Thursday, January 19, 2012

Is it time to watch the smartch space? Will devices like Sony's "SmartWatch" slam the Garmin's and Polar's of this world?


Sony's "Four-Screen strategy" (the tablet, the televsion, the PC, the smartphone) now adds a fifth element: the Android-based SmartWatch. Will this convergence kill the market for advanced sports watches?

Last week at CES, Sony introduced a device the company is calling the "SmartWatch." The SmartWatch is essentially a external, wrist-worn screen for Android smartphones. The use cases with such connected watches are easy enough to envision: read text messages during a jog, see calendar entries, answer in-coming phone calls Dick Tracy style.

The general idea of such evolved hybrid watches is not new: over the past few years, products such as Apple's iPod nano, RIM's inPulse BlackBerry Watch, Sony Ericsson's LiveView, and Motorola's MotoACTV have been introduced to the market.

The smart watch market is developing for real now and some of the products have impressive features and specs: touchscreens, Bluetooth, GPS, accelerometers, open operating systems, music players, app stores. Just like camera makers and PND vendors have been getting hit by the expanding smartphone market, is the smart watch market about to pound the market for dedicated watches from the likes of Garmin, Polar, and Suunto?

Let's watch this space.

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