What is a Smart Watch?

Smartwatches are loaded with apps that are normally available on smartphones.

A Smartwatch. Source

A technological sensation

As the decades go by, technological devices have become smaller yet even more functional. Individuals can now access features akin to that of supercomputers on devices as small as necklaces and wristwatches. Generally referred to as smart wear or wearables, these technologies are portable and worn in place of traditional fashion accessories. They include:

  • GPS (Global Positioning Software) Tracking Devices
  • Fitness Trackers
  • Smart Clothes
  • Smartwatches

The wearable device market has witnessed a steady rise over the past decades. By 2021, 86 million smartwatches are expected to be shipped, double that of 2017. By 2022, shipment of wearable devices in general is expected to hit almost 190 million units.

According to an IDC report, global shipments of smartwatches witnessed an 8.5 percent growth in 2018 alone. By the year 2020, smartwatches are expected to account for over 63 percent of the smart wear market.

What is a Smartwatch?

A smartwatch is a wearable piece of technology fashioned to resemble traditional wristwatches. However, smartwatches do a lot more than tell you what time it is.

Smartwatches – like smartphones and computers – offer accessibility to several applications and features that give users the ability to perform a number of tasks from the comfort of their wrists.

Smartwatches can be stand-alone or purpose-specific devices. They can either work by themselves or work in conjunction with smartphones. Smartwatches which work by themselves must utilize SIM cards as they often need internet connectivity to function.

Smartwatches are an essential piece of technology in today’s world. To satisfy a wide variety of needs in users, technological devices of this age are designed to perform more than one function. The smartwatch is no different, combining several functions that make it a coveted gadget in the today’s world.

Features of Smartwatches

The smartwatch market is heavily competitive. To stay competitive, smartwatch manufacturers include all types of features in their devices to make them devices stand out in the heavily saturated market.

Smartwatches typically come with the following features:

  • Alerts/notifications
  • Media management
  • Applications
  • Messaging capabilities
  • Fitness tracking
  • Calls
  • GPS (Global Positioning Software)
  • Playing music
  • Speech-to-text

What are Smartwatches Used For?

Smartwatches are capable of performing a number of tasks. Their uses can be attributed to the additional features embedded within.

Smartwatches can be used for:

  • Alerts and notifications: One of the primary functions of smartwatches is to display alerts and notifications from its connected devices. Notifications differ according to the type of smartwatch – some watches mirror what a connected device receives while others display notifications particular to the smart device.
  • Application connectivity: Aside from alerts and notifications, another primary function of smartwatches is application connectivity. Certain applications are designed to support smartwatches – especially health and fitness applications. In these applications, features can be accessed via smartwatches, giving users a wide range of device compatibility.
  • Health and fitness tracking: Smartwatches are a beneficial asset to individuals who desire to keep regular tabs on their health and vital organs, as they can be effectively utilized in monitoring the users’ health and bodily functions. A smartwatch can monitor its wearer’s heart rate and act as a pedometer to keep track of physical activity, as well as other health-related functions.
  • Location services: Many smartwatches are enabled with GPS (Global Positioning System) capabilities. The presence of GPS in smartwatches enables users to access locations on satellite maps. In some watches, wearers also have the ability to track other GPS wearers.

Who makes smartwatches?

There are a number of manufacturers for smartwatches. Smartwatches are manufactured by technological companies that are also known to manufacture items such as fitness trackers, child trackers and broad spectrum smart wear. The top five smartwatch manufacturers are:

  • Apple
  • Xiaomi
  • Huawei
  • Fitbit
  • Samsung

Global smartwatch market.

Top 5 smartwatch manufacturers according to IDC. Source

Final Words

Smartwatches are a must for any technological enthusiast. A small, portable device which combines the functionality of a wide array of gadgets, while maintaining a simple design, smartwatches go further than traditional smart devices in terms of convenience and portability. For the health conscious, these devices may prove even more efficient than others, given the fact that they are designed to be worn most of the time, if not at all times. The same applies to the fitness enthusiasts, or the parent that’s simply looking for a way to keep track of a child.



Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.