What are smartwatches? And how are they evolving?

We’ve been hearing about smartwatches, wearables and digital fashion for a while now, but what exactly do they do? A smartwatch is a mini computer on your wrist, capable of far more than an ordinary watch. They can seamlessly integrate with your smartphone via Bluetooth and provide alerts and notifications of your messages, daily task reminders, show who’s calling your phone, monitor your health and fitness levels and so on. Some smartwatches even go as far as providing all the functionality of a smartphone, on your wrist.


The smartwatch dilemma

Unfortunately, fitting all these cool features into a tiny device that fits comfortably on your wrist is a major technical challenge. Typically, smartwatches are large, thick and have very short battery life compared to an ordinary watch.

A century ago, wristwatches were mechanical watches that had to be wound by hand every day to keep them running. This was overcome by the invention of automatic watches, which wind themselves from the movement of your hands, and quartz watches are capable of running for years from a tiny coin cell battery. The smartwatch dilemma is that they are more hassle than a 100-year-old hand-wound watch, which required only a few finger movements a day to “charge”, from anywhere. Currently, charging a smartwatch is an hour-long process that requires you to have access to a power point and your charging cable.

Is that really the best we can do with today’s technology? We didn’t think so!

The solution

If companies like Samsung and Apple are still shipping smartwatches with 1-2 days battery life, how could a startup company from New Zealand do any better? Surely those big corporations can afford the best engineers?

The smartwatches from these big players, use technology very much like smartphones, scaled down to fit on your wrist. They have power-hungry dual-core processors and back-lit displays, yet 95% of the time they just sit there on your wrist doing nothing more than an ordinary watch would.

In order to combat this problem, Lune Digital have created the Lune Smartwatch. The innovative smartwatch design uses as little power as an ordinary digital watch most of the time, and only uses more power occasionally – when accessing smart functionality. This has resulted in a significantly longer battery life (up to 6 months), longer than any other smartwatch on the market.

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