Smartwatch Rewind: From Dick Tracy and James Bond to Sony and Pebble

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2013-02-15 Print this article Print
2-Way Wrist Radio

2-Way Wrist Radio

Debuting in 1946 and quickly becoming the iconic gadget from Chester Gould’s "Dick Tracy" comic series, it kept Tracy in touch with police HQ, and was upgraded with a TV in 1964.


With all the latest rumors surrounding Apple’s potential new smartwatch project, perhaps its time to take a look at the history—both fictional and actual—of the device. The review seems fitting, not only because watches have been a standard accessory for ages, but because Apple has a knack at taking old ideas (tablets, anyone?) and giving them a fresh spin that connects with consumers. Apple's main competition would appear to be Pebble Technology, which in April 2011 became the most highly funded Kickstarter project, raising more than $10 million for an e-paper watch that can display messages from a smartphone and be customized with applications. The Pebble, which also features Bluetooth low-energy technology, will come with apps preinstalled. Sony currently offers a smartwatch powered by Google's Android operating system. The Sony smart watch, which has a three-level micro display and acts as an Android remote, gently vibrates on the wearer's wrist to let the person know when a call, message or other notification is coming in. Here’s a look at some of tech history’s most advanced watches through the years—most real and a few we wish had been.


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