Sunday, 8 September 2013

SmartWatch- Never Allows You to Miss a Thing…!!!

Introduction: 
It's strange to think that something once as ubiquitous as the wristwatch is now an endangered species, rendered unnecessary by the clock display on mobile phones.

In the UK, a recent study showed that 14 percent of the public -- and 28 percent of those between ages 15 and 24 -- saw no need for a timepiece around their wrist anymore.
 
So, faced with becoming little more than a dusty museum piece, perhaps it was inevitable that watches -- like phones, coffee makers, refrigerators, automobiles and even entire houses -- would become "smart," i.e., equipped with microprocessors, software and wireless connections that allow them to perform all sorts of functions beyond the one for which they originally were intended.
 
The tech wars took a major swerve into the leftfield in the recent days and there's no doubt that wi­th the popularity of devices like BlackBerry, Palm Pilot and Treo, the trend in technology is to get more and more "connectivity" into smaller and smaller packages. The next step in this technological evolution is the Smart Watch.

What is a Smartwatch:
A smartwatch or a watch phone is a newly evolved technological device that “Never allows you to miss a thing”. It’s a wearable computing device that can be worn on an user’s wrist that offers functionality and capabilities similar to those of a smartphone.
 
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                           Pebble Smartwatch                                   Sony Smartwatch

Smart Watches give people access to news, weather, sports,stocks, horoscopes, MSN Instant Messenger, Microsoft Outlook and much, much more -- all from a wristwatch. In this article, we'll look at the technology behind the Smart Watch.
Many smartwatches run mobile apps, some run on a mobile operating system, and a few have full mobile phone capability, while others function as mobile media players, with playback of FM radio, audio and video files with sound via Bluetooth headset, and some can make or answer phone calls.
Recently two mobile and consumer electronics manufacturing giants, Sony Corporation & Samsung Electronics have developed their Smartwatches namely Sony Smartwatch & Samsung Galaxy Gear respectively.

Samsung Galaxy Gear

History:
Among the manufacturing companies, Japanese company Seiko was the first company in developing wrist computing technology or smartwatch. The first digital watch, which debuted in 1972, was the Pulsar manufactured by Hamilton Watch Company. "Pulsar" became a brand name which would later be acquired by Seiko in 1978. During the 1980s, Casio began to market a successful line of "computer watches", in addition to its calculator watches. Most notable was the Casio data bank series. There was also the Nelsonic game watches and many other novelty "game watches" produced by Casio and other companies.

In 1984, Seiko released its first RC series wrist watch, RC-1000 Wrist Terminal, which was completely mapped with computer interface. It was compatible with most of the popular PCs of that time, including Apple II,II+ and IIe, the Commodore 64, IBM PC, NEC 8201, Tandy Color Computer, Model 1000, 1200, 2000 and TRS-80 Model I, III, 4 and 4p.

Later on 1985, Seiko released RC-1000 Wrist Computer, which had SMC84C00 8-bit Z-80 microprocessor; 8K of ROM and 2K of RAM and RC-4000 PC Data Graph, which had storage of 2K and was known as "world's smallest computer terminal". The RC-4500 (1985), also known as the Wrist Mac, had the same features as the RC-4000, but came in a variety of bright, flashy colors.

In June 2000, IBM displayed a prototype for a wristwatch that ran Linux, which had a battery life of 12 hrs , 8 MB memory and ran with Linux 2.2. It was later upgraded with an accelerometer, vibrating mechanism and fingerprint sensor. Later IBM collaborated with Citizen Watch Co. and developed Watchpad. The Watchpad 1.5 features 320 x 240 QVGA display and runs Linux 2.4.

Now as of 2013, all major CE companies like Acer, Apple, BlackBerry, Foxconn/Hon Hai, Google, LG, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba. HP, HTC, Lenovo, and Nokia have engaged in developing SmartWatch.

