• Hunter Mathis

The history of wearable technology


Wearables aren't as new as you'd think. Although a 21st century invention, they stretch all the way back to the year 2000.


2000 -IBM presented the very first linux smartwatch at the IEEE ISSCC2000 conference. It ran linux 2.2, a computer operating system, alongside a whopping 8 megabytes of storage. Eventually upgraded with a vibrating mechanism, fingerprint sensor, and accelerometer, it was marketed to students or those working in business. Named the "watchpad", it became a large IBM project for most of its life cycle. Although we may see it as useless or primitive, the watchpad was years ahead of its time. Another wearable computer wasn't seen until 2003


2003 - Microsoft releases their version of a smartwatch, known as the "wrist PDA". Although unpopular, it represented a step forward in wearable tech and laid the groundwork for what we have today


2006 - The birth of the modern smartwatch came with the MBW-100. a Sony product designed for only their phones. The first watch to ever include bluetooth and cell phone connectivity, it allowed the user to see simple alerts such as text notifications, Emails, and more. Designed to help consumers decide what notifications need to be handled now or later, many found the new product both useful and stylish.


2009 - Burg wearables released the very first standalone smartphone watch. Able to make calls without a phone, it received an award for being the "Most Innovative Product" at the canton fair.


2010-2018 - Smartwatches have become commonplace. From the "Apple Watch" to Samsungs line of wearables, it's a regular occurence to see people with some sort of tech on their wrist. Although many doubted the usefulness or popularity of such devices, they're now seen as an essential accessory to any smartphone


Are you one of the 325 million people with a smartwatch? If not, tell us why you don't wear one or what prevents you from buying one. Vote on our poll!