Who Invented Smartwatch? A Detailed History

The first digital watch was “Pulsar” Invented by Hamilton Watch Firm which was launched in 1972. In 1978 the Brand “Pulsar” was acquired by Seiko. A Pulsar watch (NL C01) was launched in 1982 which was able to store 24 digits. This was the first watch that has user-programmable memory.

With the introduction of computers in the 1980s, Seiko started to develop computers in the form of watches. In 1983, The Data 2000 watch was introduced that included an exterior keyboard for data-entry. Data was synced from the key-board to the watch via electro-magnetic combining (wireless docking). Becuase Data 2000 watch was able to save 2000 characters, Its name is Data 2000. Its memory was tiny, at just 112 numbers. In 1984, it was released in gold, silver and also black models.


These versions were followed by lots of others by Seiko throughout the 1980s, most significantly the “RC Collection”. The RC-1000 Wrist Terminal was the very first Seiko model to interface with a computer, as well as was released in 1984. It was created by Seiko Epson and also was powered by a computer system on a chip and worked with most of the preferred Computers of that time, consisting of Apple II, II+ as well as IIe, the Commodore 64, IBM PC, NEC 8201, Tandy Shade Computer System, Model 1000, 1200, 2000 and TRS-80 Model I, III, 4 and 4p. The RC-20 Wrist Computer system was released in 1985, under the joint trademark name “Seiko Epson”. This was adhered to by the RC-4000 as well as RC-4500.

During the 1980s, Casio began to market a successful line of “computer watches“, in addition to its calculator watches. Many noteworthy was the Casio data bank series. Uniqueness “video game watches”, such as the Nelsonic video game watches, were likewise generated by Casio and various other companies.

The Timex Datalink watch, was introduced in 1994. The very early Timex Datalink Smartwatches understood a cordless information transfer setting to interact with a PC. Appointments and contacts created with Microsoft Schedule+, the predecessor of MS Outlook, could be easily sent to the watch via a screen blinking light protocol.

In 1998, Steve Mann invented, made, and also developed the world’s initial Linux watch, which he presented at IEEE ISSCC2000 on 7 February 2000, where he was called “the father of wearable computing”. In Linux Journal, Mann’s Linux watch showed up on the cover and also was the feature article of LJ issue 75. Seiko launched the Ruputer in Japan – a wristwatch computer system with a 3.6 MHz processor. It was not very successful, because instead of a touchscreen it made use of a joystick-like gadget to input chracters (similar to high ratings in arcade games), as well as the tv with a resolution at 102×64 in 4 greyscales made it tough to review big amounts of text. Outside of Japan, this watch was distributed as the Matsucom onHand PC. Regardless of the instead reduced need, the Matsucom onHand PC was distributed till 2006, making it a smartwatch with a rather long life process. Ruputer as well as onHand COMPUTER applications are fully suitable. This watch is sometimes considered the initial smartwatch because it was the first watch to supply graphics display screen (albeit monochrome) as well as many 3rd party applications (mostly homebrew).

In 1999, Samsung released the globe’s first watch phone, the SPH-WP10. It had a protruding antenna, a monochrome LCD display, and also a 90-minute of talk time with an integrated speaker and also microphone.

In June 2000, IBM displayed a model for a watch that ran Linux. The original variation had only 6 hours of battery life, which was later extended to 12. It included 8 MB of memory and also ran Linux 2.2. The gadget was later on updated with an accelerometer, vibrating system, and fingerprint sensor. IBM started collaboration with Citizen Watch Co. to develop the “WatchPad”. The WatchPad 1.5 features a 320 × 240 QVGA black and white touch delicate display screen as well as runs Linux 2.4. It additionally includes calendar software, Bluetooth, 8 MB of RAM, and also 16 MEGABYTES of flash memory. Citizens were wanting to market the watch to students and also businessmen, with a market price of around $399. Epson Seiko presented their Chrono-bit watch in September 2000. The Chrono-bit watches include a rotating bezel for data input, synchronize PIM information through serial cable television, and can pack custom-made watch faces.

In 2003, Fossil released the Wrist PDA, a watch which ran the Palm OS and also contained 8 MEGABYTES of RAM and 4 MB of flash memory. It consisted of an integrated in stylus pen to assist make use of the small monochrome display, which had a resolution of 160 × 160 pixels. Although lots of reviewers declared the watch revolutionary, it was slammed for its weight (108 grams) as well as was terminated in 2005.

