Will a smart watch be your next smart device?

Consumer Reports News
July 1, 2013

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.

More from Consumer Reports:
Top rated TVs, cell phones and other electronics
Best and worst products for your home
Expert, unbiased ratings and reviews

Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers or sponsors on this website. Copyright © 2007-2013 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.