Smartwatches are back in style. Expected products from Apple and Samsung promise to further reinvigorate this genre of electronics that has been rife with failure.
The concept of the smartwatch is nothing new, but what's inside them has changed. With the prevalence of smartphones, the old idea of packing everything into a watch has given way to making these devices an extension of the phone in your pocket. It wasn't always like that though...
Samsung's S9110, released in 2009, was Samsung's second try at a phone/watch hybrid. It upped talk time to more than four hours, though was limited in its availability and still cost more than $600 -- a hard sell in the era of the $199 and $299 smartphone.
SPOT watches, which later became "Smart Watches with MSN Direct," faded into the sunset. That didn't stop watchmakers like Fossil, Suunto (pictured above), Swatch, and even Tissot from producing various models that used the technology.
The $449 I'm Watch is one of the newest entrants on the smartwatch block. It lets you view e-mail, calendar, social media updates, and phone information, though CNET found its short battery life and software left much to be desired.
The MetaWatch is another recent addition to the world of smartwatches. Users can hook it up to their smartphones to get notifications for calls, text messages, e-mails, and social media updates. It also has widgets for other information like weather, stocks, and your calendar.
Motorola's MotoACTV tracks workouts and other activity with its built-in GPS and pedometer. It also syncs up with phones to stream music and make use of other sensors. One caveat: You'll need a Motorola handset to use some of its neato features.