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2014 projected as a breakthrough year for smartwatches

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#1 +V-Tech


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Posted 17 July 2013 - 05:57



Although smartwatches aren’t likely to be the “next big thing” along the lines of smartphones or tablets, they are likely to have a big breakthrough in 2014 when Apple, Samsung and others will likely release their own wearable computers to the world. The latest research from Canalys projects that smartwatches “are set to explode by the end of 2014″ when vendors will ship more than 5 million units, a 900% increase from the number of units Canalys expects vendors to ship this year. Canalys says that many of the smartwatches released next year will have important new features including “glanceable information, integration across sensors and hooks into web services” that will make them far more desirable to consumers than early smartwatch models. Canalys’s press release follows below.


Over 5 million smart watches to ship in 2014
A 900% increase over forecasted shipments for 2013 with new entrants set to ignite the market
Shanghai, Palo Alto, Singapore and Reading – Tuesday, July 16, 2013 — The worldwide smart watch market will exceed 5 million unit shipments in 2014 according to the latest Canalys forecasts. Canalys estimates that over 330,000 smart watches were shipped in 2012, led by Sony and Motorola. Kickstarter-backed Pebble Technology has joined Sony as a market leader in 2013; over 500,000 units will be shipped this year. Smart watches are then set to explode by the end of 2014, growing tenfold as a new generation of devices from Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and others are launched.
Unlike earlier products, these smart watches will provide more sophisticated software and more elegant hardware. Glanceable information, integration across sensors and hooks into web services will be key features. These companion devices will not replace smart phones, but rather complement them as ‘appcessories’.
‘Smart watches will be the most important new product category in consumer electronics since the iPad defined the market for tablets,’ said Chris Jones, Canalys VP and Principal Analyst. ‘Software platforms tied to smart watches will also be a tremendous opportunity for developers to write apps in categories such as health and wellness or sports and fitness.’
Hardware design will be critical for smart watches, as consumers will only want to wear fashionable products. The market for traditional watches will quickly be disrupted once consumers determine that smart watches add sufficiently valuable functionality to their lives while being ‘stylish enough’. Canalys estimates that over a billion watches were shipped in 2012.
Device vendors will face a number of tough challenges. ‘Strict power constraints will prohibit cellular technology, limit the number of sensors and necessitate communication with smart phones over Bluetooth Low Energy,’ according to Canalys Analyst Daniel Matte. ‘ARM architecture licensees that design custom silicon will enjoy significant hardware advantages in this space.’
Smart watches will also require custom software. ‘An effective smart watch won’t just be a second screen for a smart phone. Creating a competent developer platform specifically for the form factor will be an enormous challenge,’ said Canalys Analyst James Wang. ‘Google and Microsoft must execute more successfully than they have done with their tablet platforms and will have to adapt their business models appropriately.’
Technology companies can’t afford to wait. Innovative companies that create compelling apps will be best poised to capitalize on this major market opportunity.
Canalys defines smart watches as smart wearable bands. Smart wearable bands are multi-purpose devices that can run third-party computing applications and are designed to be worn on the body, and not carried. These forecasts are taken from the Canalys Appcessory Analysis service. Companies interested in learning more about Canalys’ research in this area should contact their local Canalys office for more information.




#2 Nick H.

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 07:04

I'm still not entirely sure that I understand what these things are going to be able to do that will make them such a hit. I think this will be something that I don't bother with.

#3 Marshall


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Posted 17 July 2013 - 07:11

Great, now my watch needs an IP address too. What's next, my toaster?


Besides, I can't remember the last time I saw someone wearing a watch, is this their answer to getting them back on the market? Like Intrinsica, I think I'm gonna pass on this one.

#4 dvb2000


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Posted 17 July 2013 - 07:34

what these things are going to be able to do that will make them such a hit. I think this will be something that I don't bother with.


its the next smartphone/tablet, all wrapped up in a 1" screen on your wrist!


