Are Smart Watches the next trend? Pebble starts shipping, Google and Apple apparently working on prototypes
While the trend in smartphones is to go big creating a hybrid category called Phablets (Phone + Tablets), a new form factor is taking shape – the Smart Watch. So if having a smartphone in your pocket is not enough, then you’re in luck. Now you can wear it on your wrist. Although in the past we have seen many concepts from Nokia and other cell phone manufacturers, these devices are now a reality.
Pebble which just started shipping last week is one of the first companies to bring these devices to market. This smart watch was an overnight success story, raising over $10 million in funding on Kickstarter and 500K of that funding raised on the first day. It can connect to your iPhone or Android device and can bought for $150 a pop.
Some companies like Sony already have a Smart Watch available to ship at $129.99 . Sony’s website described it best:
Get a watch that does more than tell time. Check updates, control your music and much more from your Android™ smartphone. Bluetooth® enabled Smart Watch works beautifully with both Sony and non-Sony Android-based smartphones alike.
On the other hand, Google and Apple are not far behind.
Both are rumored to be working on prototypes of Smart Watches which may not just be accessories but standalone devices. According to Business Insider Google is actively exploring the idea of making it’s own smart watch. The fact that Google recently secured a patent for a smart watch with flip up display indicates that this may not just be a rumor. The image below shows what this smart watch might look like and function.
Apparently, Apple is secretly working on its smart watch idea as well. There have been several rumors over the last month about Apple working on prototypes. According to the Chinese website Tech163.com, supply chain sources have revealed that Apple and Intel are working on bluetooth-enabled iOS watch with a 1.5 OLED display with indium tin oxide, or ITO coated glass. With Apple joining this trend, it is only a matter of time before other smartphone companies like Samsung, HTC and others start cranking out their own versions.
Another up-and-coming smart watch is the Martian Series. Unlike the other smart watches, the Martian is looking to be a doppelganger to its predecessors. The analog face is familiar; the dials on the side muster nostalgia.
Despite these familiar features, this watch is definitely futuristic. I think Mashable says it best: “Pair them [the Martian watch] with your smartphone…and you’re in for a Bond-like experience you won’t find on any other watch out there.”
What do you think about the idea of a Smart Watch? Will you get one? Can you think of all the different applications these devices will spawn? Let us know in the comments!