Are you thinking of buying a smartwatch? Or maybe you got one as a gift over the holidays this past Christmas? Maybe you have no clue what a smart watch is. In this article, we’ll discuss not only what a smartwatch is but we’ll also look at some of the smartwatches’ best features. It’s considered that the first smartwatch was debuted in 1994 by Timex. The model could transfer data wirelessly to a computer. Since then we have definitely made progress and these days many of us can’t even imagine life without a smartwatch.
What is a smart watch?
A smart watch or smartwatch is a type of digital wristwatch. Smartwatches, however, come with a lot more functionality than regular digital models. They usually consist of a touch screen interface and are able to connect to your phone or the internet. Through those features, you can view notifications without having to retrieve your phone from your pocket, among other things.
Most smartwatches are not made as standalone devices. They need a smartphone or other devices with internet connectivity to function. Smartwatches are rapidly rising in both popularity as well as features.
As amazing as this technology seems, smartwatches are not a new concept. In fact, as mentioned above smartwatches can be traced as far back as 1984 with the first digital models. Many industry experts believe that now is the time for the smartwatch to arise and take its place as the next big thing.
Below we have listed 7 amazing features that smartwatches currently possess that just might prove the experts right, and usher in the age of smartwatches.
1. Make and Receive Calls
Some smartwatches actually allow you to make and receive phone calls. By inserting your sim card into the device, you can make and receive calls and messages directly from your smartwatch. This is perfect for those occasions that you prefer not to bring a cell phone along, such as during class or going for a jog.
It’s also a perfect opportunity for you to channel your inner spy. Speaking into a wristwatch will make anyone look like James Bond.
2. Run Apps
Like smartphones, apps are the backbone of a good smartwatch. The main Operating Systems that currently run on smartwatches are Android Wear, Pebble for Pebble devices, iOS for Apple as well as Tizen OS on Samsung. Of all the competing smartwatch devices, Android is currently leading the pack with a wide array of apps available. Android is also most likely to be supported by a variety of models. Some of the popular apps available in the Android Wear store are Evernote, a dictation app, Google maps and a phone finder function to help you locate your devices.
Many smartwatches are waterproof. Developers understand that their customers would like to be able to use their watch at all times. While some are fully waterproof up to certain depths, other can only withstand a few splashes and puddles. In any case, it’s good to know that your new gadget will have at least minimal protection against the elements. Whether you’re a fan of running in the rain, swimming or you’re simply forgetful and often find yourself wearing your watches in the shower, this is an important feature to have.
4. Wireless Charging
Also known as inductive charging, this is the process of charging your device through the use of an electromagnetic field to transfer energy from one object to another. In other words, you place your watch on the charging dock and it will charge it, without using any wires. Some smartwatches use snap-on chargers as well, so you can charge while on the go.
5. Voice Command
For some devices with built-in microphones, you have the option of entering voice commands. You can even compose text messages and emails. As you can imagine, pressing buttons on such a small surface as a watch screen can sometimes be awkward and uncomfortable at best. To counteract that many of the higher-end smartwatches allow you to perform some functions like texting and typing via voice. You can also set alarms, reminders and play music with the voice control.
6. Heart Rate Monitoring
Tracking your heart rate during exercise just got a whole lot easier. Many smartwatches have built-in heart rate sensors, usually found on the back of the device. The sensor is on the side that rest on your skin and it keeps track of your heart rate. A few smartwatches can even automatically keep a record of your pulse all day, and even provide you with daily summaries.
7. Sailing functionality
This feature will come in handy for the sailors and boat owners out there. During America’s Cup boating competition held in 2013, team USA partnered with TAG Heuer to create a custom-designed watch for each member of their team. This allowed the crew to connect to race data that was crucial to them in real-time. The watches were customized to each sailor’s specific duties and was connected to the onboard computers wirelessly.
Although the exact version used by the team was not commercially released, TAG Heuer have released a limited edition version that is on sale at select stores. Some functions that the sailing watch can display are the boat’s speeds, true wind speed, true wind direction and true wind angle.
If you find these features appealing and would like a smart watch of your own, you can browse our selection of smartwatches here.
Do you like smartwatches? Let us know in the comments below.