A smartwatch is basically a wearable computer in the shape of a wristwatch; recent smartwatches offer a dedicated local touchscreen interface as well as for telematics and navigation purposes. However, the most significant and innovative feature of smartwatches is their capability to make mobile communications possible. Smartwatches can be used as wireless personal computers with mobile phone support.
Smartwatches, unlike other mobile devices, are able to send SMS text messages through cellular phones with mobile broadband internet. In fact, smartwatches may become a more versatile communication device as they will be able to operate as mobile phones with their own Internet browsing capabilities. Some people have predicted that within the next few years, smartwatches may be able to act as mobile phones with their own data storage capacities as well as in-built applications. These additional features will enable the smartwatch to act as a real mobile phone, albeit in a very rudimentary way.
The ability to communicate with other users through mobile phone network providers can bring new advantages in many fields. For example, it can allow users to exchange information with other smartwatches using the mobile phone networks and thereby share contacts and news with others.
Another potential use of the smartwatch to connect to the mobile phone network is in providing the user with inbuilt messaging facilities. While the mobile phone network can allow users to exchange email addresses with other users in the network, there is no mechanism to exchange data such as messages via SMS. The mobile phone network also allows users to access and make calls to other users but not send SMS messages. Thus, users can exchange data with another smartwatch user who owns the mobile phone network only.
However, there is some limitation to the data exchange. There is no mechanism that can facilitate the exchange of multimedia data like images or video. This limitation is usually overcome by the inclusion of hardware video decoding processors in the smartwatches. The smartwatch, however, remains a low-powered and low-power-consumption device and so it can support only a limited range of media-sharing features.
Smartphones are the leading means of mobile communication in the developed world. Smartwatches will undoubtedly play an important role in this competitive market, as more people opt to buy smartwatches to augment their mobile phone usage. Smartwatches, however, will have a long way to go in bridging the gap between smart phones and smartwatches when it comes to the integration of mobile phone network functions.