Keep an Eye on the Time: Smartwatches

Marty McFly would definitely be all over this breaking news—or at least, he’d try and leak it. The tech industry is constantly adapting to the needs of consumers. The world as we know it is futuristic in itself; as navigating gadgetry and digital competency are fast-becoming crucial life skills, not simply a useful plethora of devices that simplify our lives. So with Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear, one can look forward to the release of Microsoft’s rendition.

But first, let’s actually go back in time.

Microsoft was already ahead of the game back in 2004 when they actually created the “first” smartwatch. Doesn’t sound too familiar, right? That’s because it was created during the time when cellular broadband was just reaching its fullest potential and this smartwatch (called the SPOT, a.k.a.: Smart Personal Object Technology) relied on one-way FM radio for data—so it quickly fell to the wayside.

However, this SPOT had the right idea for the future: it showed you the weather, as well as the stock market, it allowed you to pick different ways your watch could present time, it let you create appointments on your calendar, it showed you movie times, and of course had the futuristic touch screen.

So, what can this mean for Window’s next watch? There have been plenty of rumors floating around the techy world, and many people are getting anxious to see what Microsoft comes up with.

It was first said that the project was placed under the Xbox team, BUT, another rumor quickly spread, claiming that the project was moved to the developers responsible for creating the Surface Tablets. This quickly changed the game

Surface tablets and the smartwatch share more than a dev dad, they both are powered by adapted forms of Windows 8. Microsoft has been generating hype and redoubled its advertising push for Windows 8. The word that Win8 will be fueling the Microsoft smartwatch helps explain the intensity of the recent marketing buzz.

Google has been following a similar plan by releasing Google Now in anticipation the release of its own smartphone. Familiarizing the public with the layout and design of the fuel behind the screen is a genius marketing push for both as it graduates the learning curve that adopters will have to scale, lowering the risk of consumer outcry and rejection. As Samsung has shown, appeasing customer expectations for a device that could be perceived as simultaneously “too big and too small” is a tricky balancing act.

It appears that Microsoft is taking the safe bet by holding off on their release as they are able to observe the high and low selling points Samsung is now fielding. Although they will miss out on the holiday tech gift market, it will probably be worth it to establish long-term credibility; however with both Apple and Google slating their smartwatches to premiere in early 2014, this could produce some fierce competition. In the end, though, this means a big win for us tech consumers and early adapter. It’s time to set our clocks forward.