A smartwatch is a watch with smartphone properties

A smartwatch is a watch that has many additional sensors, actuators and computer functionality like a smartphone, and can be connected to a computer. A smartwatch can display more information than just the time, and new apps with new features can be added by the user. Manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung Galaxy, Sony and Motorola all offer smartwatches.

Smartwatches usually connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth, and do not only show the time, but also a wide range of adjustable information such as RSS feeds, Tweets or emails – data that usually is first shown on the telephone. A discreet glance at the clock is enough to see the information and, if necessary, to respond. The smartphone stays in your pocket – which is incredibly practical in situations in restaurants or while jogging.

Using a smartwatch offers a convenience that is useful in many situations. Sometimes you need to use your phone, but it’s not possible – whether simply inconvenient or impolite. There is also another problem: the battery life of the device. It is an important prerequisite for keeping the promises of the “new” device class, in order to offer more convenience. Nobody wants to charge their smartwatch as often as they do their smartphone.

There are smartwatches from various providers

Sony brought out their smartwatch version in 2012, a watch with OLED-Multitouch-Screen and a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels. The device does not need to be worn with a watch strap, but can also be attached to a piece of clothing. The smartwatch from Sony connects to an Android smartphone via Bluetooth. Once both devices are connected, the user can, for example, control the music player on the smartphone through the smartwatch. Facebook status updates can be displayed and even liked through the watch’s display. A simple call manager shows calls; users can also reject or mute incoming calls. The watch can even vibrate for incoming calls if needed.

Another provider, the Italian start-up „i’m S.p.A.” released the „i’m Watch“ on the market, which resembles a smartphone with regards to hardware and functionality. The Flash memory can be used to store music directly on the watch. A Bluetooth connection is also used here to show information on your watch from your smartphone. A number of apps can be downloaded, such as to display Tweets or Facebook status notifications. The „i’m Watch“ has a special feature: the watch features a hands-free systems which makes it possible to make calls through the smartphone without additional hardware. Accelerometers and magnetometers provide additional features like a pedometer and compass. The disadvantage of the device? The low battery life. When Bluetooth is turned on and continuously connected to the smartphone, the stand-by mode only lasts 24 hours. It is critical when making calls: this reduces the operating time of the smartwatch to only three hours.

You can find more information on smartwatches on Wikipedia: