Smartwachs, intelligence (hand)extreme miniaturized

2014/10/01 Leturia Azkarate, Igor - Informatikaria eta ikertzaileaElhuyar Hizkuntza eta Teknologia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

After smartphones and tablets, another type of device has been appearing for a year, the smartwatch or wrist smartwatch. As smartphones are much more than a phone, smartwatches go beyond the usual clock. They are small wrist carrier computers with different sensors and wireless connections. But the concept is inevitably different from the smartphone by the size limit.
Sony Smartwatch, Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Gear respectively. Ed. Sony/Apple/Samsung

Almost two years ago we wrote in this section the article entitled Informatics to wear dressed. The article focused on Google Glass, the smart glasses manufactured by Google. But since then the glasses have not advanced so much: Google Glass is still not available to the public and the devices that have been tested have found an attitude contrary to a part of the society for privacy (with which you can never know when the video is recording). On the contrary, another wearable (so these computer devices are now called to wear them dresses), the smartwatch or wrist smartwatch, which we talked about the skin and the trend towards the future, has made a longer path since then.

In fact, electronics companies have been marketing numerous smart watches since last year: Samsung Galaxy Gear, Sony Smartwatch, Pebble, LG G Watch, Moto 360, Sony Ericsson Live View... and in September announced that Apple will release Apple Watch by the beginning of the following year.

Features of the smartwatches

Although the name given to them seems to have the same possibilities and characteristics as smartphones, in most cases it is not so. Except for exceptions, the concept is inevitably different: it is not possible to put all the hardware parts and functions that have mobile phones in the size of a much smaller clock, even with small batteries it would be possible that all the current mobile diligence remained long.

In this way, most of them do not have a connection to the network of mobile phones, nor therefore of internet connection. They are not independent devices, they connect via Bluetooth to our mobile phone and get all their capacity. They do not usually have touch screens or, in any case, not at least with the virtual keyboard (logically because of its size), so they do not serve to write messages, tweets, guatxaps, etc.

Therefore, its main function is to show information and notices through the phone, such as time, email, agenda, tweets, messages... And for it they usually have a vibrator, so that nothing escapes being on the wrist. Then to answer or for anything else you have to go to the mobile. Most also works as a remote control of some of the phone's functions (for example, the music player). And if they do not have a telephone connection, in addition to being a mere clock, they can register and perform information during sports practice through GPS (owners) or their default.

As we have said, there are exceptions. Some have microphone and the Bluetooth connection of the phone allows to make calls from the same clock. From a few devices you can also write messages via the virtual keyboard of the touch screen or by voice recognition. And there are those who have a camera. Others have NFC connection for payments (we speak in September 2011) or to share information with other watches or phones. If there is any device, such as QOne, which is fully independent, you can put a SIM card that allows you to make calls and internet. But none of them, and the more it has been, the less the battery lasts by itself.

Success in the market?

There are a couple of years in the sale of such devices, but their presence in society is anecdotal. I don't know anyone with a smartwatch! However, taking out Apple can change things. The MP3 player, smartphone and tablet were not invented by Apple, but the iPod, iPhone and iPad were decisive in the deployment of these devices, due to the incomprehensible tractor capacity of this company.

To me arise many doubts the wrist smart watches. As has already been commented, the size is too large, the miniaturization is carried to the end, and all its disadvantages are the cause. On the one hand, they are mainly information collection devices, and in which it is possible to introduce information, I do not see myself writing on a keyboard of this type, because I also molded very badly on the phones. On the other hand, the need to have a small battery also forces to charge it often: it only lasts a few days, some only one day (as Apple has recognized). And if now we also have to charge the watches every day... The exception is the Pebble with electronic ink screen, but in exchange for having it in black and white (can it suppose the development of electronic ink of colors that we have been demanding for a long time? ). In addition, not working without a phone is a great limitation, as others think. And when they are fully independent, it increases the battery limit problem. On the other hand, the smallest watch of this type is much larger than the normal watch. And finally, we cannot forget the price: All costs more than 100 and peak euros and Apple more than 300! Do you imagine paying that money for a watch? But well, before I didn't think anyone would have paid more than 700 euros for a phone and there... In total there are people who have more than 1,000 euros between phone and watch!

Therefore, in view of my negative sentence, it is almost certain that the smartwatches will succeed, since my corner is a compilation of failed ads. I am thinking that my opinions and tastes do not match those of the majority and that I am a bit frisky... ;-)