The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is the largest IT exhibition in the world, and this year looks like the trend is going to be all about smartwatches.
Like it or not, smartwatches are here to stay. Some users aren’t really fond of the technology while some openly embrace it. Judging by how smartwatches have grown in 2014 it won’t be a surprise that at this year’s CES, smartwatches will be a hot trending product.
But what else can we expect from these companies that offer smartwatches in various shapes and forms? 2014 was a big year for smartwatches. A few years back, saying smartwatch reminded me of this Casio digital watch given to me by my father for Christmas. It had an IR blaster than basically lets me control my TV from a distance – turning it into a portable remote control. Back then, I was so amazed at how technologies like that can be possible. Today, smartwatches can offer you not just the time but a plethora of other features.
Samsung initially launched the Gear series of smartwatches to complement their current line of Galaxy smartphones and while they were met with decent reviews, it never really took off until Google released Android Wear, which was an operating system made from Android especially made for wearables such as smartwatches. From there, companies like Motorola, LG, Sony and Asus have started releasing equally great smartwatches.
Even Apple, which stayed out of the wearable market for a couple of years until it finally unveiled the Apple Watch last June along with the iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus. While the release date for the Apple Watch has been set this spring, some are already preparing to purchase the new smartwatch.
And who would forget Pebble. The Kickstarter-backed smartwatch that went on to deliver a simply yet truly great smartwatch for users. It ditches the color screen and the full touch interface and instead focuses on what users want most from a smartwatch – notifications. Combine that with a 7-day battery life and it easily is one of the best smartwatches of 2014.
With CES 2015 opening in just a few days, a lot of companies have started teasing their new line of smartwatches that will debut during the show. Alcatel OneTouch, who has started introducing a new line of Android-based smartphones will also introduce the ‘Watch’, their own smartwatch that will reportedly cost only under $200 – which will be cheaper when you compare with existing Android Wear smartwatches that normally costs upwards of $349. At this moment we don’t know if it will be running on Android Wear or any other platform but the company is saying that the OneTouch Watch will also include physical tracking features.
Word has it is that BMW is also testing a technology that will use a smartwatch to let you park your car and a demo will be presented at CES. The technology, which is called the Remote Valet Parking Assistant, will use the four advanced lasers present on the vehicle to help you park the car properly, which you can conveniently control and monitor using the smartwatch. The lasers will help identify walls and borders surrounding the car and using an on board system, it will automatically control the vehicle when parking.
Additionally, luxury brands like Montblanc have also introduced the TimeWalker Urban Speed e-Strap, which is basically an interchangeable strap that is compatible with Montblanc timepieces. The e-Strap will be embedded with various functionalities like an activity tracker and notification support. The e-Strap will be connected using Bluetooth Low Energy and will be compatible with iOS and Android devices. Montblanc’s concept of a smartwatch differs slightly from the others and as you have noticed, they’ve cleverly integrated an e-Strap on existing timepieces. This makes it possible for you to enjoy a high-tech smartwatch feature while maintaining the equally awesome design of classic timepieces.
I am sure a lot more companies are planning to showcase their own smartwatches by the time CES starts. What about you? What is that one feature in a smartwatch that you look forward to? Let me know what you think.
Stay tuned as we deliver you the best that CES has to offer. CES 2015 kicks off on January 6, 2015 in Las Vegas.