A Brief History: Smartwatches

A Brief History on Smartwatches

One of the hallmarks of modern innovation is the drive to put big features into small packages, and wearable technology is at the forefront of that effort. The smartwatch is one of the more popular examples of these products, as it puts an entire suite of functionality on a user’s wrist for easy access. While it might seem as if smartwatches are new on the scene, smart timepieces have actually been around for quite a while. Here’s a brief look at how these devices have evolved over the years.

The Early Years

Digital watches first hit the scene in the early 1970s, and manufacturers immediately began working on harnessing the capabilities of the LCD screen to display additional information. In the span of a decade, the first models capable of interfacing with computers came to market, followed by novelty devices such as timepieces integrated with calculators, video games and even television remote controls. While these devices represented a small fraction of the timepiece market, the seeds were being planted for the future.

Continuing Advancement

By the middle of the 1990s, timepieces were able to display appointments and contact information after syncing with personal computers via wireless connections. Other smart watches with athletic tracking capabilities such as pedometers and altimeters came to market and revolutionized training. By the end of the decade, the first watches with cell phone functionality delivered significant talk time. As technology continued to evolve, devices with touch screens put the power of a PDA on the user’s wrist.

Bluetooth Integration

With the continuing spread of Bluetooth technology, the smartwatch quickly became an auxiliary screen for the user’s cell phone. When combined with activity trackers, heart rate monitors and other sensors, these devices could transmit data back to a smartphone to help create an athletic profile for weight loss and other training endeavors.

Modern Smartwatches

Following the exponential evolution in technology, today’s smartwatches bear little in resemblance to their forbearers. While some devices use brilliant displays to mimic analog timepieces when not in use, others such as the Garmin Fenix 5x integrate an entire suite of athletic functionality:

  • GPS technology for route maps and navigation
  • Training statistic reports
  • Connection with other users for group exercise
  • Analysis of your actual running motion and estimates for when your muscles will begin to fatigue

With such rapid advancement in technology, it’s easy to see why the market for wearable sensors is expected to grow in the coming years. By 2025, it’s estimated that more than 3 billion wearables will be in use, and smartwatches will make up a significant portion of those devices. If you’re interested in keeping up with the latest developments in the health tracking industry, stay in touch with Rubis for frequent updates on new products and trends.