Welcome to the future! proclaimed a Samsung representative during the presentation of the new products of the company in Berlin. Yes, something from science fiction. He continued.The representative was using the new smart Samsung Galaxy Gear, showing it proudly for journalists in the room and technology geeks who accompanied all of their homes. The future is here … again, I believe.
Samsung is not alone. The next revolution of the smartwatches began in earnest, with several companies showing or hinting that they will do something. The Sony and Qualcomm have announced new wearable devices recently, and they say Apple is making your too (although nobody expect them to launch soon the product). But with these new wearable computers being shown, it seems that if products like Galaxy Gear are the best that companies have to offer, the smart watches will continue to be a future that never happened.
You might remember that just like jetpack and flying cars, watches with multiple functions are expected for decades. Seem fascinated with the idea of wearing things on our wrist with functions to facilitate our life. But despite countless visions and actual attempts, the chic smartwatches still didn’t work.
We have listed a small sample of the smart watches of the future envisioned in the past. With so many designs losers and predictions, any attempt to tell the whole story would be crazy-crazy not too different than the journey to develop a smartwatch clock usable.
Brunetti Transmitter Wrist Watch, 1948
The rise of printed circuits in consumer electronics after World War II gave the world a lot of hope for the possibility of holding countless gadgets on our wrists. The Cledo Brunetti worked in Dr. National Bureau of Standards during the war, and won much credit for this attempt at miniaturization that would open the doors to the smart watches of tomorrow.
The Brunetti design for a miniature radio won the magazine Radio-Craft April 1948 (seen above). Brunetti had even an IEEE award with your name, considering his contributions for “nanotechnology and miniaturization of electronic arts”.
When it became necessary, during World War II, the extremely small design of radios, however, needed to be extremely efficient at the same time, it was Dr. Brunetti which solved many problems by making small radio possible.
Perhaps the biggest failure of the wristwatch with Brunetti radio? He did not speak the time.A small oversight that would be quickly resolved when visions of smart watches have gained strength in the late 1950 and early ‘ 60.
The Wristwatch With The Late 1960 TV
Like many technologies of today, much of the early development of electronic watches has its roots in the cold war. Advances in miniaturized circuits and smaller batteries in the years 1950 and 60 ended up turning the wrist watches of mechanical devices in electronic wonders.And this change has been the main driver who gave futuristic ideas for crazy miniaturization of any gadget, and the possibility to put everything at your wrist, tv phones, calculators and more.
The April 17 Edition of 1960 cartoon Closer Than We Think!, Arthur Radebaugh, had a vision of a wristwatch with TV, and direct transmissions from the moon. The cartoon of Radebaugh began publication shortly after the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite, and his ideas show the technological optimism of the cold war times.
And maybe a few things represent better the Futurism of the cold war in the United States and the visions of tomorrow of the time of this image – consumer electronics (something that Americans were already advanced) you could hold on the wrist and showed something transmitted from the Moon (something that the Soviets had already done).
Tv “guys” is not so far away, thanks to printed circuits, miniature transistors and other developments.
A small template that can be connected to your telephone was invented by Bell Laboratories. But the army wants something better. According to Maj. Gen. Robert j. Wood, Deputy Chief of research and development, TVs with the size of postage stamps may soon be used in pulse, each with a personal number. A man can communicate with each other – anywhere in the world.And it shouldn’t take long before these devices are adapted for civilian use.
The Bell Labs continued the promises in the November 1962 the magazine Boys ‘ Life. Young boys of the baby boom in the early ‘ 60 years had assured that the Bell Telephone company was working on a rotary phone of the future, even if it was for a “future farther” than thevideophone and the car phone.
Several devices have been adapted from the military to the civilian world in the second half of the 20 century (think of the internet, for example). But the smartwatch clock not even near the battlefield, and even less of the living room.
The Intelligent Watch George Jetson
A quick patent search on Google and you will find many people who worked hard behind the scenes of pop science to do the smartwatch clock visions become reality. But, with all due respect to applied science, is the popular culture that drives demand.
