Remember the Casio calculator watches of the 1980s? They weren’t very practical but they marked a big change in how we view wristwatches. Subsequent attempts to sync watches with your PC haven’t been all that successful and, over the last 30 years, progress has been slow. But now that looks set to change with smart watches. Here we look at 5 of the best out there.
Billed as “the world’s first real smart watch”, the Italian-made i’m watch is one of the most expensive on the market, with prices starting from $469 and going beyond $2,000. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth and allows you to check email, get social updates and play music. You can even be very James Bond-like and make calls direct from your wrist using the watch’s built-in microphone and speaker.
The Sony SmartWatch is one of the most competitively priced smart watches on the market, at just $149. It is optimized for Sony Xperia smartphones, but will run with pretty much any Android handset. All you need is Sony’s LiveWare app along with the SmartWatch plug-in. With this watch, you can check your messages, play your favourite music, check Facebook and Twitter, and even perform some camera functions as well.
If you’re a keen runner like me, then maybe this is the watch for you. It will use the GPS to track your running routes, tell you how many calories you’ve burned and play your chosen music to help keep you motivated – all for just $249.
WIMM One Watch
This Android-based module can be incorporated into a watch strap, belt clip or a pendant. Unlike many other smart watches, it doesn’t have to be tethered to a phone but can instead get its updates via WiFi. With a custom version of Android and its own micro app store, you can use this watch to keep up to date with news, weather and the various social media channels.
The Pebble raised over $10,000,000 in backing on Google Kickstarter. It is fully customisable with different watch faces available and a range of fitness apps. This might just be the one that makes smart watches more mainstream – and you can pre-order one for just $150.