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A computer-based wristwatch that provides an extension to a smartphone via Bluetooth. Emerging in 2011, by 2015 there were more than 100 models on the market. A major smartphone advantage is handling phone calls and messages without having to extract the phone from pocket or purse, although not every model supports this feature. The Gear S was the first stand-alone smartwatch to have a unique phone number and make calls entirely on its own (see Samsung Gear S).

Smartwatches often include exercise apps for managing health (see fitness tracker) and may have built-in pulse sensors for reading the wearer's heartbeat. After only a few years in the market, fitness turned out to be a major inducement for a smartwatch. Where applicable, mobile apps are enhanced to synchronize with smartwatches.

Apple Watch
In 2015, the introduction of the Apple Watch line made quite a splash as both a fashion statement and a smartwatch with unique features (see Apple Watch).

Early Smartwatches
Throughout the 2000s, a variety of smartwatches emerged that were not synchronized with a smartphone (see Microsoft Smart Watch). See hybrid smartwatch, Samsung Gear, notification fatigue and personal communicator.

Dick Tracy Watch (1946)
This two-way radio became synonymous with the comic-strip detective created by Chester Gould from 1931 to 1977. In 2014, the Dick Tracy watch became a reality. (Image courtesy of copyright holder Tribune Content Agency LLC. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.)

Pebble Watches
With Kickstarter funding, Pebble watches debuted in 2013 for iOS and Android. Their low-power monochrome screens last several days on a single charge. In 2016, Pebble was acquired by Fitbit. (Images courtesy of Pebble,

META Watches
Available for iOS and Android phones, 15 models of META watches came in three case styles in 2014. Battery life is rated at one week. (Images courtesy of MetaWatch,

A Fast-Moving Industry
Within a few years, a plethora of smartphones debuted. Unfortunately, the cleverly designed i'm Watch failed to meet expectations and was discontinued in 2014. (Images courtesy of Sony Corporation, Martian Watches and i'm S.p.A.)

Make Every Watch a Smartwatch
The Chronos disc attaches to the underside of any watch 31mm or larger. Only 3mm thick, it provides user-selected notifications with eight vibration patterns and seven LED colors, and it also offers fitness tracking. (Image courtesy of CHRONOS WEARABLES,

Getting Closer All the Time
Forecasting the future smartwatch, this Hitachi mock-up was created in 2000. Except for video calls, it's here now. (Image courtesy of Hitachi America, Ltd.)
References in periodicals archive ?
The Pebble watches range from S100-$250, and come in at the most affordable.
More contenders, like a Kickstarter favourite, Pebble Watch, are on the way.
According to the,au, the Pebble watch was designed to connect to any Apple or Google Android smarphone.
Pebble Watch which works both on iOS and Android platforms already also offers music and watch app features.
Early users raved about the Pebble watch's functionality but complained that the plastic casing and rubberized band weren't very stylish.
Building on its strong foundation of offering customers mobile and cloud based enterprise applications, Ramco launched a host of technology features, including: use of Google Glass in a Maintenance scenario, Procurement and Inventory management on Pebble Watch, solving last-mile connectivity and logistics using In-memory computing (IMC) among others.
Pebble; US; Pebble Watch; 300,000; 45 million; 6.3%
Although the $150 Pebble watch can be used to control a music playlist or run simple apps like RunKeeper, a cloud-based fitness tracker, Migicovsky and his team purposely designed the watch to do as little as possible, leaving more complicated apps for phones.
Pebble Watch is the top selling wearable smart band for the 1st quarter of 2014.
This new model has brought in over $3.4 million for a firm with an old-fashioned RPG video game (see Double Fine Productions), and over $10 million for a company with a new 'smart watch' prototype (see Pebble Watch).
The original Pebble Watch is criticized for its plastic construction as it takes away from the premium watch craved by many.