2013 is quickly shaping up to be ‘the year of the smart watch’, as early entries hit the market (Pebble, Metawatch, I’m watch, etc). Following closely behind are an increasing number of big players, few of whom admit to working on a smartwatch but all suspected of doing so. Among them, Apple, Google, LG, and Samsung. Whether products from those bigger companies will hit the market in 2013 is a bit uncertain, but I’d say it’s very likely that at least two of those companies will be shipping a smartwatch in time for Christmas. As the early entries show, the technology is mostly here, with issues seeming to revolve around battery life and overall software/usability.
There’s a new smartwatch on the market, called the i’m Watch. Starting at $349, it acts as an extension of your smartphone, much like the Pebble Smartwatch was designed to be. One cool feature it has though is a speakerphone! The rest is as you’d expect – SMS messages, e-mail, appointments, etc. There are some nice potential fitness applications, too, though from what I saw they seem a bit underdeveloped (for example, GPS tracking appeared lacking).
What’s really interesting here is how this and the Pebble watch are both entering the market a bit rough but seem to have promise. It’s generally accepted that Apple is looking into this market…which in itself means nothing, but you look at the level these watches are at and they’re really close to where Apple would probably need the technology to be. I’d bet good money we see an iWatch hit the market in 2013. Whether or not that happens though, this is a market that is definitely heating up and we’ll see many more companies enter it this year.