Categories:
Wearable Technology Warfare
Authored by: Sean  

Yes, we know everybody is calling it the smartwatch but we believe that it kind of limits the perception of devices such as Pebble, Samsung Galaxy Gear and a host of others. Sure, we’ll go along with this term because everybody is using it but it is interesting to see how much more than a watch these devices will be! Let’s take a look at the pitched and heated battle taking place in the smartwatches arena.

 

The chieftains

They are big, small, unheard of, underdogs and companies operating in stealth mode too. Samsung, Sony, Qualcomm, Pebble, Seiko, Apple and Google. Some of these names have not yet played their hand so we shall have to put them down on our list of “names to watch out for.” Here are some of the warriors – known and unknown

 

Samsung has entered the field with its Galaxy Gear.

 

Image Source – https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5f/Samsung_Galaxy_Gear_in_cradle.jpg

 

Take a look at the unveiling of this watch  -

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sony is battling with the help of its SmartWatch2. Hmmm, not very imaginatively named.

 

Image Source – https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/SmartWatch_MN2_auf_der_Internationalen_Funkausstellung_2012_in_Berlin_3_PD.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video Source - https://youtu.be/hUi1Ai7rPj0

 

Pebble could well be the David to all the Goliaths with its watch called Pebble.

 

Pebble smart watch

 

Refresh your memory with Dave’s review about this watch –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rather mysteriously named Toq comes from the house of Qualcomm.

 

Some other names in this space:
* The Seiko Spirit SBPA003 e Ink watch is reminiscent of those cyborgs that do battle
* Apple, oh what can this soldier’s name be? iWatch perhaps? Not much known, thanks to the iconic Apple secrecy, about this watch
* Another device that is in the pipeline is something from Google.

 

Possible game changers

The smartwatch concept has been around for quite some time now. 1990 saw Motorola doing something to combine pagers and wristwatches. 2003 – Microsoft came up with a SPOT which was not the red laser dot of high tech weaponry but Smart Personal Objects Technology. Same year, different companies – Fossil and Sony Ericsson delved into technology that got the watch to function as a caller ID thanks to being Bluetooth enabled and paired with your cell phone. In the battle of the biggies, you never really know which one of these companies may just emerge out of left field.

 

Battle ready specs

 

Device Screen size Price Some features
Samsung Galaxy Gear 1.63 inches $299 Design, camera and speakerphone, voice control with S Voice
Pebble 1.26 inches $300 Anti-glare optical coating, fabulous colors!
QualComm Toq 1.55 inches $300 Proprietary OS, wireless charging.
Sony SmartWatch 2 1.6 inches $262 (approx.) Good battery life, pixel transreflexive LCD display

 

 

What to watch out for

 

* Prices for the smartwatches may mean that they are limited to people who have a higher amount of disposable income.

* The Galaxy Gear can also be paired only with limited number of Android devices. It will perform as a slave to one smartphone.

* Pebble was probably the biggest known pioneer in this space and therefore has given enough opportunities for other to watch and learn and improvise.

* Battery life will be a huge factor to deal with for all devices. The Toq seems to be different thanks to its capacity to run for several days and get charged wirelessly.

* At the end of the day, a converged device is a handy device to have. However, you cannot expect features to match up to “proper” devices. For instance, as good as the camera is on the Samsung Galaxy Gear, you cannot hope to shoot fabulous photographs.

 

So, limitations aside, any smartwatch is perhaps worth it, at least as a conversation starter and convenience gadget.

 

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