What our wrist is telling us?

With advance technology, user demands and increased competition, there is huge growth in tech industry. Certainly, anyone’s mind-set is to obtain very possible new innovation and get more and more advantages in single tiny piece of gadget. Listening to these needs, thus, companies started to invent and manufacture new products – replacing landline telephones with wireless handsets, replacing physical keypads and small screen with bigger touch screen, and now these touch screen handsets with smartwatches.

A Smartwatch is an electronic gadget that can do many other tasks beyond just showing time and buzzing alarms. Such smartwatches are capable to perform various tasks like quick calculations, taking pictures or recording short video, displaying calendar tasks, GPS navigation and even can make calls. One may say that it’s a mini version of smartphones – ‘Wrist-PDA’.

“It all began since…” –

The first digital watch was the ‘Pulsar’ manufactured by Hamilton Watch Company in 1972. ‘Pulsar’ became a brand name which would later be acquired by Seiko in 1978. In 1982, a Pulsar watch (NL C01) was released which could store 24 digits, making it most likely the first watch with user-programmable memory. During the period of 1980s, Casio began to market their smartwatches among which the ‘Casio data bank’ series was remarkable.

The model to interface with a computer was the RC-1000 Wrist Terminal by Seiko. The RC-20 Wrist Computer was released in 1985 under the joint brand name Seiko Epson.It had a SMC84C00 8-bit Z-80 microprocessor; 8 KB of ROM and 2 KB of RAM. It had applications for scheduling, memos, and world time and a four-function calculator app.

In June 2000, IBM displayed a prototype for a wristwatch that ran Linux. The original version had only 6 hours of battery life, which was later extended to 12. It featured 8MB of memory and ran Linux 2.2.

“Present advancement is…”–

Consumer device analyst Avi Greengart, from research firm Current Analysis, suggested that 2013 may be the “Year of the smartwatch”. As of July 5, 2013, the list of companies that were engaged in smartwatch development activities consists of Acer, Apple, BlackBerry, Google, LG, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba. At the end of 3rd quarter of 2013, there were new smartwatches launched by Samsung (Galaxy Gear), Sony (Smartwatch 2), Qualcomm (Toq) and PHTL (HOT Watch).

“Functions embedded so far…” –

As one can see, smartwatches are not new but they actually came into spotlight after releasing of Samsung Galaxy Gear along with Galaxy Note 3 smartphone and releasing dates announced for Qualcomm Toq. Today’s smartwatches are not just to look for time but to do multitasking in quick way, thereby saving some time. Particularly speaking, one can see call or SMS notifications, take a quick look at mails, updates from social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc., check calendar, handling music and more.

Samsung Smartwatch  (Image credit: Kārlis Dambrāns on Flickr)
Samsung Smartwatch (Image credit: Kārlis Dambrāns on Flickr)

Talking about Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, the smartwatch powered by single core 800 MHz Exynos system-on-chip, having 320 pixel wide super AMOLED touchscreen contains a 1.9 MP auto-focus camera along with speaker and two noise-cancelling microphones. It also has a 4 GB internal memory and 512 MB of RAM.

The specifications we can see in ‘limited edition’ Qualcomm Toq are 222 PPI display with capacitive touchscreen, vibration and Airplane mode. The smartwatch don’t have any physical button; instead all its features can be used only by touchscreen. The smartphone software compatible with Qualcomm Toq is Android v4.0.3 and above whereas Galaxy Gear at present is supported with only Android v4.3 and above.

Sony Smartwatch (Image credit - Javier Domínguez Ferreiro on Flickr)
Sony Smartwatch (Image credit – Javier Domínguez Ferreiro on Flickr)

On the same row, Sony’s water-resistant SmartWatch 2 comes with NFC connectivity. It has 1.6-inch Transflective LCD display of 220 x 176 pixels resolution and is compatible with any Android device having version 4.0 (ICS) and later.The SmartWatch 2 can be used as a fitness tracker too.

Using smartwatch, one can keep up with their task, emails, can keep record of your track using navigation, receive call/SMS, control music player, give voice commands, take photos/record videos (up to 15 seconds on Galaxy Gear), instantly synchronize/transfer photos to host device and can do other such things.

“Do we actually need it?”

While looking the bright side of innovations in smartwatch technology, there also other important question one must have to think about before heading to get it. The question is, ‘How much a smartwatch is actually required to you?’

If you want a smartwatch only as a fashion accessory or to keep up with high society standards, then I’ll say you must get it. For theses and such related reasons, don’t think about its usability. (Sarcasm included :D)


Thinking wisely can reveal the fact that one simply couldn’t do much with such tiny gadgets. If all you have to do is take a quick look to your notifications on smartwatch and then open your smartphone to see the details, it’s actually wasting your time. In other words, if your smartwatch is redirecting you to your smartphone every time to get ‘detailed’ view of anything, it’s then still not capable of doing enough tasks by itself. It’s a fact that you’ve to use smartphone for almost all kind of tasks (and even multi-tasking) and smartwatch is, at present, isn’t that much powerful.

With easy availability of mini-camera in smartwatch to take quick photos and record videos (although at present, they are not supported to record very much, one can’t simply neglect the possibility to get the powerful smartwatches in future with long time recording capacity), they might get excluded in exam rooms, courtrooms, office meetings and other private places under security reasons. Privacy is burning issue this days and these gadgets can easily violet it.

Listing down the gadgets one might be using for handling same purpose might include desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone and new in this queue is smartwatch. Furthermore, all such devices continuously increasing waste material on the planet thereby increasing environmental pollution. However, we are still producing new gadgets every other day neglecting the fact that they are actually not serving anything different than the present ones.

Of course this emerging technology can help us to live better life and get more connected with each others, but with the cost of destructive nature in returns. Thinking wisely, we can’t afford it.

Although we are developing high-tech devices and user-friendly features to bring simplicity in everyone’s life, at some point the question arises in mind – Is it that much necessary for us or we’re doing it just to live luxury lifestyle? Think about it.

In conclusion

Continuous improvement in technology is today’s necessity; however there should be proper aim and reasonable use of it. While moving forward with incoming technology and gadgets, it’s always important to think about its actual requirement. Additional to this, these days we must also take ‘environmental issues’ into consideration before overusing different devices for same purpose.

What do you think? Comment your opinions, experience or questions/suggestions (if any) below.

Need more help? Write an email to me with detail explanation, I’ll try my best to answer your query.


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