Wrist Watch Computer
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Wrist watch computers have long been James Bond like fantasy gadgets and not something we really expected to become a reality, at least not in a design worth considering for any serious computing. One could argue that today’s multifunctional wristwatches are computers – since the definition is simply that of a programmable machine that receives input, stores and manipulates data, and provides output in a useful format.

Wrist Watch Computer

But Are These Computers or High Tech Watches?

Even so, most people think of computers as being substantially larger than something you could wear on your arm. And while computer size is now a fraction of the giant room filling machines from decades ago, even the smallest devices we label as computers in 2012 still weigh two pounds and are attached to ten inch screens. We call them netbooks or Apple iPads.

One could argue that a PDA (personal digital assistant) is an even smaller computer, often weighing only a few ounces. And while we don’t call usually refer to them as PDA’s anymore, today’s smartphones such as the RIM BlackBerry or Apple iPhone are the next generation of mobile computing power. Some of these hand held computers have more speed, memory and power than desktop and laptop computers from just a few years ago, but most people don’t use them the same way they use their “other” computer.

Doing a search for “wrist watch computer” on Google today, I found several diving watches labeled as computers. One was the Oceanic Geo Wrist Watch Computer. Call it whatever you want, this is a watch for people who dive – not a computer. One of the closest things I found to a wrist watch computer you can buy right now was the Fossil Abacus Wrist PDA. It runs on the Palm OS, has a 66 mhz CPU, 8 mb RAM, a 160 x 160 pixel display screen, a USB interface and some built in functions.

I am guessing there are other more advanced computers you can wear on your wrist/arm – but I’m still waiting to find one that can perform many of the functions of my notebook. Many technologies follows Moore’s Law, doubling in processing speed and memory capacity every 2 years, while also shrinking in size. At some point though, too small and powerful is a real possibility. It is no longer a stretch to imagine a computer that you could attach to your wrist like a watch. What needs to change to bring it to market is how we would interact with such a device. Beam me up, Scotty would be a start.

Will these be christmas gifts in 2014 or will it be another 5 years? Will we someday see them used to control our electric cars and hybrid suvs? Time will tell!

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