Smart Watches Get Connected

2/22/2013

These days, the wrist is the place to be if you’re a connected device. Wristwatch-like products for tracking, fitness, and monitoring smartphones are all gaining notice. Even Apple is rumored to be tinkering with some type of smart watch. 

A number of news outlets are reporting rumors about Apple working on a connected watch. In general terms, connected or smart watches are devices that link up with the user’s smartphone to provide notifications. For example, the watch could flash to alert the wearer about text messages or calls on the phone. This allows the user to know what’s happening on the phone at a glance without having to take the device out of a pocket of briefcase.

Karl Volkman is CTO of SRV Network, www.srvnetwork.com, an IT services company, and he believes it makes sense for Apple to test the waters with a smart watch.


“Apple has always had a flair for finding something that appeals to a large audience,” he says. “I am sure that if they wanted to focus attention on the goal of being profitable in the smart watch arena, then they would come up with something.”

One brand focusing on the smart watch is MetaWatch, www.metawatch.com, which recently announced it will partner with Frank Nuovo and his company Design Studio Nuovo, www.dsnuovo.com, on the future design of the brand. MetaWatch says the goal is to create smart watches that are not only functional, but beautiful as well.

Other industry players offer connected watches, though they are often of the GPS variety. In fact, ABI Research, www.abiresearch.com, says regardless of whether the Apple smart watch rumor is true or not, the GPS fitness watch market is set to reach $1.07 billion in 2013.

Garmin, www.garmin.com, offers its fenix outdoor GPS watch, which features ANT and Bluetooth connectivity and allows the user to record up to 1,000 waypoints. Magellan, www.magellangps.com, announced it is expanding its Switch series of GPS watches to Europe. Switch and Switch Up are designed to be customizable to a variety of different sports, and they allow users to track location, distance, speed/pace, elevation, and calories burned.

Consumers should be able to find a smart watch to meet their needs, yet the market seems poised for new entrants as well. While we don’t yet know whether Apple will be among the choices, the future for connected watches looks bright.

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