Dick Tracy watch/phone, complete with Windows 9 and built in Kinect sensor, touchscreens are so passe' on a 1" screen.

#5 Terri R. Gause

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 19:24

Smart Watches are definitely an upcoming market, im sure theres going to be a lot more prototypes coming out very soon!

#6 threetonesun


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Posted 18 July 2013 - 19:32

I'm still not entirely sure that I understand what these things are going to be able to do that will make them such a hit. I think this will be something that I don't bother with.


Do you know anyone who owns a fitbit/Nike+/uses Strava/any of the other similar bands and apps?


No? Then no, you don't understand. If you do know these people, then you'd see how ridiculously lucrative this market could be.

#7 firey



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Posted 18 July 2013 - 20:06

I personally don't see a use for a fancy watch.  Mind you, I prefer different devices for different things.  I carry an MP3 player (iPod Touch) when I want to listen to music.  I have my phone for quick browsing/on the go texting.   I have a tablet for more leisurly browsing.  Then my desktop for everything else.

I wear a watch every day pretty much, but would never wear a smart watch.  Standard Analog watch for me.

#8 Terri R. Gause

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 20:31

true, but it may lower the risk of dropping or losing an expensive phone. I've been watching smart watches for a while under fascination of the things in technology. One thats really crazy and looks like a great deal is the HOT smart watch.  you can check out the video at www.hotsmartwatch.com/kickstarter Its quite impressive what it all can do. Heres is some stuff i found on their website. FEATURES 

Private calls amplified by the palm of your hand


Receive and reply to Messages (SMS, Email, Facebook and Twitter)

Music player remote control (for your phone’s native player)

Multiple dial faces

Automatic fast contacts sync

Caller ID

Audible and silent vibrating alarms and alerts

Pedometer: Record running, walking, steps climbed, calories burned

Fall detection with automatic text to emergency number (unless cancelled in 30 seconds)

LED illumination

Note capture: captures your handwriting on the watch face

 vibration feedback

HOT Proximity Alerts: Never leave your phone behind and prevent theft

Find your phone with remote beep

Built-in LED Flashlight (ONLY in Curve)

Water Resistant

Multi-touch projected capacitive screen (Skim finger above glass to change screens)





Handle functions of the watch with quick gestures(can be optionally turned off).  Default gestures are:

Answer Call: Move hand to ear during incoming call

Dial Out Menu: Move hand to ear when there is no incoming call

Reject Call: Shake hand during incoming call

Mute Call: Drop hand during conversation

End Call: Wave goodbye during conversation

Dial Favorite Number: Knock twice

LED Backlight: Twist hand to “read” position

Fall Down: Automatically text emergency number (you can cancel within 30 seconds)



Unlock and Menu: Write “ U ” on screen

Unlock and Dial:  Write “ D ” on screen

Unlock and SMS: Write “ S ” on screen

Unlock and Clock: Write “C” on screen

Unlock and Apps: Write “A” on screen




5 shortcuts to app screens with one easy touch.   Fully customizable, but by default:  

Press icon 1 for local weather, stock update, and a second city time.

Press icon 2 for next meeting or alarm, number of calories burned today and distance walked.

Press icon 3 for text messages and Facebook notifications.

Press icon 4 for a customized news feed.

Press Power button for dial face.


#9 Jason Stillion

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 20:39

When the word "watch" is used, it brings up the memory of old watches that most don't wear / use anymore.

This is really a push to have a wrist "computer" that happens to display the time.


I think there may be more functionality with wireless sync to devices to the watch to extend it usefulness then what you interact with on your wrist. 


Curious to see if society is ready for this experiment / direction of convergence. 


The question will you wear a cell phone like device on your wrist vs carrying in your pocket.


(Edit) I think if being able to display / interact with the content will be a big factor. It can be incredibly powerful but if you don't have good input/output options, may not be that desirable.