was the way it would sync with your computer. The watch had a phototransistor that was used to detect an NRZ data stream from your monitor. Your monitor would display a series of lines, representing the Start, Stop and ten Data Bits, and the watch would see the data bit when the particular line was scanned, much like a light pen. It was really a clever interface, and a wireless download to your watch took only seconds.
While looking at my watch one day I noticed what appeared to be random ones and zeros on the watch band, but then I noticed that the ones and zeros were actually ASCII, with the message "Listen To The Light". I felt like Ralph on "The Christmas Story" decoding Little Orphan Annie's message.
"While looking at my watch one day I noticed what appeared to be random ones and zeros on the watch band, but then I noticed that the ones and zeros were actually ASCII, with the message "Listen To The Light". I felt like Ralph on "The Christmas Story" decoding Little Orphan Annie's message."
This will become a "happy thought" for me when I am in a engineering funk. Thanks for sharing!
So looks like the wrist watch has gone social or mobile or both ? I think it's a good option to have but will be a bit difficult to operate as a mobile device since the texting and reading will be a bit more difficult since we are kind of used to a much bigger screen than a wrist watch screen.
a.saji has expressed my biggest concern - I cannot imagine even attempting to do anything worthwhile on such small screens. I have a Rumor Touch that has a 3 inch diagonal screen size and after attempting to use it for internet access a few times, I disabled that feature to save money on my plan. On the flip side - I am one of the few that appreciate a real wrist watch and wear one two-three times a week. I have noticed more people wearing them nowadays - I think they are making a comeback.
I have the same issue as Nancy with such tiny screens--I can't see anything on them. A t least for me, it's not a matter of wearing glasses, I do wear them. But the images don't resolve into something meaningful.
I agree, Ann - I can see just fine with my glasses. But I get really frustrated trying to scroll to get the information I am trying to see on a web page with a phone sized screen - I can't imagine how much more frustrating it would be on a smart watch.
I agree with the limitations of the small screen. There will invariably be some apps that still work great on the small screen, but a watch-sized display will have limited functionality. I do eventually see a camera and a phone function that will be worn on your wrist that will allow you to video-conference others.
@a.saji – You never know, what if you could remove your watch and place it on table focusing the camera towards you. Or have a portable stand where you could place the watch on a table and start your video conference.
@Greg – yes there are still apps that will work well in the small screen. Reading texts answering calls could be some of them. The idea of having a camera and phone function for video conference is a good idea.
Maybe, but maybe flexibility will solve this. My wrist measures about 7" around, my iPhone 5 measures about 5x2.3, the screen only 3.5x2". In other words, it could wrap around my wrist with room to spare were it flexible. Taken off ones wrist and flattened, it could be bigger than it is now. The potential for wearable electronics is limited only by our imagination and the technology that springs from it.
It occurs to me that an intermediate and less expensive step would be a bluetooth enabled interactive watch which uses the phone in your pocket (or pad in the vicinity) as the control base. This could be pulled out whenever the 'big' screen is required, with the watch display as more of a guick and continuous updating snapshot of what's up.
I too can see this for video. I'm sitting at my desk typing this, and my wrist is pointed in the general direction of my face, doesn't seem like it would take much to point the camera at it, or use face recognitian to orient the picture properly.
That's a good point, Ken, and makes great sense but I also think that solution depends on how many gadgets a consumer is willing to buy. And of course development issues increase with additional interfaces even when we are all supposedly using the same standards. Interesting observation about video. It would get old looking like a Star Trek away team member holding a watch up to one's face - looks like that aspect would take some design work. Maybe an avatar instead? I like the idea of face to face communication for visual inputs like body language but would it be very discernible on that small a screen?
Nancy, your face photo is very clear and it measures only about about 5/8" square on my table top screen. (Sorry I haven't put mine in place yet, but believe, I'm doing you a favor!) I put my iPhone on my wrist, and it's not flattering, but works. Better is my elbow on the table with my arm raised about 45d. (picture rotated 90d from a wrist on table aspect) A group, maybe not so hot? I remember when they began to deliver high resolution on small screens and I thought 'what for', but it's amazing what you can see. (Especially with my readers on!) Maybe when the 'watch' is taken off, the band forms a natural cradle to lay on your desk at a good angle?
I take your point on the number of gadgets, but my lovely wife often has a watch, a iPhone, and an iPad whenever she's out and about!
I guess I am the wrong person to be commenting - I still have a "dumb" phone with no internet access and my wonderful husband tried to buy me a tablet last week. After trying our son's tablet, I told him I would stick with my netbook with the "real" keyboard that has a screen that I can actually see things on. But my market segment is getting smaller and smaller. I bet our son and his friends would be all over that smart watch...
Well I just crossed over today, Charles. My current service that I have had for the last six years has gone downhill. When I called yesterday to talk to them about it they acknowledged that they knew our area was having lots of problems but could offer no time frame as to when things would get better. It only made sense to change carriers and a Smart phone plan is now much more affordable since it is older news. The good news is, I am paying just ten more bucks than my old plan but now have 4G with 2.5 Gig of data a month. I don't care for these little touch screen key pads but didn't have much choice. But at least I can always hand it over to my savvy teenage son and ask him to send stuff or find stuff for me...
I'm not sure that Facetime on a watch wouldn't be a popular app for the smartwatch. We may see in just the next few months a significant foray by Apple (if rumors are true) and other in this space to offer new solutions. Sould be interesting. I haven't worn a watch in years.
I would love to have a smartwatch that just handles phonecalls. I am old-fashioned and do not want to use my smartphone for everything electronic. I would love to receive phone alls by merely moving my wrist to my mouth. Now, I have to fumble through my winter clothes to get to the phone. Would this device be outlawed while driving as smartphones now are/
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One of the biggest walls in embedded software development is the integration of low-level drivers with higher-level middleware and application code, but silicon vendors are stepping up to bring it down.
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