In the same year, Microsoft introduced the SPOT smartwatch and it started hitting shops in very early 2004. SPOT stands for Smart Personal Objects Technology, a campaign by Microsoft to individualize family electronics and also various other daily gadgets. For example, the company demonstrated coffee makers, weather stations, and alarms including integrated AREA technology. The gadget was a standalone smartwatch that provided details at a glance where other tools would have required a lot more immersion and also communication. The information consisted of weather, news, stock rates, and also sporting activities ratings and was transmitted via FM waves. It was accessible with a yearly subscription that cost from $39 to $59.

The Microsoft SPOT Watch had a monochrome 90 × 126 pixel display. Fossil, Suunto, as well as Tissot also sold smartwatches running the SPOT modern technology. As an example, Fossil’s Abacus, which was a version of the Fossil Wrist PERSONAL ORGANIZER, retailed from $130 to $150.

Sony Ericsson teamed up with Fossils, and launched the very first watch, MBW-100, that linked to Bluetooth. This watch informed the user when getting calls and sms message. Though the watch was not preferred as it would just link and work with Sony Ericsson phones.
In 2009, Hermen van den Burg, CEO of Smartwatch and Burg Wearables, launched Burg the first standalone smartphone watch with its own sim card and not requiring to be tethered to a smartphone. Burg received the award for the Most Innovative Product at the Canton Fair in April 2009 Also, Samsung launched the S9110 Watch Phone which featured a 1.76-inch (45 mm) color LCD display and was 11.98 millimetres (0.472 in) thin.

In 2010, Sony Ericsson launches the Sony Ericsson LiveView, a wearable watch device that is basically an external Bluetooth display for an Android Smartphone.

Vyzin Electronics Private Limited launched a ZigBee enabled smartwatch with cellular connectivity for remote health monitoring called VESAG. Motorola released MOTOACTV on 6 November 2011.
Pebble (watch) was an innovative smartwatch that raised the most money at the time on Kickstarter reaching $10.3 Million between 12 April– 18 May 2012. The watch has a 32-millimetre (1.26 in) 144 × 168 pixel black and white memory LCD using an ultra-low-power “transflective LCD” manufactured by Sharp with a backlight, a vibrating motor, a magnetometer, ambient light sensors, and a three-axis accelerometer.

It can communicate with an Android or iOS device using both Bluetooth 2.1 and Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Low Energy) using Stonestreet One’s Bluetopia+ MFi software stack. Bluetooth 4.0 with low energy (LE) support was not initially enabled, but a firmware update in November 2013 enabled it. The watch is charged using a modified USB-cable that attaches magnetically to the watch to maintain water resistance capability. The battery was reported in April 2012 to last seven days. Based on feedback from Kickstarter backers, the developers added water-resistance to the list of features. The Pebble has a waterproof rating of 5 atm, which means it can be submerged down to 40 metres (130 ft) and has been tested in both fresh and salt water, allowing one to shower, dive or swim while wearing the watch.

In 2013, the claim to the first ever smartwatch to capture the full capability of a smartphone was laid by startup Omate with the TrueSmart. TrueSmart originated from a Kickstarter campaign that raised over 1 million dollars, making it the 5th most successful Kickstarter to date. TrueSmart made its public debut in early 2014. Consumer device analyst Avi Greengart, from research firm Current Analysis, suggested that 2013 may be the “year of the smartwatch”, as “the components have gotten small enough and cheap enough” and many consumers own smartphones that are compatible with a wearable device. Wearable technology, such as Google Glass, was speculated to evolve into a business worth US$ 6 billion annually, and a July 2013 media report revealed that the majority of major consumer electronics manufacturers were undertaking work on a smartwatch device at the time of publication. The retail price of a smartwatch could be over US$300, plus data charges, while the minimum cost of smartphone-linked devices may be US$100.

As of July 2013, the list of companies that were engaged in smartwatch development activities consists of Acer, Apple, BlackBerry, Foxconn/Hon Hai, Google, LG, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony, VESAG and Toshiba. Some notable omissions from this list include HP, HTC, Lenovo, and Nokia. Science and technology journalist Christopher Mims identified the following points in relation to the future of smartwatches:

The physical size of smartwatches is likely to be large. Insufficient battery life is an ongoing problem for smartwatch developers, as the battery life of devices at the time of publication was three to four days and this is likely to be reduced if further functions are added. New display technologies will be invented as a result of smartwatch research.
The success level of smartwatches is unpredictable, as they may follow a similar trajectory to netbooks, or they may fulfill aims akin to those of Google Glass, another wearable electronic product.

