As of now, there are only a few people who actually own a smart watch. One reason is that smart watches are still in the beginning stages, and they require smartphones. Though it may not seem so, smart watches aren’t used by the majority of the people. Smart phones are still considered a luxury item. Still, companies that make smart watches, such as Pebble, Sony, Samsung, etc. are doing just fine. However, an unexpected competitor has arrived – Timex.
Timex is a company known for its inexpensiveness, simplicity, and dependability. The 160 year old company announced on last Wednesday of its plans to launch a smart watch that connects to a cellular network. This is fundamentally different from the current trend that most smart watches require smart phones to work. In other words, Timex hopes to make a smart watch (probably cheaper than the existing smart watches) that will be more accessible to the general public.
The new watch, called the Timex Ironman One GPS+, has a more simplified and reasonable set of functions. It can’t make calls, send text, or post photos on Instagram, but it can do the everyday tasks that you can do with ease. These functions include a GPS tracker (for fitness), play MP3s (via Bluetooth), access email, forward messages, and access fitness apps such as Strava, RunKeeper, and MapMyFitness. And of course, the watch will be waterproof- up to 50 meters.
As of now, the watch only has contracts with AT&T service. The AT&T network allows that watch to function as a tracking device, uploading your location in real time so people can be aware of your location, in case of emergencies or if they just want to meet up.
Other companies are already working on connecting wearable technology to cellular networks. The industry of wearable tech is fairly new, so competition is high. For the companies, they have to compete to provide the best features for the best value. For the consumer, well, we just wait and see what product offers the best deal. The Ironman One GPS+ will go on sale this fall for $399. It’ll have 8 hours of battery life.