The latest on our tech radar is the Smartwatch. What started as a pretty funky gimmick – no more than a fancy looking watching – is now basically a mini phone strapped to your wrist.
By no means of exaggeration, the abundance of new, extra Smartwatch features can be life changing. Read on to learn about what these intelligent timepieces can do.
What is a Smartwatch?
A Smartwatch is a high-tech portable device in the form of a wrist watch. An ambulant computer that weighs next to nothing, Smartwatches can achieve many and myriad actions to make your daily life just that little bit easier.
In a way, ‘Smart’ watch seems like an understatement when you consider the vast array of tricks Smartwatches can perform – though Genius Watch doesn’t necessarily have the same ring to it.
Smartwatches provide a local touchscreen interface, just like smartphones. The touchscreen feature allows users to access functions like instant messaging, calculators, thermometers, a compass or calendars; all your essential management tools at your fingertips.
From analogue to digital mastery…
But that’s just scratching the service. Smartwatches can cost anything from £100 to £1000 on the market. At the lower end, we’re talking quirky yet simple functions. At the top end, there’s a tonne of advanced features that could be potentially life-saving, both professionally and physically speaking.
The most up to date Smartwatches have an impressive range of apps to go with them. These days there’s an app for everything! Literally – everything. You can download apps onto your Smartwatches to find recipes for healthy eating, to monitor your fitness progress, for GPS (distance and speed measurements), sleep tracking and much more.
The Smartwatch life
This immensely practical device streamlines all tasks from the most banal to the most vital. Let’s look at its digital wizardry in more detail.
Instant Messaging and Calls
You can connect your phone, as well as other devices, to your Smartphone. This means that when you get text messages, Whatsapp messages or even instant messages from Facebook, these notifications will show up on your Smartwatch. No need to hunt down your phone to respond either, you can respond directly from your watch.
Fun & Games
There’s an abundance of apps to help you fill your free time. Don’t fret avid gamers, you can play Hello Kitty and Angry Birds on your Smartwatch! There are also apps that encourage you to go out and have fun beyond the digital realm. Download the Foursquare app, for example, to find the best food, drink and activities in your local area.
Health & Fitness
You can use your Smartwatch to track everything from your personal best sprints, to how many calories you’re consuming, to how much sleep you’re getting. The Strava app, for example, has a built-in GPS and LTE (a wireless communications standard) which means you can track your runs and biking sessions without lugging your smartphone around with you. A sneaky in-app device also encourages users to move around if they’ve been static for too long by making the watch buzz for a few seconds.
Meanwhile, for some downtime, there’s a diverse selection of sleep tracking apps to let you know if it’s time for a short nap.
UV Index Now is an app that allows you to figure out what SPF you should be wearing to protect yourself from harmful UV ray damage. Smartwatch owners can also benefit from handy heart monitoring apps too. While research is still vague and in its early stages, the data collected with Smartwatches could be used to detect abnormal heart rhythms and other conditions in the future.
As you can connect other devices to your Smartwatch, you can be reassured that any important reminders will pop up on your interface. Special agenda features, thanks to advanced calendar apps, have made planning a whole lot easier too. Apps such as Google Keep promote effective note-taking, for simple yet efficient business management.
Running late for that business meeting? You can download the Uber app onto your Smartphone to get you there on time!
There are heaps of apps to help you to control your home. From adjusting your heating to switching your lights on or off. There are even apps to control your TV- so you can set record on your favourite show if you won’t make it home in time.
What can we expect from Smartwatches in the future?
It might seem like there’s already a never-ending list of Smartwatch features, but there’s still more to come from these clever devices. Among the top, most anticipated updates coming our way, you will find:
Improved wireless connection and better battery life
Some Smartwatches only work effectively if they’re connected to one of your Smart devices, especially if you’re in need of data. Soon, most will run independently of your Smart collections, with improvements being made to how these devices run wirelessly. This also means research and development will go into improving battery life. Users will be able to rely on the power of their Smartwatches for much longer – that said, some Smartwatches can already last for up to seven days without being recharged!
Improved health and fitness monitoring
Health is a major concern for Apple and its Silicon Valley rivals, so it’s hardly surprising that there are always new apps to help you keep on top of your health.
For the ladies, Smartphone developers have already started building an anonymous database on womens’ menstrual cycles to improve feminine wellbeing and Fitbit also recently launched a Dexcom app. This helps people with diabetes to measure their glucose levels on their Smartwatch (measured by a Dexcom device). This is only the beginning!
Safety and Security
There are already patents for sensors that can tell when you’re driving to limit notifications to improve road safety. This has been developed in the hope of limiting the number of accidents caused by tech device distractions.
For optimal security and personal accessibility, there are also patents on photodiodes which can measure light patterns allowing wearers to use hand gestures or FaceID to access their Smartwatch.
Only time will tell…
It seems Smartwatches are the talk of the tech century. After an unprecedented success on the market, more and more is being invested into optimising these miniature gadgets to see what else they can achieve. Only time will tell how advanced these little timepieces will become.