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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  • Apple Patent 20130044215 for "Wearable Accessory Device" (2011)

    In 2011, Apple filed a patent for a "Wearable Accessory Device", #20130044215.

    The device described is a flexible band with an integrated, wrap around display unit, wireless connectivity and kinetic charging mechanism.

    While there is no proof any of this will be integrated in Apple products anytime soon, it's definitely an eye opener into future wearable computing developments at the company.


  • SONY MN2SW Android Watch (2012)

    Released early summer of last year, SONY has the first "Watch companion" released into the wild with its MN2SW, which requires an Android phone with a Bluetooth connection. 

    For a review, check out CNET's in-depth look at the device.

  • 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.

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.