As of 4 September 2013, three new smartwatches had been launched: the Samsung Galaxy Gear, Sony SmartWatch 2, and the Qualcomm Toq. PHTL, a company based in Dallas, Texas, completed its crowd-funding process on Kickstarter for its HOT Watch smartwatch in September 2013. This device enables users to leave their handsets in their pockets since it has a speaker for phone calls in both quiet and noisy environments. In a September 2013 interview, Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky stated that his company was not interested in any acquisition offers, but revealed in a November 2013 interview, that his company has sold 190,000 smartwatches, the majority of which were sold after its Kickstarter campaign closed.
Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside confirmed that his company is working on a smartwatch during a December 2013 interview. Woodside showed an awareness of the difficulties that other companies have experienced with wrist-wearable technologies and explained:

At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, a large number of new smartwatches were released from various companies such as Razer Inc, Archos, and several other companies, as well as a few startups. Some had begun to call the 2014 CES, a “wrist revolution” because of the number of smartwatches released and the huge amount of publicity they began to receive at the start of 2014. At Google I/O on 25 June 2014, the Android Wear platform was introduced and the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live were released. The Wear-based Moto 360 was announced by Motorola in 2014. At the end of July, Swatch’s CEO Nick Hayek announced that they will launch a Swatch Touch with smartwatch technologies in 2015. In the UK, the Wearable Technology Show had its début in London and was host to several smartwatch companies exhibiting their newest models.

The launch of Samsung’s Gear S smartwatch was covered by the media in late August 2014. The model features a curved Super AMOLED display and a built-in 3G modem, with technology writer Darrell Etherington stating on the TechCrunch website, “we’re finally starting to see displays that wrap around the contours of the wrist, rather than sticking out as a traditional flat surface.” The corporation commenced selling the Gear S smartwatch in October 2014, alongside the Gear Circle headset accessory. At IFA 2014 Sony Mobile announced the third generation of its smartwatch series, the Sony Smartwatch 3 powered by Android Wear. Also, the Fashion Entertainments’ e-paper watch was announced.

On 9 September 2014, Apple Inc. announced its first smartwatch called Apple Watch to be released in early 2015. On 24 April 2015, Apple Watch began shipping across the world. Apple’s first try into wearable technology was met with considerable criticism during the pre-launch period, with many early technology reviews citing issues with battery life and hardware malfunctions. However, others praised Apple for creating a potentially fashionable device that can compete with “traditional watches,” not just the smartwatch industry in general. The watch only turns on when activated (either by lifting one’s wrist, touching the screen, or pressing a button). On 29 October 2014, Microsoft announced the Microsoft Band, a smart fitness tracker, and the company’s first venture into wrist-worn devices since SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology) a decade earlier. The Microsoft Band was released at $199 the following day, on 30 October 2014.

In October 2015, Samsung unveiled the Samsung Gear S2. It features a rotating bezel for ease of use and an IP68 rating for water resistance up to 1.5 meters deep in 30 minutes. The watch is compatible with industry-standard 20 mm straps.

At the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, Razer released the Nabu Watch, a dual-screen smartwatch: integrates an always-on illuminated backlit display, that takes care of some pretty standard features as date and time, and a second OLED screen, which is activated by raising your wrist, allows access to extra smart features. Luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer released TAG Heuer Connected, a smartwatch powered by Android Wear.

On 31 August 2016, Samsung unveiled the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch, with higher specification, there are at least two models, the Samsung Gear S3 Classic and the LTE version Samsung Gear S3 Frontier.
The top smartwatches that debuted at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show included the Casio WSD-F20, Misfit Wearables Vapor, and the Garmin Fenix 5 series. Apple released on 22 September 2017 their Apple Watch Series 3 model which offers built-in LTE cellular connectivity allowing phone calls, messaging, and data without relying on a nearby smartphone connection.

In its September 2018 keynote, Apple introduced a redesigned Apple Watch Series 4. It featured a larger display with smaller bezels, as well as an EKG feature that is built to detect abnormal heart function.
In Qualcomm’s September 2018 presentation, it unveiled its Snapdragon 3100 chip. It is a successor to the Wear 2100, and it includes greater power efficiency and a separate low-power core that can run basic watch functions as well as slightly more advanced functions, such as step tracking.

In 2020, the United States Food and Drug Administration granted marketing approval for an Apple Watch app called NightWare. The app aims to improve sleep for people suffering from PTSD-related nightmares, by vibrating when it detects a nightmare in progress based on monitoring heart rate and body movement.

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