SmartWatch: A smartphone for your wrist

Sony's new wrist-worn communication device brings our Star Trek future a baby step closer. Oh, and it tells time, too.

By TheWeek.com Apr 13, 2012 4:09PM

Struggling electronics giant Sony (SNE), searching for a hit product to return it to the top tier of gadget makers, may have found the answer: The SmartWatch. Debuting in the U.S. a month after it wowed Britain, the $150 SmartWatch is a bit like a smartphone for your wrist.


You can read email and text messages on its 1.3-inch OLED multi-touch screen, control a music library, and even trigger the camera shutter on your Google (GOOG) Android smartphone.


Here's what you should know.


How does the SmartWatch work?
If you want the watch to do more than tell time, pair it with any smartphone running Android 2.1 or higher using the watch's Bluetooth 3 connection and a free app from the Google Play Store. You can then draw off your smartphone's wireless connection to run mini-apps. "It's best to think of the SmartWatch as a remote control for your Android smartphone," says Eric Zeman at InformationWeek.


What kinds of things can it do?
So far, the SmartWatch runs at least 30 mini-apps, with another 30 coming very soon, and "some of them already seem like must-haves," says Chris Velazco at TechCruch: Facebook, Google Maps, a remote for your music player, email and text messages, and fitness apps. Plus, "I would use the hell out of this Find Phone app when my Galaxy Nexus inevitably goes missing around the house."


The timepiece also lets you send short, preset emails and text messages, and it vibrates when you get an incoming call, says InformationWeek's Zeman. But "as neat as the SmartWatch is, it is more or less simply a watch if there's no smartphone around." It has no headphone jack, for instance, and you can't store any music on the watch itself. 


Is this the first watch-smartphone hybrid?
No. It's not even Sony's first effort: In 2010, the company rolled out the Sony LiveView with much fanfare and little success. "Thankfully, Sony saw fit to include a full multi-touch display this time around instead of the awkward edge-only navigation scheme seen in the SmartWatch's forebear," says TechCrunch's Velazco. But the market is actually getting a little crowded. In September, red-hot Kickstarter project "Pebble" will start selling smartwatches that connect via Bluetooth with Android handsets and iPhones. Motorola (MMI) also has the MOTOACTV, which actually runs Android and can be used independent of a smartphone.


What sets Sony's SmartWatch apart?
Price, for one thing. At $100 less than the MOTOACTV, "Sony definitely seems to be gunning for the masses," says TechCrunch's Velazco. And it is "definitely worth a second look" if you can't be bothered with "the hassle of digging your phone out of your pocket." Still, is it worth $150? says Dana Wollman in Engadget. "That's a conversation you best have with your wallet."


Sources: CNET News, Engadget, InformationWeek, TechCrunch, TIME


More from The Week:

Tags: GOOGSNE
14Comments
Apr 13, 2012 6:27PM
avatar
Motorola had a wrist phone over 10 years ago..............blah...article....
Apr 13, 2012 8:50PM
avatar

Dick Tracy had a wrist phone like 60 years ago! Lol

 

Apr 14, 2012 2:42PM
Apr 13, 2012 8:45PM
avatar
"A remote control for your Android."  - This must be a joke!  Why in the world would a smartphone remote control be of any use to anyone?  Presumably your phone is right there in your pocket 2 inches from the watch! Pretty much everything they say this watch does can be done on any smartphone so I see no real reason why people would want to wear some nerdy watch when it's just as easy to pull out your smartphone.  Just like their 2010 watch, this will absolutely fail. 
Apr 13, 2012 8:45PM
avatar
good, now maybe my phone wont be taking pictures in my pocket anymore


Apr 16, 2012 11:52AM
avatar
does Dick Tracy come to mind ... SixTwo and Even...Over and out.....not a good idea...sorry
Apr 16, 2012 9:01AM
avatar
I just don't see a real use for this piece of POOpoo.  Like he said back in the 50's I can remember in the cartoons Dick Tracy had a watch phone.  It gave him a picture of who he was talking to.  We haven't gone that far just yet.  Don't want one.
Apr 16, 2012 10:58AM
avatar
The speed at which technology in this area is advancing is amazing, companies keep you spending on so called things you can't live without.  That said I'll save my money and get the implant phone in six months it's sure to come.
Apr 16, 2012 12:55PM
avatar
A friend of mine has this watch and stopped using it pretty much the day he got it. First off, it has no real watch capabilities, it gets its time from your phone, meaning if you don't have your phone with you, the watch doesn't know what time it is. Second, the bluetooth is unreliable and disconnects frequently if you are more than 3+ feet away from your phone. Not to mention it's pretty clunky. Maybe if they can work out the kinks it might be worth it, but I still don't see the point of it.
Apr 14, 2012 2:30AM
avatar

I agree with the posts that say this so called gadget is ho hum.

SONY do a real smartphone watch, instead of an accessory for a phone.

Bet Apple will one up it. 

Apr 13, 2012 6:53PM
avatar
i am a star trek fan that watch is A M A Z I N  GGGGGGGGGGG wowSmile
Apr 16, 2012 11:44AM
avatar

When they can start making wrist bracers that are like the ones in the Sci-Fi movies that talk to you, give you directions, tell you if your sick or hurt, and have holo projectors in them, thats when I will start buying them.  Its much more convient to have something hooked to your wrist, never have to worry about leaving somewhere or dropping it.  Make it waterproof also so you don't have to take it off unless you want to.

Apr 16, 2012 11:14AM
avatar

I c no real point...Anyway...ppl will will just end up stealin it anyway..

 

Apr 16, 2012 11:14AM
avatar

I c no real point...Anyway...ppl​ will will just end up stealin it anyway..

 

Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

STOCK SCOUTER

StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

124
124 rated 1
266
266 rated 2
452
452 rated 3
702
702 rated 4
671
671 rated 5
604
604 rated 6
640
640 rated 7
495
495 rated 8
267
267 rated 9
158
158 rated 10
12345678910

Top Picks

SYMBOLNAMERATING
AAPLAPPLE Inc10
ABBVABBVIE Inc10
ATVIACTIVISION BLIZZARD Inc10
CTSHCOGNIZANT TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS10
LUVSOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.10
More

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

ABOUT

Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.