The Birth of Smart Watches

HWM (Singapore) - - Feature -

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.

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