From a stick in the sand to the sundial. From the pocket watch to a wrist watch. From analog to digital. Our method for telling time has continued to evolve over the years, and today’s assortment of timepieces has taken that evolution a step further. No longer do watches just offer you the time. Now they sync with your smartphone to relay calls and text messages, help you to stay fit, improve your golf game and so much more.
Adidas: A Coach on Your Wrist
The Adidas miCoach SMART RUN ($400) not only provides continuous tracking of your heart rate via a visual on your wrist, but is also divides your heart rate into four zones—blue, green, yellow and red—based on your own unique physiology. The watch will then guide you to get into the right zone while you are running with vibrations and changes in color as well as voice instructions—if you are synced to your phone. The more than 400 anatomically correct animations stored on the watch can also help guide you through various workouts.
Samsung: From Fiction to Reality
As the ad campaign for Samsung’s Galaxy Gear ($300) reminds us, we have been seeing the mythical phone watch on our favorite TV shows for years—Inspector Gadget, Dick Tracy, Captain Kirk and George Jetson have all sported one. Now, Samsung has made that fantasy a reality with a smartwatch that syncs to a limited number of Samsung smartphones and lets you take the call right from your wrist. Other features include a camera, the ability to record quick voice notes/reminders, and a Find My Device option that makes your other smart devices beep for easy locating.
FiLIP Technology: A Direct Line to Your Kids
FiLIP Technology’s FiLIP (pricing not available at press time) is a smartwatch for kids designed to give their parents piece of mind. This voice watch allows you to call or text your children as well as program five numbers that your child can call at any time. You can also track your kid’s location on your smartphone and get notifications when they reach a destination (such as school) or travel somewhere they shouldn’t. Finally, pressing the watch’s Intelligent Emergency red button will immediately text a parent the child’s location, start a recording of the ambient sound around the device, and call the five numbers programed into the device one at a time until someone answers.
Fitbit: Forcing You to Stay Fit
The latest from Fitbit is their Force ($130) wristband, which in addition to telling you the time, lets you know the number of steps you have taken, stairs climbed, calories burned, distance traveled and active minutes throughout the day. Real-time status updates on all of these metrics keeps you motivated to stay moving. At night, the Force even tracks how well and how long you sleep. And since the device syncs with your computer and smartphone, all of your stats are sent wirelessly to these devices so you can track your personal fitness trends over time.
Garmin: Keeping You Under Par
Everyone can use a little help with their golf game, and Garmin’s Approach S4 ($350) is just the watch to provide it. This GPS touchscreen golf watch comes preloaded with more than 30,000 international courses and you can continue to update new and old courses for free. The Approach S4 also provides distances to the front, back and center of the green and a dedicated Green View button shows you the true shape of the green. You can also keep score right on the watch and receive push notifications from your iPhone.