Smart watches: A lot of technology in a little package

By Hannah Braime,

Smart watches have been around for a few years now, and they seem to be on the up and up. As if the mobile market wasn’t crowded enough already, smart watches put an interesting twist on the concept of mobile technology, making our mobile handsets almost – but not quite – redundant.

Since the first digital watch several decades ago, watches have been changing and developing. Admittedly, their growth spurt has been slower and less life-changing than the mobile phone to smartphone transformation. Watches, however, seem to be catching up – with a little help from some of our most-loved technology.

What’s so smart?

Smart watches are very different to the digital and analogue watches we’re used to. These handy gadgets are more than just a timepiece: you can use them to connect to your phone, transmit data to the cloud, and even check your Twitter feed.

Most smart watches are tethered to your phone – usually via Bluetooth. This is why, although smart watches provide a more convenient way of checking your mail or catching up with the latest social media gossip, our mobile handsets aren’t on the way out just yet.

The variety of activity possible with a smart watch, however, is impressive. Not only can you read your mail and social network feeds as above, but you can also use certain smart watches and a personal trainer stand-in, check the weather, and see who’s calling or texting you.

Competition is rising steadily in the smart watch market, so here are a run-down of 3 current and upcoming devices:

I’m Watch

I’m Watch bills itself as the world’s first smart watch, and it doesn’t disappoint. Users can connect the watch to their mobile using Bluetooth to have calls, texts, emails, notifications, music, calendar appointments, the weather forecast, images and more sent to the device. I’m Watch uses a customized version of the Android platform. Prices start at 299 Euros.

i’m Tech

Pebble

Pebble is an upcoming e-ink smart watch that has generated a lot of buzz. The company are set to miss their September shipping date, but so far over 85,000 people have pre-ordered the device. The watch is fully customizable and connects with both iPhone and Android smart phones. The Pebble retails for $150.

Sony-Smartwatch

Sony SmartWatch

The Sony SmartWatch is an Android watch that tries to make as many activities hands-free as possible. As well as giving users the ability to check their mail, view social networks, and listen to music, the Sony SmartWatch is also a fitness companion that can track your running distance and time. The watch comes with Google Play pre-installed, so you can download compatible applications and improve the functionality of the watch even further. The Sony SmartWatch starts at £109.99.

SmartWatch Android watch front view.