Watch out for smartwatches

As if you needed a reason to upgrade

Jacob Prosser

College students practically live on their phones. Between texting and checking other notifications, we are constantly moving our phones between hand and pocket. What if there was a way to check all of our notifications without always reaching for our phones?

Meet the smartwatch.

The goal of a smartwatch is to provide the user with quicker access to valuable information without extra hassle. The concept in itself is nothing new, as early versions of smartwatches were in production as early as the 80s. However, with the explosion of smartphones in the past 10 years, the uses for a wearable device like this has exploded as well.

The recent smartwatches on the market (such as the Galaxy Gear, Moto 360, and Pebble) work in tandem with your smartphone—they sync and pair via bluetooth and any notifications received are sent to the smartwatch. This eliminates the constant need to take out the phone itself. Those used to wearing watches for checking the time will feel at ease glancing at their smartwatch to check notifications.

Not only do they give users information at a glance, but they also give the user the ability to respond and interact to the notifications. For example, you can respond to a text with nothing but your voice using voice dictation and turn your voice into text. Some smartwatches are even equipped with cameras that allow quick access to capture moments as they happen.

Smartwatch creators know that fashion is at the top of the consumer’s mind. Apple’s recently announced Apple Watch (which works alongside the iPhone 5 and up and is releasing early 2015) tries to keep things classy and customizable. The Apple Watch will come in several variations with three different models, two different sizes, and many different wristband styles and colors to really allow users to make it their own.

Much like last week’s article on virtual reality headsets, smartwatches are still up and coming technology. The functionality that they bring and how well it is incorporated will, once again, determine if they catch on. Smartwatches are improving, and, with Apple jumping on board, we will see if a niche market can become mainstream.

Jacob is a sophomore studying communication.