'Smart' Watches: The Next Hardware Trend

Dennis Faas's picture

The 'smart' watch may be the next frontier in high-tech hardware. At the moment, it appears a number of technology heavyweights -- including Apple, Google, and Samsung -- are all working on their own touch screen-enabled devices.

Several weeks ago rumors emerged suggesting that Cupertino, California-based Apple was working on a touch screen wrist watch that could be integrated with the company's iPhone.

Those rumors were based on Apple filing a patent application called the "Bi-Stable Spring with Flexible Display." (Source: theregister.co.uk)

Samsung Confirms Smart Watch in the Works

In recent weeks reports have suggested that Samsung may also be developing a smart watch. However, unlike Apple, Samsung has confirmed that it is working on such a device.

"We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them," said Samsung executive vice president of mobile technology, Lee Young Hee.

Hee added that the "issue here is who will first commercialize it so consumers can use it meaningfully." (Source: bloomberg.com)

Racing Samsung to release the first, truly useful smart watch are a number of other firms. Late last week the Korea Times newspaper reported that LG was also working on a touch screen watch. (Source: latimes.com)

Finally, according to the Financial Times, technology super-heavyweight Google recently filed a patent for a touch screen wrist watch.

Smart Watches Part of a "Family" of Web-Connected Products

The big question is this: do consumers want smart watches?

"I think this is part of the building of the 'Internet of things,'" noted ZK Research analyst, Zeus Kerravala. "The more things that are connected, the more value they have to us."

Rob Enderle, an analyst with Enderle Group, says that touch screen smart watches will be just one part of "a family of products" connected to the Internet.

For some people, it could provide a viable alternative to the bulky smartphone or the strange, new Google Glass design.

"There clearly will be people who will prefer the watch approach over the glass approach and this would allow Google to better explore both options," Enderle said. (Source: computerworld.com)

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