Sony SmartWatch: One Step Closer to Dick Tracy
I'm long enough in the tooth to remember reading the adventures of hard-hitting and eternally serious comic book detective Dick Tracy. Think Magnum, P.I. without the mustache. Introduced in the 1930's, Tracey's comic retained its nostalgic flair for the four decades it ran, although the square-chinned crime fighter received a few outstanding technological upgrades along the way.
What always struck me as cool about Tracy was his special watch, which began as a two-way radio, provided to him in 1946 by comic series creator Chester Gould. Gould got his idea for the communications marvel from inventor Al Gross. Tracy received alerts from Police HQ (and other cops) and provided status reports through this wrist-worn device, which eventually became video-based in 1964.
What I remembered most from my years reading the comic series, was that I wanted one of those watches. Gould was so ahead of his time, wasn't he?
Recently, a few tech companies have begun steadily drawing each of us closer to the day we'll all communicate like Dick Tracy.
Kickstart funding recipient TikTok first came to light in 2010, when it introduced the concept of taking the minimalist iPod Nano and converting it into a wrist-held device (photo, above) via a special sleeve. Desiring $15,000 to launch the idea, TikTok received almost a million dollars in Kickstart funding. Since then, the company has launched their own site, where you can purchase both TikTok and LunaTik styles to sport the micro iOS device, as you listen to music or watch videos.
Although aesthetically beautiful as an entertainment device, it's lack of communicative abilities causes the TikTok to sadly fall short of being Dick Tracy-esque.
Not to be outdone, Sony unveiled its SmartWatch today, the first wrist-held design to be built, ground up, to function as a smart device.
Built to work in tandem with an Android device, the SmartWatch (photo above) comes a step closer to serving as a communications device. The simple black face of the watch stays in touch, real-time, with your Android smartphone, providing easy access to the steady information flow received by your phone.Continued on the next page