As Samsung Galaxy Gear advertisement shows, the desire to have a truly wearable smart device on our hand is as old as the electronic industry itself. Every year we’re waiting for the good news.
This year, 2013 is definitely a good year for Smartwatch lovers. Kichstarter just got a great success in its Pebble project. Samsung and Sony also attempt to turn the demand into civilian product. Nokia, Google, Apple and Windows also want to share this wearable market very much. Smartwatch buyers could never have such wider choice since the Smartwatch fashion is on the uptrend.
Those companies still need overcome many barriers in the way of achieving goals. For most customers the price of current Smartwatch is still too high. At the same time, the designs of Smarwatch are a little bit too large; battery life is not last long and function need more improvement.
Want to attract customers and gain its profit, Smartwatch companies still needs more improvement and creativitivity on its products.
“Right now, the achievement of Smartwatch is in its pre-iPod age” ARM executive vice-president Ian Drew recently said. Pre-iPod age doesn’t mean every high-tech company waiting for Apple to show the way. It means so far, there is no such smartwatch which can set the models professionally or other companies want to copy or fight against it. We’re still waiting. First, let’s take a look at the best smartphone available on the market right now and see if we can get some idea or inspiration from the smartwatch in recent market.
In this Christmas holiday, you may see widely available Android friendly smartwatches in the store. Even though the merchant claims that it can be a good helper just like your Smartphone, actually all those devices have a big issue that it relies heavily on your Andriod phone. All those messages, weather report, internet, news should be provided by your Android phone, which means your smartwatch is just another screen of your Android phone. This kind of smartphone can save your time, but won’t let you leave the phone at home.
Sony: Live View
Sony launched its first Live View in 2010 which is a device wear on hand described as “Second Screen of your Phone”. Think of all the things you check on your phone, from social media to message to weather forecasts, and imagine them instead being channeled to the much more accessible on your wrist. Bluetooth connection between your phone and your watch also lets you control media playback and the camera on your Android phone, turning this watch into a literal remote control.
Smartwatch actually is not smart enough to work by itself. It relies on your Android phone for its smartness. Even though the Sony new SmartWatch 2 is not good enough to leave your Android phone to be a really smart device. Otherwise, the Smartwatch 2 design is not delicate and elegant. We had to say it can help us, like as check email, time, and weather in your watch without taking out your smartphone. But don’t forget bring your phone all the time.
Samsung: Galaxy Gear
Even more dependent on smartphone is Samsung Galaxy Gear. Some of this Smartwatch basic setting just can work via Gear Manager App, which is just available compatible with Galaxy Note 3 and Note 10.1 at the beginning. And this Smartwatch still have more problems which are the limited battery life, messy third-part app store and big shape.
It’s disappointed to see those both smartwatchs which are the best smartwatch products provided by big-budget companies. The prices on both Smartwatchs are unreasonable high, given the serve as basic reminder function. The clear example is that you need activate Galaxy Gear screen to check the time.
Recently, many companies tried to launch Android-friendly watch, but most can’t get success at the end. Wearable device is still a popular trend and Google bought WIMM lab with goals to product more own wearable devices.
Keep it simple
If the strategy to produce “mini android friendly wearable device” is not good enough, then what is the better alternative way to do? Kickstarter want to answer this question in many project, but the only one can answer this question is Pebble.
“Keep it simple” is Pebble’s key to success. The owner’s idea is take every useful thing which other smartwatch have and do it cheaply as possible. That means it has no colorful, no camera, no microphone or even no aluminum case; just the expression of a notification station on your wrist.
If being a second screen of your Smartphone is the best advantage that smartphone enjoy over their conventional counterparts, and then they might perform the task as efficiently as possible. Pebble is cheaper, lighter, and longer battery time than any device we’ve mentioned before. And to be a Pebble owner can build-in a satisfaction of supporting a small startup company. Otherwise, the compatible with iPhone as well as Android device did a good job to its chance to success.
Right now, there is no good solution to put every function into a watch. You build-in 3G radio and sacrificed a great deal of battery life and internal space, while a color screen and fast processor let you charge your watch every day. Finally, you ended up with a Galaxy Gear or LG GD910 Watchphone. Until we see the breakthrough in battery technology, anything more ambitious than Pebble just doesn’t seem worth pursuing.
Wearable Smart fitness
Actually wearable fitness product category have been around for a while, it just like a black horse on this smart wearable product race. Wearable fitness can record running time and provide several other functions. But there is no social media notifies. For some peoples, this is a reasonable product and might to be advantageous.
Without social media notifies on in the watch may help people to develop healthy habits and to accomplish exercise-based goals. Fitbit and Nike have an entire software system to support this healthy tracking.
Force is Fitbit’s first watch wearing on wrist which you can watch time as well as quantifying your efforts to live the good life. We can consider it as a smartwatch. The strength of both Fitbit and Nike has is which they built up an eco-system around their hard-drive. There is something you can’t download from cell phone or Internet. Many users of Fitbit or Nike are very happy to have their watch, so it seems provide a real value to people’s lives.
What about iWatch?
Time Cook said “To convince people that they have to wear something, it has to be incredible”
Apple wants to create an iWatch which retain its independence and can be a perfert iPhone accessory at the same time. For that to happen, Apple has to carefully keep balance between functions, battery life and price. It could be happen, but the task must be very difficult and yes, that’s why we haven’t seen the iWatch on the market yet.