The History and Evolution of the Smartwatch

WRITTEN BY Alexander Clavel March 28, 2022

The smartwatch made its debut in 1972 and has revolutionized from there. Tech companies slowly started to delve into the industry, and their models paved the way for today’s smartwatches. Here is a brief but complete history of smartwatches.

The 1970s-80s: Pulsar and Seiko

In 1972, the Hamilton Watch Company, paired with Electro/Data Inc, created the first LED prototype watch. Quickly after the Pulsar watch was introduced, various Japanese companies experimented with watch technology.

Around that time, personal computers were gaining popularity. Seiko jumped on the bandwagon and became a pioneer in smartwatches. In 1983, Seiko released the Data 2000 watch. The Data 2000 had an external keyboard and could store up to two thousand characters.

The 1990s: Timex Datalink and Samsung

In 1994, Timex Datalink introduced the first watch that could download data from a computer wirelessly. Timex co-developed this watch with Microsoft. Notably, NASA implemented the Timex Datalink for space missions.

In 1999, Samsung released the first watch phone equipped with a speaker and microphone, a significant moment in the history and evolution of the smartwatch. Samsung did not stay in the industry during this period for long, but they returned recently for a good reason.

The 2000s: IBM, Fossil, and Microsoft

In the early 2000s, IBM produced a watch called the WatchPad. The WatchPad featured one of the first touch-sensitive displays and had up to sixteen megabytes of memory. Shortly after the WatchPad, Fossil released their Wrist PDA watch that could exchange data with other PCs and had both a virtual keyboard and touch screen.

Microsoft developed one of the first true smartwatch models by the name of SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology.) This smartwatch included weather alerts, news updates, and stock updates, and it could receive emails and messages.

The 2010s-Present: Pebble, Omate, Android, and Apple

In 2012, Pebble changed the game when they showed the smartwatch market that there was an actual demand for this tech gadget. The following year, Omate became the first company to create an independent smartwatch, marking the beginning of the market boom for smartwatches.

This demand quickly snowballed into what the smartwatch market is today. Android and Apple continuously develop new models featuring various components and add-ons. This is also where The Angel Watch Company’s kid’s cell phone watch comes into play, a smartwatch geared toward a younger demographic.

In the history and evolution of the smartwatch, smartwatches took a while to become popular. After the smartwatch got its start in 1972, its popularity grew exponentially. Smartwatches are a game-changer in the world of technology and serve as wonderful alternatives to cell phones and other modern-looking watches.

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