Crowdfunded smartwatches seem to be back in fashion. Vachen and AGENT Smartwatch launched their Kickstarter campaigns, followed closely by Emopulse and Boddie. We, the consumer, have a lot of options when it comes to smartwatches. There are many options for features, operating systems, and designs. How do we choose the right one? You might like one of the features but hate the design. Can we have our cake and eat it too?
We might learn something from the long-standing work of watchmakers. Tag Heuer, Seiko and Swatch all make a wide range of wristwatch models every year. They appear to have very little in common. Some have a stainless-steel casing while others are covered with Swarovski crystals. Others have the date and some only have the numbers. These watches have identical or nearly identical clock movements. Watchmakers want to keep a particular design in use for as long as possible, because these movements are made up of a complex network of springs counterweights and gears. For each watch design, it would take far too much time to create a new movement.
Modules are important in order to get models from the design table to the manufacturing floor as quickly and efficiently as possible. Watchmakers will benefit from fewer movements to accommodate a wide range of watches.
This is exactly what Google has done with Android. Google has developed an operating system that is flexible and usable. Smart phone manufacturers can modify, customize and ship their devices with this OS. Google created a base OS that could be sent to different handsets with very different hardware. This has allowed Android-powered phones to outnumber the Apple iPhone. You can now get an Android phone in a range of prices and technical specifications. This allows you to choose the best hardware for you, while knowing that the software experience will remain largely similar.
This is not the case for smartwatches. Every smartwatch has a unique operating system. Each smartwatch model has a unique operating system that makes it different from the others. This means that smartwatch manufacturers have to divide their resources and efforts into watch design and OS development. App development can be outsourced to third-party developers in some cases, but the creation of the software development kit (SDK), which takes time and resources, is essential.
This has been addressed by different smartwatch manufacturers. Pebble has spent a lot of time creating its SDK. They have also partnered with big-name app developers such as RunKeeper. Pebble isn’t very classy. It can be worn casually with casual wear or as a sport watch, but not enough to Supanet Advantages of smartwatch match your office attire. Imagine if there was more work done on the design aspect of things. What if the software side of things took a productivity hit. What if they had a pre-made smartwatch operating system?
The Agent smartwatch, on the other side, tries to do both simultaneously. Secret Labs is the creator of Agent. They are experts in electronics and software, but not watch design. House of Horology is a company that makes beautiful timepieces. They hope to work together on the electronics and design aspects of smartwatches. While this is a great strategy and admirable, it could lead to delays in production as the operating system and functionality can take time to adjust. Secret Labs used the Microsoft.NET Micro Framework to build its operating system. This is the beginning of a distributed OS that smartwatches can use.
We need one of the large, established software companies to lead this effort. It might not be possible to have a small player because many people will not use an OS that is not available in the event of a company going under. To give the OS weight, it should be developed by Google or Apple, Microsoft. Developers will have confidence that the OS will continue to be supported for many years. These companies have the expertise to develop an OS that can perform under various hardware conditions and maximize battery life. It also looks great on the watch face.