Will a Freely Distributed OS for Smartwatches Succeed?

It seems that crowdfunded smartwatches have become popular again, with Vachen and AGENT Smartwatch starting their Kickstarter campaigns and accompanied by Boddie and Emopulse closely behind. With all the current choices in smartwatches today, we the buyer, are spoiled for choice. You’ve got a large variety of features, operating systems and watch designs. So how do we pick the one we want? Perhaps one of these has features you think are really important to you but you hate the design or vice versa. Is there ways to have our cake and eat it?

Perhaps we can learn a bit from what watchmakers have already been doing for a long time. Companies like Tag Heuer, Seiko, Swatch and many more produce a good selection of wristwatch models year after year. On the surface, they have absolutely nothing in keeping, some have a stainless steel casing, other are covered in Swarovski crystals, some show the date, others barely have any numbers on them. Looking past the surface reveals similar as well as identical clock movements that power these watches. As these movements are constitute a complex and intricate network of springs, counterweights and gears, you can understand that watchmakers would want to use a design so long as possible. It would simply take too long to design a fresh movement for every new design of a watch.

Hence, the application of modules in watch design is important to getting models off the designing table to the manufacturing floor as fast as possible. The fewer movements needed to cater to a large selection of watches the better it is for the watchmakers.

In a way, this is exactly what Google did with Android along with. Google has created a usable and flexible operating-system that smart phone makers can take, tweak and ship with their hardware. By developing a base OS that may be dispatched to handsets that hold vastly different hardware, Google has had the opportunity to make sure that Android-powered handsets now outnumber the wildly popular Apple iPhone. Now, you can find an Android smart phone in a number of models with different technical specifications and prices you could choose which hardware fits you best, knowing that the software experience will be mainly similar.

For smartwatches, this has not been the case. For each and every smartwatch out there, there exists a proprietary operating system that powers it. This means that the user experience is vastly different for each smartwatch model. It also implies that the makers of the smartwatches have to split their efforts and resources into two parts, watch design and OS development. While app development can often be “outsourced” to third party developers, the program development kit (SDK) needs to be created and this does take time and resources as well.

The various smartwatch makers have taken different methods to handle this. For starters, Pebble has put plenty of effort into the creation of its SDK and has garnered a good developer community so far and have also partnered popular big-name app developers like the RunKeeper. However, Pebble doesn’t look all that classy, it could work as a sports watch or could be worn with casual wear, but it doesn’t really have the look to match office wear. Imagine if more was done on the design side of things? Would the program side have taken a productivity hit? What if they used a pre-made smartwatch OS?

The Agent smartwatch however is trying to juggle both equally well as well. Secret Labs, the creator of the Agent knows electronics and software perfectly, but are no experts in watch design. So they partnered with House of Horology, which creates really nice timepieces. Together, they hope to be able to tackle the electronics and the look areas of the smartwatch together. This is definitely commendable and a good strategy, but would this mean delays in the production cycle since it does take time to tweak the operating system and functionality. Secret Labs did however use the Microsoft.NET Micro Framework as a base for its operating system. Is this the start to using a distributed OS for smartwatches?

What gps klocka för äldre need is one of many established software companies to spearhead this. A small time player may not cut it because few will utilize an OS that may not be around if the business goes under. The OS ought to be developed by Google, Apple or Microsoft, so as to give weight to the program. It will provide trust to developers that the OS will be supported for years ahead. These companies are able to utilize their expertise in software development to create an OS that will be able to perform under different hardware conditions, maximize battery life while providing usability and functionality, all at exactly the same time looking great on the watch face.

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