Will a smart watch be your next smart device?

Consumer Reports News: July 01, 2013 03:38 PM

The smart watch, a fairly new category in electronics, can be briefly described as a wearable computerized device that can connect to your smart phone or tablet for control and alerts, and can also run a variety of apps itself. We've seen a few so-called smart watches hit the gadgetsphere already, including the Pebble, Agent, and Sony SmartWatch. Now rumors are flying about other players who may jump into the smart-watch fray—including Apple, Google, and Samsung.

Today Bloomberg reported that "Apple is seeking a trademark for 'iWatch' in Japan," a strong indication that the company plans to make a smart watch that will presumably work with iPhones and iPads. Rival Samsung has already confirmed that it is working on such a device. And just last week, the Wall Street Journal suggested Google was working on its own smart watch, to be powered by Android, naturally.

But why a watch, some may wonder? Will people really want to use such a device—and if so, how will they use it? A smart watch could act as a biological sensor, recording your heart rate and speed while you run, for example. Since the smart watch will communicate with your phone, you might use it to answer calls hands-free, look up maps, and more. It might also be a convenient way to display continually updated information such as weather and traffic conditions. But the proof will be in consumers' hands—or rather, on their wrists.

Carol Mangis

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