What is a smartwatch and what does it do?

The best way to market your product today is to preach convenience. What people seek today is how best they can achieve tasks in the simplest way possible. We’ll answer the question of what is a smartwatch and take a dive into what they can do. The invention of digital watches tried to achieve this kind of convenience with calculators and unit converters. Smartwatches have advanced abilities which make the wearer feel like they have a smartphone on their wrist.

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What is a smartwatch?

A smartwatch is a digital watch just like the ones we all know except it contains a small computer that runs on its own operating system. The first smartwatch was released in 1998 but the smartwatches with smartphone-like abilities hit the market in 2010. The smartwatches were highly popularized by Pebble, a small tech company that announced its first smartwatch in 2013 and has since been bought by Fitbit.

To use a smartwatch, you need a smartphone to install the app that comes with the smartwatch. The apps can be Android Wear or watchOS from Apple. By opening one of these apps on your smartphone and turning on Bluetooth, the watch and your phone will be in sync. Now your devices are connected and you will receive notifications from your smartphone on the screen of your watch. 

Apple, Samsung, Sony, and other major tech brands started to offer watches on the consumer market soon after Pebble did. A number of companies now produce smartwatches some that are made for unique purposes like Suunto which released smartwatches optimized for scuba diving that withstand extended time at significant depths.

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A smartwatch from Suunto specifically made for diving

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What does a smartwatch do?

The smartwatches are made for a variety of purposes some pretty basic while others are uniquely made to accomplish only specific purposes. After answering the ‘what is a smartwatch?’ let’s take a look at some of the things you can do with a smartwatch.

Media management

Most smartwatches paired with smartphones can manage media playback for you. For example, when you’re listening to music on an iPhone using Apple’s AirPods, you can use your Apple Watch to change volume and tracks.


In order to inform you of key events or activities, smartphones display alerts. There are different kinds of notifications. Smartphone linked devices may merely reflect the notices in your wrist. However, some smartwatches show notices that only a wearable can show. For instance, a fall sensor is included in the newest Apple Watch. If you fall while wearing the watch, the watch senses your subsequent movement; if it doesn’t detect any, it’ll send a series of escalating notifications. Fail to respond to the notification, and the watch will assume you’re injured and alert authorities on your behalf.


Beyond displaying notifications from your phone, a smartwatch is only as good as the apps it supports. App ecosystems vary, and they’re tied to either Apple’s or Google’s environments. Smartwatches with a dedicated purpose, such as hiking or diving, generally support the apps they need to accomplish that purpose without the opportunity to add other kinds of apps.

Fitness tracking

For the athletes, a dedicated fitness band is likely a better choice than a smartwatch. However, many smartwatches include a heart rate monitor and a pedometer to help track your workouts.

Good battery life

Modern smartwatches feature a battery that keeps you running through the day with a little more left to spare. The use of the battery is different for different brands; normally, the Apple Watch uses 18 hours on a single charge while the Pebble uses two or three days.


Most smartwatches include a GPS for tracking your location or receiving location-specific alerts.

Answer messages by voice

Modern smartwatches that use watchOS or Wear OS operating systems support voice dictation.

Hopefully, this helps you answer ‘What is a smartwatch’ and leaves you with insight into some of what they can do for you.

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