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A Brief History of Smartwatch | VARIO

For different people, watches have been seen more of a statement of fashion, or something else, rather than a useful product. This is more so when the smartwatches are brought into the picture.

pebble with vario nato strap

Regardless, this can be argued from a different perspective. The fact that they have been in existence for many decades is a clear indication that watches have managed to capture some notable attention of the public. This brings us to something else – the history of smartwatches. How has the market evolved? What are some of the most evident changes that the history has witnessed? Can the changes or evolution be seen as significant strides in this product category? These are questions worth asking.

The very first smartwatch, known as Pulsar NL C01 reached the market in the eighties – by Seiko. Apparently, it wasn’t anywhere close to the type of smartwatches we see in modern days. The most that Seiko’s Pulsar NL C01 could do was to store a maximum of 24 digits.

seiko uc-2000

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In the next 30 years that followed, smartwatches went through a couple of stages to get to what we have today. Some of the changes that have happened include compatibility with a computer, pager watches and presently, touch screen smartwatches. It isn’t surprising that the first major breakthrough came from Microsoft in 2002. It came in the form of its very own SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology). The smartwatch relied on the FM networks to update its devices, and its durability extended to only four years.

microsoft spot

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While Microsoft efforts in the world of smartwatches were something hard to ignore, this isn’t as far as the discoveries went. The next big thing would happen six years later, around 2008. The majority of watch lovers claim that this was actually the real inception of the smartwatch world – as it’s currently known. The LG Prada Link (2008) was actually the real thing. Every person who had $900, in their pocket, I had the pleasure of wearing this product towards the end of 2008. Its Smartphone companion, the Bluetooth Prada II was limited to incoming call alerts and short message previews. Regardless, this must have oozed some class; statement!

samsung s gear2 with vario nato strap

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In 2012, Pebble Technology Corporation raised $10.3 million through a Kickstarter campaign; this was the most money raised for any product on the site at that time. By 2014, Pebble sold its one millionth smartwatch.

This development led to the birth of Apple Watch announced by Tim Cook on September 9, 2014. The Apple Watch quickly became the best-selling wearable device with the shipment of 4.2 million smartwatches in the second quarter of the 2015.

apple watch with vario nato strap

Today, big brands such as Samsung, Adidas, Apple, and Sony have become an important part of the smartwatch world. Rumor has it that Google is soon joining the smartwatch race. Do you know what this means? It means that the competition is just about to start.  There are higher chances that the majority of smartwatches will be running on Android; of course apart from iWatch from Apple, and which stands as an entirely different competition.

Undoubtedly, there have been significant failures, just like the successes. Who knows, by then, you might be one of the smartwatch consumers. It is, therefore, correct to insinuate that the smartwatch technology is up and coming and capable of changing the traditional perception of the world population.


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