By Samuel Bolds | Echo
For hundreds of years, watches have been a symbol of society. They were elegant pieces of art proudly worn around the wrist or tucked neatly into a front pocket. But how people access time has changed.
During the "smartphone boom" of the new millennium, consumers traded in their watches for PDAs and smartphones. With this, checking the time became a laborious operation. Fishing a phone out of a pocket or rifling through a purse has become common hassle. When glancing down at a phone in search of a clock, a swarm of notifications beg for attention during time-checking breaks in class or during work.
Because of this, the watch has come back in stores. Like the phone, it traded in gears and dials for buttons and lithium ion batteries. Now people are looking to the watch as a symbol of keeping time and a way to organize notifications.
There are two varieties of smartwatches. The first is a device capable of running independent of another device, like the Pebble Watch. The hardware is built light and sturdy, according to Engadget. The Pebble was designed with open source in mind to take advantage of a growing developer community. In addition to having a "pleasantly responsive and simple" user interface, do-it-yourself programmers can write their own programs and load them onto the watch. These more independent watches can help users bridge the gap between their computers and phones, placing technology even closer to their fingertips.
The second type of smartwatch requires being paired with a specific device to function. Samsung's Galaxy Gear enables users to simply glance at their wristwatch for notifications. But this watch only displays text messages and other transient applications (like the weather detail and music) from the user's Galaxy Note 3. These watches have fewer options but are gradually becoming more helpful in the lives of smartphone users.
Engadget cynically reported, "If you purchase a Galaxy Gear and don't have a compatible device, congratulations-you just bought yourself a brick."
And yes, smartwatches can still display the time.