I have been following announcements and launches of Smartwatches for sometime now, mainly because I love gadgets and also because they will open a whole new avenue of App Development for companies like us and I thought I will share here various options you have if you are also looking for a Smartwatch yourself. Most of these Smartwatches work well with a smartphone, so if you are still stuck with a basic phone then you first need to switch to a Smartphone 🙂
1. Pebble – Costs $150 (₹ 8000 Approx.), works with iPhone or Android, can show you incoming caller id, SMS, email, Facebook messages etc and yes its also a watch and you can change and customize watchfaces, you can change from analog to digital watch, you can change your dial (virtual dial to be precise) and match it with your mood or costume, whatever suites you. It runs on battery which as par their claim lasts a week, Watch is water resistant as well so you can go for a swim or take shower or soak in rains without worrying about your watch. But the coolest feature for me is it’s back-light which can be turned on by just shaking your wrist. Cool isn’t it? Interested?? Go Order one for yourself on their website and yes you can develop apps for Pebble, details are here and you can also develop from anywhere using CloudPebble.
2. Agent – Costs $149 (₹ 8000 Approx.) on Kickstarter till 20th June, and will cost $249 after that in open market. Works with iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. Agent is the newest kid on the block with its Kickstarter campaign ending on 20th June 2013. Although Pebble fans have dismissed it as a thick and ugly copy of Pebble, it does have some some interesting extra features like it has a battery-saver mode where it will act only as watch and can go on for 30 days without charging, battery is replaceable unlike Pebble, wireless charging (Lumia 920 or Nexus wireless charger will charge this watch). In general it has got better specs than Pebble and hence the increased cost. Also you will need to buy a wireless charger if you don’t own one already so add that to its price as well. Check more details on their website. You can develop for Agent using Visual Studio and .NET Micro Framework and you can start now.
3. Others – I would like to mention a couple of Android SmartWatches which are already available. There is this ‘Made in Italy’ i’m Watch which costs $299 (₹ 16,000 Approx.) and then Sony SmartWatch (Compatible only with Android Smartphone) which is available on Flipkart for ₹ 6743. Both these watches offer some of the features of Pebble and Agent, however I think these watches are like mobile phones when it comes to charging as they will probably need daily recharging routine. You can obviously develop apps for them using Java and Eclipse with Android SDK. You can sign-up as i’m Watch developer Here, but Sony has not specified any developer program for its SmartWatch.
4. Still to Come – Rumor mill is abuzz with Google launching a SmartWatch soon, but most awaited SmartWatch if rumors prove to be true is obviously Apple’s i’Watch which is probably still a year away according to most websites, however ComputerWorld‘s latest blog post suggests that Product Tests have already begun. It will be interesting to see, how market dynamics change once Apple or Google launch their own SmartWatch.
Update 23 August 2013 – I agree this list is not exhaustive and some readers have complained about it. While I don’t want to spend time writing a lengthy post, I thought I can atleast mention other smartwatch options available in market and here they are:
- Cookoo – Looks really cool, comes in vibrant colors, has replaceable battery, can locate your phone.
- Martian Watches – Stylish and Masculine looks, voice controls, microphone and speaker to let you take calls directly on watch
- Omate – Smartwatch that can be used as standalone phone as well. Runs Android.
- Then there are others like Vachen and Metawatch as well.