The Birth of Smart Watches
Smart watches can be loosely defined as a computerized wristwatch that has functions beyond timekeeping. For example, dive computers are a type of custom-purpose “smart” watch with many features designed to monitor, track and report on critical information such as pressurization, depth and air supply. When you’re not diving, some models work just as well as a standard time piece.
Such watches have actually been in existence in some form or another long before the current crop of Pebbles, Galaxy Gears and what have you. Nevertheless, one can say that the current excitement and craze surrounding smart watches really started with the Pebble.
On April 11, 2012, Pebble started its crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in a bid to raise US$100,000 in capital to begin production of its smart watch. The campaign turned out to be a wildfire success and achieved its US$100,000 target within just two hours. Five weeks later when the campaign ended, the company received a whopping US$10 million in pledges, making it the highest funded project in the history of Kickstarter - a title it holds even to this day.
Following Pebble’s success, many brands began making their own smart watches or announced their intent to do so, including big names like Samsung and Motorola, and also smaller players like I’m Watch and Cookoo. At the beginning of this year, Motorola showed off the Moto 360 and LG demonstrated its G Watch.
Apple also also long been rumored to be working on their own smart watch. Apple CEO Tim Cook even said that the wrist “is interesting” and further substantiated his comment by saying that a compelling product needs to be created first so that people would want to wear it. The latest rumors suggest that it could even launch later this year and be available at multiple price points and in different case materials.