Concept:
Smart Watches work using a technology Microsoft developed called Smart Personal Object Technology, or SPOT. Microsoft introduced SPOT at Comdex in 2002. Chris Schneider, Senior Program Manager of SPOT, describes the technology:
SPOT is the new computing platform that has been designed to bring the power of .NET to everyday objects. SPOT allows for enhanced miniaturization, low power consumption and a low cost solution allowing for accessories such as watches to become more purposeful through the power of software.
SPOT uses FM broadcasting, like the kind picked up by a radio, to deliver Web-based data to Smart objects. Smart Watches receive more than 200 channels of information that are broadcast on a radio spectrum leased by Microsoft.
Microsoft created the Microsoft Direct Band Network to send data to Smart Watches and other SPOT objects. Direct Band consists of two components: a special chipset in the watch that houses the radio receiver and a nationwide, wide-area network (WAN). The WAN is built on FM-sub-carrier technology.

Sony Smartwatch 2
 

Features and Applications: 
Messaging:
Read email, SMS and other notifications on your SmartWatch. Swipe to scroll. Touch to navigate. Gmail, POP3 and other email plugins are available at Google Play Store.
GPS Functionality:
The GPS tracking unit can be used to record historical data by completing a work out and then uploading the data to a computer or online to create a log of previous exercise activities for analysis.
Additionally, some smart watches can be used to full GPS navigation, with a screen that can display maps and current coordinates in real-time using the hh.mm.mmmm (hours, minutes, and minute decimals) GPS coordinate format.
Social Networking:
No need to check your phone to see if your Facebook friends are up to anything. SmartWatch lets you know. You can read Facebook messages and tweets as they come in.
Apps Online:
Smartwatches are packed with lots of useful and fun apps. Also you can get more apps from Google Playstore.
Photography:
Now even smartwatches are coming with in-built camera, by which you can take your favorite snaps and can store them at the in-built storage.

List of Smartwatches:
Following are the list of some Smartwatches.
  • Samsung Galaxy Gear: Announced on September 4, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. It uses a Super AMOLED display and will be released worldwide by October 15, 2013.
  • Qualcomm Toq: was launched at the Qualcomm Uplinq event on September 4, 2013 in San Diego. It features a color Mirasol display. It will be released in October 2013.
  • BURG SmartWatch: Worlds first smartwatch with a built-in SIMcard which allows you to use it as an independent phone. The first OS Android 4.0 models are now in production and can do everything your smartphone can.
  • Pebble Watch: Pebble Technology's product features an eink screen, and can play video games, change watch faces, send a text message, and receive phone call notifications. The watch uses Bluetooth for texting and calling, and its battery life is seven days—this may be extended to two to three weeks with updates. As of July 4, 2013, 85,000 units were sold.
  • Fossil Wrist PDA: Released in 2003, Fossil, Inc.'s smartwatch runs Palm OS 4 and stores 8 MB of memory. Its successor is the Fossil WristNET.
  • Ruputer: Seiko's wristwatch computer stores 2 MB of non-volatile storage memory. Its successor the OnHand PC was discontinued in 2006.
  • Timex Datalink: A Timex wristwatch computer that was introduced in 1994.
  • iPod nano: Apple's 6th-generation model was unusually small and intended to be clipped onto clothing; one of its many functions was to display a watch face when idle. Several aftermarket watch bands were released, allowing it to function as a wristwatch media player (about one day of battery life).
  • Neptune Pine: A fully independent Android smartphone watch.
  • Nike+ FuelBand and other NikeFuel devices, such as Nike+ SportWatch GPS
  • Garmin Forerunner: Introduced in 2003
  • LG GD910 (limited edition)
  • Sonostar Smartwatch
  • Martian G2G Watch
  • Sony SmartWatch
  • Sony SmartWatch 2
  • WIMM One: Battery life of 30 hours
  • Motorola Motoactv
  • Cookoo
  • MetaWatch Strata
  • Agent Smartwatch
  • Kreyos
  • GEAK Watch: Chinese product that was released for sale in China on July 3, 2013.
  • i'M Watch: Italian smartwatch that was released globally on July 12, 2013.
  • HOT Smart Watch: Complete Smart Watch w/Revolutionary Private Calls
  • Omate TrueSmart (a standalone smartwatch).
  • Apple's iWatch: under development
  • Toshiba: under development.

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