Just as the world is taking its breath, digesting the leanest and fastest in smart phone technology, a brand-new wonder appears: Smart watches. These are not a gag gift or fad because the heavies like Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft are gearing up to compete, and tech retail giant Best Buy is now offering the new Pebble Smart Watch and the Sony Ericsson-Smart Watch for sale.
Smart Watches Offer Connectivity and Much More
These new timekeepers go beyond the compass and temperature gauge variety of the past. Users can receive text messages, emails and phone calls if they use a Bluetooth connection, and some smart watch models connect wirelessly to iPhone or Android phones. Various models have GPS, the ability to listen to music or watch videos, and some like the E4worlds I3 have a camera mounting. While reading e-books on the 1.5-1.8-inch screens may feel like it’s stretching things a bit, the MQ 998 Cell Phone Watch has that very capability. The MW08 Waterproof Stainless Steel Watch also lets you to make phone calls right from the watch. And, the cost for these wearable computers is fairly modest at between $60 and $150.
Smart Watch Companies Crowd Funding to Raise Capital
Companies that manufacture smart watches routinely think outside the box. The Pebble Smartwatch raised new capital with a Kickstarter campaign last year and received 85,000 pre-orders. Combined with the pre-orders from their product website, that brought them to a total of 275,000. The crowd funding campaign allowed Pebble to reach out to potential customers and generated the kind of positive buzz that has put this new product category on the map. The voice-controlled Kreyos Smartwatch is doing the same at Indiegogo, and as of today, has topped its funding goal of $100,000 six-fold.
Quick Manufacturing Notes on Smart Watches
Both PGD’s MQ 998 and Victor’s MW08 smart watches are manufactured in China and the Sony Smart Watch is primarily made in India and Thailand. Due to the overwhelming demand, Pebble decided to manufacture in China instead of the U.S. Their smart watch is also on back-order – According to Forbes, one customer ordered two smart watches on the second day of the KickStarter campaign and received one 8 months later and is still awaiting the second.
It’s also interesting to note that Forbes reported last week that Forrester analyst Rotman Epps alleges that Pebble is is intentionally creating scarcity because scarcity engenders hype. We’ll continue to watch how the smart watch front-runner’s story takes shape amid rumors of Apple’s iwatch on the wearable gadget horizon.