How the Sony Smartwatch Works

It's weird to think with the intention of something time was as ever-present as the wristwatch is at the present an scarce species, rendered pointless by the timer demonstrate on mobile phones. According to the consumer delve into determined Experian Simmons, a moment ago 42 million Americans bought a watch intended for themselves in 2011, down from 55 million in 2004 [source: Goetz]. All the rage the UK, a hot study showed with the intention of 14 percent of the in the public domain -- and 28 percent of persons involving ages 15 and 24 -- saying thumbs down need intended for a watch around their wrist anymore [source: McFarlane].

So, faced with apt little more than a dusty museum member, perhaps it was inevitable with the intention of watches -- like phones, coffee makers, refrigerators, automobiles and even whole houses -- would develop into "smart," i.E., equipped with microprocessors, software and wireless associations with the intention of allow them to present all sorts of functions clear of the lone intended for which they originally were intended.

It's uncertain who essential came up with the intention of rotary the watch into a tiny mainframe with communications and networking capabilities. All the rage the dear departed 1990s, Swiss watchmaker Swatch and Dutch electronics giant Phillips tested a watch equipped with a radio-frequency identification mark with the intention of enabled it to salary subway fares and ski-lift fees [source: Taggart]. 

One of the essential multi-featured diplomacy might give birth to been a wristwatch-sized mainframe equipped with both a touchscreen and a microphone intended for voice-activated apps and communicating, urban by Chandra Narayanaswami of IBM back in 2000 [source: Eisenberg]. All the rage 2003, watchmaker Fossil, Microsoft and handheld mainframe maker Palm teamed up to develop the SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology) watch, a device equipped to wirelessly receive sell quotation marks, propel and receive split second messages and make sure of other stuff with the intention of seemed utterly cool by the period [source: McHugh].

Since after that, we've seen the advent of hugely more powerful, sophisticated smart watches. One of the newest, the $149 Sony SmartWatch, is designed to make sure of a luck of the things you count on your smartphone to make sure of, such as accessing your digital tune collection and keeping you plugged in to social networks. Better yet, it can make sure of persons things exclusive of requiring you to stretch to into your steal or dig through your purse -- which might be lone deep help with the intention of wristwatches still give birth to larger than phones [source: Sony.Com].

What makes the Sony SmartWatch smart?

With its touchscreen demonstrate and icons, the Sony SmartWatch looks a luck like a really, really small Android smartphone. It's a moment ago 1.42 inches by 1.42 inches (3.6 by 3.6 centimeters) across, 0.3 inches (0.7 centimeters) in thickness, and weighs 0.55 ounces (15.5 grams) (somewhat fewer than the posse to which it's attached) [source: Sony.Com].

But while the SmartWatch lacks heft, it as well demonstrates a moment ago how far the state of the art in smallness has approach. While Sony doesn't release much roughly the hardware inside, the gadget-hacking Web position CMW, which dismantled lone of the watches, reports with the intention of it sports a CPU with the intention of runs by 120 MHz, 128 kilobytes of RAM, and a broad megabyte of dash reminiscence intended for storage space [sources: Murph, CMW]. That's more electronic muscle than more or less laptop computers had a team of decades past, and it enables the SmartWatch to run a stripped-down operating procedure that's compatible with Google's Android OS intended for phones, make available 2.1 and up [source: Sony].

That continue part is crucial, since as you aren't using the SmartWatch to check the period, it effectively functions as a Bluetooth-equipped peripheral add-on to your Android phone, piggybacking on the latter's wireless Internet connection. For more or less functions, such as tune, it acts like a remote control, sifting through the phone's multiple gigabytes of storage space to top quality and recreation songs. When the phone rings, you as well can purpose the watch air to check who's calling you, and after that -- provided you're as well wearing a Bluetooth earpiece and microphone -- you can even answer the call exclusive of taking the phone dated of your steal or handbag [source: Olivarez-Giles].

But that's not the really sexy stuff. The SmartWatch can run its own teeny-weeny apps from Google's Play put in safekeeping or Sony LiveWare as well [source: Bennett]. Those enable you to check your e-mail inbox, read texts, Tweets and Facebook posts, and even check the weather [source: Olivarez-Giles]. You can scroll through the apps by swiping a finger from desirable to missing, while swiping downward eventually as well gets you into an app tray related to the lone on Android phones [source: Bennett].

SmartWatch Pros, Cons and Competition

It must be mentioned with the intention of Sony isn't the merely manufacturer vying to trade your watch with a multi-function thingamajig that'll enable you to hint a perfectly, frequently connected wireless lifestyle. There's as well the Motorola MotoACTV, which is not merely designed to augment Motorola's RAZR phones, but as well enables you to watch your sympathy rate and check your route with a GPS mark while running or cycling [source: Oliver]. And there's as well upstart tech company Allerta's in mint condition Pebble, which is so trendy with the intention of its development was partly funded by $4.7 million obtained through the crowd micro-financing position Kickstarter [source: Kim]. Unlike the Sony SmartWatch, the Pebble is designed to drive with both iPhones and Android phones [source: Rieland].

So, how does the SmartWatch stack up in contrast to the competition? According to CNET reviewer Brian Barrett, the device has both strong and weak points. Its miniscule size makes it a luck more portable and fewer forward than the bulkier MotoACTV, and the elegant design and variety of stylish dyed wristbands unfilled create the SmartWatch into a polite create belt. But while Barrett was by a long shot able to download and install apps, he found with the intention of more or less of them were glitch-ridden, and either didn't fully drive or caused the watch to crash and reboot. The SmartWatch's battery life was an additional downside, since it's way shorter than a square watch. Barrett found with the intention of he looked-for to revive it by smallest amount each two days, not even close to Sony's claimed longevity of four days [source: Barrett].

Slashgear reviewer Chris Davies prominent with the intention of the SmartWatch, like other smart watches, as well has a strategic limitation: Unlike a smartphone, its tiny screen is too small to tap dated responses to your social media jet, e-mail and texts, which downsizes your interactions into one-sided e-mail [source: Davies].


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