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Your Position: Home - Timepieces, Jewelry, Eyewear - History of the smartwatch (Part 1): 1980s

History of the smartwatch (Part 1): 1980s

The idea of a smart watch originates from much earlier than you most probably suppose. Today we have a wide variety of powerful devices from Samsung, Motorola, Alcatel, LG, more recently Huawai, Apple, of course. Not to mention the numerous Chinese manufacturers with an amazing variety of designs and features.

But the History of the Smartwatch did not start with the Apple Watch in 2015. Not in 2014, when Google introduced the Android Wear together with the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live. Back in 2014, Sony Ericsson introduced the LiveView, but the genuine start of the history was in ... 1982. By Seiko.

This would be a series of articles, each covering a separate decade of the History of the Smartwatches. We will now start with the amazing development back in the 1980s.

Seiko NL C01 (1982)

The first watch that can be named Smart Watch is the NL C01 model by Seiko. Released back in 1982 (34 years ago!), it was very primitive by today's standards. With a screen showing up to 40 characters, the NL C01 was able to store up to 24 characters. The pricetag was more than $3500 but this product came to show that something big in terms of technology is just around the corner!

Seiko Data 2000 (1983)

Just a year later - in 1983, Seiko released the next model - the Data 2000. The name came to show the ability of the device to store up to 2000 characters, entered on the external keyboard. It was also the first model with computing ability. Another interesting thing to mention here is the fact that the watch connected to the keyboard using electro-magnetic coupling, the base of the today's wireless docking.

Seiko D409, RC-1000 Wrist Terminal & The Data Bank (1984)



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1984 was an important year for the smart watches industry. Seiko released three keystone models - the D409 (above, center), the RC-1000 Wrist Terminal (above, left) and the Data Bank (above, right). The Seiko D409 is important because it was the first one to communicate with most the PCs available at that time, including Apple, IBM, Commodore, NEC and others. The D409 was the first model with on-board keyboard for data entry. Available in gold, silver and black it was a memorable project and also a pretty popular one.

The 1984 was a very successful year for Seiko, in addition to the above two watches and other products, they released the first watch of the Data Bank series.

Seiko RC-4500 (1985)

Known as 'the wrist Mac', this model had the features of the RC-4000, both released in the 1985, but came in a variety of bright and exciting colours. The RC-4000 was called 'the world's smallest computer terminal', so it all comes to show that this device was the most powerful in its range in the 1980s.

After the year 1985, until the early 1990s, the smart watch concept's development was far slower than before. This is due to different factors.

Thanks for reading this Part 1, the next article will cover the even more exciting decade of the 1990s in the sphere of smart watches development.

Pebble Smartwatch

The First Million-Selling Smartwatch

Beginning in 2012, the Pebble initially gained fame through a crowdfunding Kickstarter campaign that aimed to raise just enough funds to produce the product—the campaign was wildly successful and raised over ten million dollars. The Pebble was ready for launch by mid-2013 and sold out within a mere five days. The Pebble was the first smartwatch to feature an open SDK for developers to create original apps, available online in Pebble’s app store. The device also includes many features we consider to be standard on other smart devices, such as notifications, activity tracking, and connected home control. Launching at a retail price of only $89, the device was a commercial success, selling its one millionth watch before the end of 2014. Finally, a device praised for its sleek design and intuitive UX!

History of the smartwatch (Part 1): 1980s

A Graphical History of the Smartwatch





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