Is it time to consider buying a smart watch?
The failure of SPOT (the watches were first introduced in 2004, and were discontinued four years later) hasn't stopped manufacturers from working on smart watches, and this week we saw two big developments in the field: Pebble, an e-paper, Bluetooth-connected smart watch that will work with iOS and Android devices, has received over $1 million in Kickstarter pledges. And Sony's $149 SmartWatch just hit the market. Like the Pebble, the Sony watch uses Bluetooth to communicate with your smartphone. However, the Sony watch is currently Android-only.
The new watches join the $199, Android-based WIMM One (which also includes WiFi), and the Blue Sky i'm Watch, which starts at $469. The competition from Sony, and the Kickstarter buzz over the Pebble, may help bring smart watches to the mainstream in a way SPOT never could. The fact that these watches are app-based, sync with smartphones, and don't require a subscription to a data service, could also help. Then again, it's entirely possible that today's smart watch customer is just yesterday's Casio Databank buyer with a slightly bigger budget to play with. Speaking of which, does anyone know how I can sync my Casio with my Zaurus?
What do you think?
Minus battery life I'd say the MotoACTV is the best so far-- very similar to the original Droid Eris in specs/power minus screen resolution when rooted.
On reflecting on this, however, I realize that I would actually prefer, rather than a slave to a smartphone, a watch that includes all my voice calling functions. I generally dislike voice calls, so if I could move that functionality to my wrist, it might make me hate it less. Then, the device I carry in my pocket could simply be a mini-tablet with a data plan to do everything else, while having the option to push contacts to the watch and trigger calls on the watch. Now that would be the holy grail.
I've always been very attached to my traditional analog watches, but the Pebble's definitely got my attention (especially the white one).
Unfortunately the build quality is very poor. Nixon has been great about honoring their warranty but after the second watch broke in the same place, it wasn't worth the time of sending it in.
I think a smart watch needs to be a combo of Sony smartwatch and Jawbone Up. Exercise tracking + wireless connectivity + some form of style. Jawbone and Sony are both great at designing beautiful devices. I love my bluetooth earpieces, but much of the market still loathes them. Battery life is always my biggest complaint.
The possibilities are endless with smartwatches. People already own multiple watches, wear them daily and many spend hundreds, even thousands on them. Price should not be an issue at launch for any of these. If you created a "perfect" smartwatch you could easily charge $1000 for it. I would pay it, too.
Think about it.
-Waterproof to 100M
-alarm device (similar to fitness devices that wake you at the optimal point in your sleep)
-5 day battery - would be best to charge through a computer while your sitting
-text messaging ability
-paypass/credit card ability
-GPS (limited, maybe just the ability to enter an address and see directions depending on how you look at the watch, anything would be an improvement over holding your phone out and blindly walking/driving instead of looking at the road)
It's the future and it will take a bit. Maybe another side question: Which will we have first, Google Glasses or popular, useful smartwatches like I describe?
Additionally, you could get it to do sleep-tracking stuff, like the Wakemate and Jawbone Up do.
Those features alone would make these watches competitive with these other devices - throw in the ability to tell the time and give you notifications from your phone, and they definitely seem like a better bet.
The fact that it has it's own SDK, looks beautiful, and it is reasonably priced really has me interested.