Many people in the 21 century seem to forget this, but the Jetsons were, in essence, your a spoof program, joining all those technological utopian ideas of the years 50 and 60 of the future and making fun of them. Clearly inspired by designers like Radebaugh, the Jetsons realized that if smartwatches were on their way, children would use them for nonsense in the classroom. The image above is the final episode of the original series of the Jetsons and shows a child watching an episode of The Flintstones moments before the professor-robot figure out what she was doing.
I met a kid at school, in the mid-‘ 90, which had a smartwatch clock but not used for games-he used to paste in mathematics.
Dick Tracy And Your Wrist Communicator
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the stylish Communicator that every writer of technology mentioned in the last six months: the Dick Tracy wristwatch.
Since the 1940 toy makers make versions of Dick Tracy watch. Many of these versions didn’t go far beyond a radio receiver with a bracelet, while others arrived to work as a walkie talkie.But he gave to the children of the post-war era the feeling that great things (large technological and futuristic stuff!) were coming. Baby boomers certainly heard a lot of promises that were never fulfilled, isn’t it?
In the pilot episode produced in 1967 from a TV series with real actors of Dick Tracy that was never released, we can see how the Communicator would be in real life-some buttons, a microphone, a camera, and a speedometer?
“Ristos” The Years 1970
Smart watches of tomorrow have matured in the 1970, when satellites cations of came true.Now they could be imagined as something independent of geographical boundaries or radio or TV signal. Lost at sea? Press a button on your smartwatch clock for help.
The British children’s book of 1979 Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Centuryimagined that the clocks of the future could be a phone, a radio transmitter for emergencies and even a way to vote in the elections.
Not just the book envisioned the future intelligent clock but also came up with a nickname for him: “risto”. As anyone who has ever tried to come up with a nickname for yourself this is something that happens organically. Is not a good idea to give a nickname to a product before it had a chance to fail in the market. And … risto? Seriously?
From the book:
The residents of the cities of the future could have a small gadget of huge benefit – a wristwatch with radio and telephone. With it, you could talk to anyone, where that is.
The secret to the system’s high-powered satellites shown on the opposite page.Today’s satellites are simple, only repeaters, with expensive ground stations. A future satellite designed for the pulse radio (which could be dubbed “risto”) would be the most expensive part of the system. The risto would sell more or less the same price of a pocket calculator and would weigh no more than a few grams.
Again, the miniaturization of gadgets was a technological bet safe in the years 1970. But the bet in the price is the most surprising. A Pocket Calculator was not exactly cheap in 1979, but has been reducing over time. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the current crop of smart watches – the Gear costs a hefty $300.
Seiko’s Attempt In The Years 1980
After launching your Seiko wrist TV in the United States in 1983, a lot of people made sure that watches with multiple functions would be the wave of the future. Again.
But Jane Clifford described the watch as an “expensive toy” and made comparisons with Dick Tracy (of course) and warned that it could become a distraction: “Immediately in mind are visions of sports fans in traffic during rush hour, trying to see the last crucial baseball game thing.”
The biggest problem of the Seiko TV watch is that he wasn’t exactly a single piece, as you can see in the image below the December 13 edition of the Pacific Stars and Stripes.
The Recycle Bin Retrofuturista
Wearable computing – is in smart watches or something to put on your face -it’s supposed to be the future. But so far it looks like it’s starting a fire.
If the community of journalists is a technology bellwether for how smart watches will be received by the general public, the collective yawn from yesterday is not a good sign for companies such as Samsung. Surprisingly, Samsung still has the nerve to suggest that your smartwatch clock can be future-proof: “packed with the technologies of the next decade.”
But when the most generous thing that someone has to say about your product is “nothing especially offensive about the Galaxy Gear in particular …”, then you have a problem. Be a risto allowing direct democracy, or a TV receiving Moon sign, the future is made of bold visions – whether they are offensive or not. And, unfortunately for us, it seems that the future of the smartwatches still will not happen – at least not for the next years.