It's Easier To Draw the Smartwatch Future Than It Is To Build It

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"It's still easier to draw a new wrist technology in a comic strip than to sell it to consumers," wrote James Gleick in 1995. And boy was he right. Even before 1995, consumers had seen countless visions of the smartwatch future. And Gleick's reluctant optimism about the future of wrist-worn tech was certainly admirable. But it also serves to remind us just how long we've been waiting on the mainstream success of the smartwatch. The entire article is really worth a read.

From the July 9, 1995 New York Times:

Nevertheless, wrist technologists have suffered more than their share of anguish on the path to the perfect tiny device. The most impressive product announcements during the past several years have all been followed by unannounced setbacks.

Residents of a few Western cities have been testing a Seiko Message Watch, which makes extremely clever use of a sliver of FM radio spectrum to receive telephone pager messages, the closing Dow, basketball scores and the weather. The watch itself has evolved from clunky to wearable, and the test project has changed hands several times. Most recently, the company announced last September that the Message Watch would be available in 20 cities by the end of 1995 and 50 by the end of 1996. It won't happen — after yet more delays, the company is now hoping for a spring 1996 roll-out covering 11 cities.


Read more at the New York Times.

Image: Bell Labs comic from the November 1962 issue of Boys Life magazine