Origins of the Apple Watch and Android Wear

Apple didn’t invent the smart watch. Neither did Google. In fact, before the the Moto 360, before Samsung started turning its Gears, before any Android Wear devices were even a gleam in  Larry Page’s eye, go back a year. No, make that 10 years and you’ll see Bill Gates on stage showing off his SPOT Watch running a Microsoft OS.

It was quite amazing for the time (no pun intended) and, in many ways, was more advanced than what’s available today. Don’t belive it? Well, think about this – when was the last time you flew in a supersonic jet? Oh that’s right never. The past called and woukd like to point out that at least it had the Concorde. Sure, you had to be rich to afford it, but at least the past had a plane that could travel from New York to London in 3 hours. The present? Not so much. Travel to the moon lately? No, it was more of a 60s thing. Get the picture? The SPOT watch was ALWAYS on – no flicking your wrist required just to see the time. No dimming of the screen to save batteries. Just always on. You know – like a watch. Was it connected to the internet? Yup. But you didn’t need to keep a bluetooth connection to a phone in your pocket. You didn’t need to worry whether you had an iPhone, Android or, heaven forbid, Windows phone. You didn’t need to be in WiFi range. It would just work. Well OK, as long as you were in a decent sized city in North America. Why? Because the internet was brought to you via radio waves. FM radio to be precise. Inside each SPOT watch was a little FM tuner receiving data transmitted from local radio stations to your watch.

To be continued…

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