The Tech fight for your wrist
We live in a world where the general consensus seems to be that “bigger is better.” We want bigger homes, bigger bank accounts and bigger bragging rights. But while we are focused on that “bigger” picture, Apple, Samsung and Google could be pushing for “the smaller, the better.” What is the one thing you would never leave your home without if you were going on a trip? Besides the basic toiletries, you probably thought of your mobile device. I mean, it’s how we stay connected to the world, right? Facebook, email, text messaging or even the occasional discarded time of pinning everything you don’t need on Pinterest. Society gets its identity from seeing everything else around it.
Well, what if you didn’t ever have to worry about forgetting your phone again? What if you had the access to all that data simply from looking down at your wrist? I’m talking about the shift from smart phones to smarter watches. This may not necessarily be a new idea; however, the more modern, revolutionized ideas of smart watches are just coming to maturity. There is a lot of speculation about the types of smart watches we could be seeing this year. There are two schools of thought on said technology: one that believes a smart watch should be a fully autonomous device that offers all the options and apps of a smartphone; the other being a device that actually connects through the smartphone and offers merely a convenient view of what your phone presents. No matter which perspective tickles your fancy, it is clear that these three mogul companies have their own agendas to serve as they push forward with this innovative concept.
Dan Rowinski of ReadWrite.com states that these companies have competing interests and that “they all want you to stay immersed in their own competing environments. If you are using iOS, Apple is doing everything it can to make sure you mate the iWatch to your iPhone and iPad and even your Mac. Samsung has developed its latest Galaxy S4 flagship smartphone to heavily integrate its own custom-built apps, often instead of similar apps made by Google for Android. Google itself is more interested in getting you online and using Google apps like Gmail, Talk, Maps and so on.” The problem this causes, however, is that the user doesn’t get the benefit of all three.
To get a better look at these prospective smart watches, let’s first observe Apple’s rumored iWatch. It is assumed that this device would utilize Bluetooth technology to link the smart watch to the user’s iPhone or iPod, sending alerts when new text messages, emails or appointment reminders signal through the home device. This smart watch could even, potentially, have the ability to be used for mobile payments using the NFC chips. This means that consumers could pay for goods simply by waving their wrist near another device. For Apple, this would be a huge win as they are trying to set the stage for innovation, marketing potential and most of all, proving that they can give buyers what they need and want, even without Steve Jobs to lead the way.
But Samsung isn’t about to back down and bow out from this niche of the technology market. The Korean company has rumored plans for its very own Galaxy Altius, which boasts an impressive sleek design and functional features, such as a touch screen, music player, email access and of course the actual time clock.
Last, but certainly not least, is the ever-evolving Google. The Android team at Google is staying slightly more tight-lipped regarding the possibility for a smart watch. However, they did file for a patent that was approved late last year describing a ‘smart-watch including flip up display,’ so who knows? One thing stands true; these three companies were not the first to push the boundaries on what could be. An incredible Kickstarter campaign known as Pebble, announced its idea to the world at this year’s CES.
While Pebble admits to a few limitations, it should give the rest of us a glimpse into what could be in store for the future of smart watches.
Time will only tell if these little mini-sized computers have the bite to match their bark, but I for one am excited at the possibilities. I lose my phone every other day, but my watch never leaves my wrist. At the very least, even if this idea doesn’t have the power to win over all the tech nerds out there, they still offer a cool style and inventive way of making us look really important. Let’s face it; we all wanted to be Inspector Gadget when we were kids, and now look. We are that much closer to what seemed so futuristic just a couple of decades ago!
Be sure to share your thoughts on Smart Watches or any other technology in the comments below.