What Is a Smartwatch and What Do They Do?

Everything you must be aware of about smartwatches.

A smartwatch is a wearable device that is specifically designed to be worn around wrists. Like smartphones, they feature touchscreens, applications, and frequently capture your heart rate as well as other vital indicators.

It is believed that the Apple Watch and Wear (formerly Android Wear) models led more people to realize the benefits of carrying a small computing device on the wrists of their. Additionally, special smartwatches designed for outdoor use often complement the other devices that are bulkier to make up an adventurer’s tool kit.

A Short History of the Smartwatch

While watches with digital capabilities have been around for a long time, with some that have features like calculators or unit converters — it was only in the 2010s technology companies began releasing watches that had smartphone-like capabilities.

Apple, Samsung, Sony along with other major companies offer smartwatches for the market for consumers however a tiny startup is credited with introducing the current-day smartwatch. The moment Pebble introduced the first of its smartwatches in 2013, they was able to raise the record amount of funds through Kickstarter and was able to sell more than a million units.

In the same way advancements in silicon miniaturization have allowed for the development of different types of smartwatches that are specifically designed for specific purposes. Companies such as Garmin for instance offer smartwatches, such as the Fenix models, which are more durable and streamlined with trackers and sensors to aid in back-country excursions. Additionally, companies like Suunto launched smartwatches designed to are able to withstand prolonged use at large depths.

What Do Smartwatches Do?

Most smartwatches–whether they’re intended for daily use (as with the Apple Watch) or for specific purposes (as with the Garmin Fenix)–offer a suite of standard features:

  • Notifications Notifications on smartphones to inform you of significant things or occasions. The kinds of notifications vary when that are connected to a smartphone might simply mirror notifications from the phone on your wrist, however other smartwatches show notifications that only wearables can provide. For instance, the most recent Apple Watch includes a fall sensor. In the event that you are prone to falling, the Apple Watch detects your subsequent movements. If it isn’t able to sense any movements, the watch issues an increasing number of notifications. If you don’t respond to the alert and the watch presumes that you’ve been injured and informs the police on your behalf.
  • Apps that display notifications from your smartphone the smartwatch is as efficient as the apps that it runs. App ecosystems are diverse and are tied to either Google or Apple’s ecosystems. Smartwatches that have a specific purpose like diving or hiking, usually come with the apps needed to achieve their goals, without having the option of adding additional apps.
  • Management of media The majority of smartwatches that are paired with smartphones will manage playback of media for you. For instance, if your listening to music on your iPhone with Apple’s AirPods you can utilize Apple Watch to control the volume and tracks. Apple Watch to alter the volume and track.
  • Answer voice messages Are you familiar with the classic Dick Tracy comics in which the detective’s hero used the watch as a telephone? Modern smartwatches that run either wear OS or watchOS operating system allow voice transcription.
  • Tracking your fitness If you’re an athlete who is a fervent one then a fitness band could be superior to the smartwatch. However, many smartwatches come with heart rate monitoring and an pedometer that helps you track your exercise routine.
  • GPS The majority of smartwatches have an GPS to track your location, or for receiving alerts specific to your location.
  • A long-lasting battery Modern smartwatches come with batteries that can last through the day with regular usage, but with a little of juice left to go. The battery capacity varies. Apple Watch typically gets 18 hours of regular usage on a single charge and the Pebble is able to last up to three or two days.

Types of Smartwatches

As a general rule, smartwatches are able to fill two different niches in the market for wearables. The first is a general-purpose device, similar to those like the Apple Watch and most Wear devices that are powered by Google–blend both form and functionality. They’re designed to replace mechanical wristwatches and are heavily smartphone-dependent. Imagine them as an accessory device for your smartphone that you keep around your wrist.

There are also vendor-specific classes of general-purpose smartwatches on the market for consumer use:

  • Apple Watch: Made for and distributed by Apple.
  • Wear watch designed and sold by numerous vendors made using the Google Wear operating system.
  • Watches with Tizen A proprietary operating system developed by Samsung for its well-known Galaxy series of smartwatches.

The second niche includes products designed for cases that are specifically intended for use. They typically offer an improved variant of the fitness tracker in that they are able to blend between a smartwatch that is phone-dependent as well as a stand-alone fitness tracker such as the Fitbit.

Examples of these devices are:

  • Watches for hiking intended to be used for travel by remote and with long-lasting batteries, GPS tracking and navigation essential vitals, as well as forecasting for weather. Most often, they are designed for superior protection against dust, bumps, drops and even water. For instance, such as the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, the Suunto 9 Baro, and the TomTom Adventurer.
  • Watches for diving Connect your first-stage regulator with an Bluetooth transmitter to operate an underwater watch. Garmin’s Descent Mk1 and Suunto’s DX provide time-remaining, depth, temperature, and many other vital indicators.
  • flying watches are a niche market however Garmin’s D2 Delta PX has on-wrist pulse Ox as well as a logbook, a moving map powered by GPS and NEXRAD weather.

Smartwatch Market Growth

Smartwatches climbed an upward trend in the latter part of 2010 in terms of their global market penetration. The data taken from Statista indicates that sales increased from five million units in 2014, to 140 million in the year the year 2018. Apple’s market share grew from 13 percent to 17% in the second quarter of fiscal 2017 through the same period in 2018. Apple had a year-over year growth by more than 38 percent on the Apple Watch Series 3, despite the fact its announcement that Series 4, a major upgrade was in the works.

In the same time frame that was covered, speciality vendors such as Garmin experienced an 4.1 percent growth in year-over year growth, whereas fitness tracker-only companies such as Fitbit experienced a 22% decline in market share.

Statista estimates that more than 130 million wearables be sold around the world by 2023.