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IS480 Team wiki: 2015T1 Vulcan Market Research

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History

The first smart watch was released in 1982 by Seiko and was called the pulsar NLC01. This model did not have any connectivity as Bluetooth did not exist at that time and could only store 24 digits of information. In the years after its release, subsequent models from Seiko had better but yet still primitive connectivity and other companies such as IBM and Samsung began producing their own smart watches.

The smart watches today offer a better interface than its predecessor and many companies are investing heavily into this market.


Features

From being able to just store information in the past, smart watches that are currently in the market provides its users with many features that can help them in their daily activities.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • Compass
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Answering calls and emails
  • GPS navigation
  • MP3 player


Trends

Smart watches are gaining popularity among consumers and it is predicted that sales will reach over 373 million units by 2020 from just 15 million units sold in 2014.

Although the growth looks promising, there are some obstacles that are hindering its impact in the market.

The first one is that smart watches requires a connection to a smartphone or tablet. A Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection is required in order for a lot of applications in a smart watch to be fully functional.

Many consumers still don’t understand the benefits of a smart watch and see that the features provided from it are also available on their smart phones.

Another problem faced is that there is insufficient battery power for smart watches. Moore’s law does not apply to batteries and with a smartphone connection needed for a smart watch to fully function, battery life is limited to only a few days.