Looks like the smartwatch might become a standard accessory

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| February 17, 2013


About a week ago I wrote an article asking if you would be interested in an iWatch, which is rumored to be in production by Apple. Not too much later, news surfaces of another smartwatch being made by Samsung, shown in leaked screenshots as being called the “Galaxy Altius”. With so many smartwatches popping up, will this gain enough popularity and usage to become a standard everyday accessory?

In my mind I think “Absolutely.” Although I’m not much of a watch user now (I usually only wear one if I know I’m going somewhere where I will have limited to no access to my phone) I would definitely wear one that is multipurpose – as long as the price is right and features aren’t too overbearing. Not only does a smartwatch give you the convenience of not having to take your phone out of its safe place, you can also do a bit of battery saving by not bothering to look at the unimportant notifications that might go off on your phone. It might not be much battery saved, but with some phones any little unnecessary use can be considered a loss.

There was certainly a lot of interest that surrounded around the Pebble smartwatch, and while it was not the first of its kind it seemed to spark more attention than those before it. There also seems to be a lot of attention swarming around the potential iWatch as well, which would be the first smartwatch created by Apple. In many ways I prefer the Pebble smartwatch form as oppose to the iWatch simply because it’s so basic and serves its main purpose without all the jazz – check your notifications and switch your music. It doesn’t take dictation and it doesn’t make phone calls. I’m not really interested in having a second phone wrapped around my wrist when I have my actual phone just in my back pocket -  I don’t want it to have its entire functionality replaced. I would still like to say that I dropped the $200+ on my device for something. The iWatch is still under wraps for the most part in regards to features, but it is expected to have a color display and may even use Siri for dictation purposes.

Comparing what we predict from the iWatch with what we can see from the leaked images of Samsung’s Galaxy Altius, it looks like the Altius follows more closely with the Pebble form. Actually, it’s somewhat reminiscent of Windows 8 because it looks like it features tiles of somesort. But the display looks to be mostly black and white, although some parts of the interface show green and teal so I will infer that it’s not running on an e-ink display like the Pebble smartwatch does. It looks sleek and doesn’t look to be too busy which I think is a good selling point. I suppose some people might want a smartwatch that can do a lot of the same things their phone can, but honestly I don’t see that concept being popular just yet.

I’m wondering how this whole smartwatch thing will play out. If it really is as popular as these companies are predicting, will smartwatches become just as popular as other accessories like Bluetooth devices? Or are companies going to push the envelope too far too soon and this will be known as just a fad? Although the idea is good in theory, flashy designs and more functionality might not be the key here. You still need the device to be functional as a watch. We already see how quickly our batteries drain from our smartphones, and I’m not sure how many people will be keen on their watches dying as often as their phones do.

Readers, what is your perspective on smartwatches? Do you think you’ll ever be interested in one? If so, what would you like in a smartwatch? If not, why not? Let me know your input in the comments!

Image Credit: SlashGear