n. A wristwatch that can run apps, access the internet, and contains one or more sensors.
Hypponen's quirky use of his Pebble is at least one answer to the question: what are smartwatches for? As sales of smartphones slacken, because almost everyone who wants one has one, hardware companies are looking around for other gadgets to sell us. And the smartwatch is their latest idea.
A decade ago, Nick Hayek, chief executive of the Swatch Group, and Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, introduced in New York a new kind of watch called the Paparazzi. It was presented as the pioneer of the so-called smartwatch, giving the wearer access to news, stock quotes and other data via Microsoft’s MSN service.
Casio, Citizen, and Seiko are all reportedly working on "smart" watches equipped with LCD displays showing 14 to 16 characters of text. The devices will also feature tiny infrared ports that enable users todownload contact-management data, schedule data, and other information from PCs. The watches will include 2MB of flash memory, with storage capabilities of up to 256K. Representatives of the three companieswould not confirm release dates for the smart watches, but industry sources predict they will be shipped in early 1997.