When summer ends, the tech industry heats up. Just as the kids start going back to school, tech giants and upstarts start wowing us with the next big thing – and get us thinking about our holiday wish lists.
Tech titans certainly haven’t disappointed in the few days following Labor Day 2013. Microsoft announced it is acquiring Nokia’s Devices & Services business on Labor Day itself, signaling the software giant’s move for a seat at the table with dominant smartphone players Apple and Google.
The wearable device market is also heating up. This past week, all eyes moved to the wrist, with the announcement of two new smartwatch wearable devices from Samsung and Qualcomm.
The highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch was unveiled at the IFA technology trade show, and immediately generated both excitement and skepticism from technology journalists.
While the Galaxy Gear has lots of cool bells and whistles – including a speaker for a real Dick Tracy-like experience and hands-free calling, as well as a Find My Phone function and loads of apps – pundits lamented its compatibility with just the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and lack of Wi-Fi support.
Qualcomm’s announcement of the new Toq smartwatch came as a surprise from a company not known for its consumer products. Toq, pronounced “talk,” will have relatively limited availability of just tens of thousands of units, and connects with Android smartphones via Bluetooth.
This wearable also boasts a super vibrant Mirasol display promising a clear view in the daylight, as well as battery life of up to a couple of days, and can control music from a smartphone’s library and pop calendar and text notifications.
While there is some debate over whether these devices should be called “smartwatches,” “wearable computers” or a new term in the “quantified self” device category, it’s clear that wearables have arrived and we’re just seeing the start of a trend in more personal and adaptable devices.
So, which smartwatch is right for you? Check out just some of the many articles exploring these new devices below.
And what’s next in the world of wearables? Will Apple announce an iWatch, as some have predicted? Will Pebble, the first smartwatch to make a pop culture splash, be the choice of early adopters and John Q. Public?
Only time will tell. And yes, pun intended.
Suggested smartwatch reading:
- CNET, Brian Bennett: Sony SmartWatch 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Gear: The first big battle in the wearable tech war
- All Things D, Ina Fried: It Turns Out Qualcomm is Making a Smartwatch, Too
- Reuters, Noel Randewich: Qualcomm Jumps Into ‘Wearables’ Fray with Toq Smartwatch
- The Verge, Chris Ziegler: Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Isn’t Really a Smartwatch
- Computerworld, Mike Elgan: Samsung and Qualcomm Fail to Launch the Smartwatch Revolution