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Our favorite smartwatch innovations (so far)

Our favorite smartwatch innovations (so far)

Almost every major smartphone company has produced a smartwatch. Being a young field of consumer technology, smartwatches have a long way to go. But they’ve also come a long way, as companies like Samsung have iterated on their smartwatch designs and Apple has worked hard to provide a fully-cooked first-generation product. We want to recognize the biggest innovations in the industry so far.

Samsung Gear S2’s rotating bezel

The rotating bezel found on the Gear S2 is the best way to interact with a circular smartwatch. It enables quick navigation and intuitive control, and the rotating bezel has limitless applications in the Gear S2’s UI. The input method can be adapted for opening an app, dialing a phone number, setting a timer, and much more. We are fully expecting that Samsung will keep and improve upon this feature in upcoming devices.

While the rotating bezel feature has been found on conventional watches, Samsung’s application of this classic feature to modern devices is splendid.

Apple Watch’s Force Touch

Screen size is a very limited factor of smartwatch design, so it’s a challenge for interface designers to cram in information without making an interface too complicated. Apple has enabled an interface that is both dense and intuitive with Force Touch, a feature that senses the pressure applied to the screen during a press. Deep-pressing on a clock, for example, might allow you to customize the device’s watchface. The technology is similar to the iPhone 6s’ 3D Touch.

Handwriting text input

Both Google and Apple will be introducing handwriting text input onto their upcoming respective smartwatch OS updates. Auto-generated responses often aren’t sufficient, and voice dictation can be awkward in public situations. Handwriting input is clearly the improvement needed.

Of course, these are only a few samples of the remarkable innovations that technology companies have made in the smartwatch category. Creating these small full-featured devices is a feat in itself. Which smartwatch innovation matters most to you?

Image credits: Samsung, Samsung, Apple, Google.

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