Wristy Business: The evolution of iWatch

Wristy Business: The evolution of iWatch

Summary: From calculator watches, to smart watches, to intelligent wristbands, the wrist computer has had a storied history.


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  • Pebble (2013)

    Pebble, a new startup company, will soon be offering its low-power, E Ink-based bluetooth watch companion for iOS and Android smartphones in April-May of this year. The device will cost $150. The device contains a motion sensor and can run simple apps that display telemetric-types of output from data coming from connected Smartphones.

  • Samsung Altius (2013)

    Based on leaked screenshots Samsung appears to be working on a smart watch known as the "Altius". Very little about this device is known and what operating system it runs on. 

    It is rumored that Altius will communicate via Bluetooth tethering to an Android smartphone to transmit phone calls or music. 

  • "iWatch" conceptual design (2013)

    There's been a lot of wild speculation about what Apple's rumored iWatch might look like, and what the device would be capable of. But little of what's been written so far has been grounded in any form of reality. What do we get if we anchor speculation to actual patent applications filed by Apple?

    Read Adrian Kingsley-Hughes' article about a conceptual design that was created using known information about Apple's technology and design philosophy.

Topics: Mobile OS, Smartphones, After Hours


Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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  • Surprised you missed the Garmin Forerunner Range.

    Ok single focus units but pretty high tech all the same!
  • Where's the Timex Datalink/Beepwear?

    I really liked mine.

    You updated info on the watch by holding it up to your screen, which was super-cool. News came via the pager network. Think it was like $17 per year.

    Accd to the Wikipedia page, it's the "It is the first watch capable of downloading information from a computer." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timex_Datalink)
  • How about the Fossil Abacus running Palm OS?

  • Wrist grunge

    After a quarter century of both emotional and physical attachment to the Casio Data Bank, which I had to replace every few years, I finally gave it up for a smartphone in my pocket. There were times when having access to the data on that watch saved my bacon, if not my life (insert harrowing stories of dark streets in hostile territory, where the pin code access feature was especially useful). But, no, don't make me strap it back onto my wrist. I am happy to be free from the grunge growing under the watch band.
    • Same here

      I used a Timex Datalink from the time they were first introduced, but I was happy to stop wearing it once I got a smartphone. Watches are clunky, catch on everything, gather filth in every crevice, give you a white stripe around your wrist, and these days, they look rather dorky when everyone is using a smartphone instead. An iWatch is a pointless waste of development resources.
  • Battery life!

    Short battery life is the problem with all these watches. My ideal watch would have e-ink display, backlight, alarm with vibrate, bluetooth receiving capability and battery life of at least 6 months.
    If I have to charge my watch as frequently as my phone then I see no reason to have such watch. It is like having two smartphones for no good reason.