Close at Hand: The Rise of Wearable Tech

By Chase Collum

Apple wasn’t the first to design a smart watch, but it comes as no surprise that the company credited with creation of the first personal computer may be the first to get it right. And it’s about time. Wearables have been seeping into the tech scene over the last decade, mostly because powerful computing hardware can be packed into extremely small packages these days. Most wearables introduced so far are either simplistic or ridiculous (like Google Glass), but somewhere along the line someone came up with an idea that is gaining traction: The smartwatch.

The first truly viable smartwatch arrived in the form of the Pebble and Pebble Steel watches, introduced in July 2013 after a highly-successful Kickstarter campaign raised more than $10 million from 85,000 donors, far exceeding the creators’ original $200,000 goal. Samsung was not far behind with the introduction of Galaxy Gear last fall, which had serious shortcomings that were addressed to a certain degree with their second generation Gear earlier this year. More recently, Motorola introduced its Moto 360 smartwatch, which we think deserves props for actually looking like a watch. And finally, in a surprise announcement at their most recent unveiling, Apple entered the wearable tech scene with its new unexcitingly named Apple Watch.

The truth is, wearable tech innovators are taking major strides, but they have yet to come up with a truly great original idea that they can integrate into their products. Tech geeks are looking to see more precise applications of the smartwatch that make them into more than mere extensions of smartphone technology. On a positive note, wearables are beginning to grow out of their awkward stage, and there are finally some options you could wear in Queens without getting too many sideways looks.


• S1 Chip Stack integrated computer

   • Sapphire Crystal Display in 38mm and 42mm casings with 240×320 resolution

   • 802.11b/g wifi and Bluetooth 4.0

Battery Life and Charger:
  • Unannounced, though execs  say it should last through a “typical  day”

Two sizes:
   • 38 mm and 42 mm

 • Several casings, bands and faces to choose from

Additional Features:
• Built-in speaker and microphone for quick chats
   • Digital Touch features allows sending of images rather than using words, photos or emoticons.
   • Tools include Sketch, Walkie-Talkie, Tap notification, and Heartbeat
  • Measures movement through Activity app, which tells you how much standing, exercising and moving, including how many calories you’ve burned
• Workout App, including Goals, Reminders and Achievements with ability to track progress over   time on your iPhone


   • 1 Ghz Dual-core chip with 512 MB ROM

   • 1.84” curved glass sAMOLED display with 320×320 resolution

   • USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.0 and wifi

Battery Life and Charger:
   • The Gear uses an awkward clip-on charger, which is a downside, but it lasts for about two days before needing a recharge

   • Available as standard model or NEO sports version

Additional Features:
   • 2 megapixel built-in camera
   • Personalized fitness manager
   • Music on the go
   • Dust & water resistant
   • WatchON Remote control compatible with most TVs and set top boxes
   • Compatible with Android and iOS devices

Motorolla Moto 360MOTOROLA MOTO 360

   • Texas Instruments OMAP 3 with 4GB eMMC and 512MB RAM

   • 1.56” Backlit LCD IPS screen with 320×290 resolution 

   • Bluetooth 4.0 LE

Battery Life and Charging:
   • A recent update has boosted battery life to somewhere between 16-20 hours on a single charge. Charged via placement on USB-connected charging stand

Additional Features:
   • Android Wear operating system
   • Compatible with smartphones using Android 4.3 and later
   • Dual Microphone
   • 9-axis gyroscope/compass/accelerometer sensors with pedometer and optical heart rate monitor
   • Dust & Water Resistant

Pebble and Pebble SteelPEBBLE and PEBBLE STEEL

   • ARM-Cortex M3 processor capable of up to 80Mhz with 512MB RAM

   • 1.26” Black and White 144×168 e-ink display 

   • USB and Bluetooth 4.0

Battery Life and Charging:
   • Lithium-Ion polymer battery with USB charging cable with magnetic connector lasts for about a week between full charges

Additional Features:
   • Equipped with Pebble OS
   • Headphone connection
   • 3D Accelerometer
   • E-compass ready
   • Ambient light sensors
   • Water resistant up to 5 meters

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Posted by on Oct 30 2014. Filed under Featured Articles, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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