The Pebble smartwatch has customizable watch faces.
Will you soon be replacing your smartphone with a smartwatch?
It’s difficult to predict what will catch on, what will be a trend and what will be a flop in the ever-changing world of technology.
Here are five things in the tech world to look out for:
Pebble Technology recently released the Pebble E-Paper Watch, which allows users to check their texts and emails on the interface.
Apple is also reportedly deveoping an iWatch. While it’s too early to know if the smartwatch is going to be the next big thing, the iWatch could include apps and features similar to the iPhone.
“You never know until it comes out that you actually want it and need it,” said Jag Guevara, a 2009 graduate of Seattle Central Community College who keeps up with technology news.
Although young people don’t typically wear watches, Guevara said if a smartwatch had all the capabilities of a phone, he would wear the watch all the time.
“It’s all about finding stuff that people use everyday and sticking it on something you just naturally take with you,” he said. “It’s all about convergence.”
Jakub Bialas, a junior computer science and math major at the University of Maryland, said he would consider getting a smartwatch if the price was modest — around $100-$150.
2. Google Glass
The smartwatch has the potential to replace a smartphone, but can glasses do the same thing?
With a heads-up display that recalls something out of Iron Man, Google Glass allows the wearer to search and scan and use voice commands without looking down at a device.
“It’s virtual reality; what’s not cool about that?” said Wesley Gong, a junior computer science and economics major at the University of Maryland. “The ability to trick your mind to be somewhere else is kind of crazy.”
With Google Glass, you can snap pictures, use GPS and send texts, just by looking straight ahead. Google Glass are expected to be released to the public sometime in 2014.
3. Laptop-tablet hybrids
The portability of a tablet combined with the features of a laptop could appeal to students on the go. Laptop-tablet hybrids give users the option to separate and combine the touchscreen and keyboard.
Some students, like Bialas, think the hybrids — like the Microsoft Surface Pro — could even replace laptops.
“I think it’ll finally cause a move toward ultra-light, laptop-tablet combos,” he said.
4. Tamagotchi app
The digital pet of the 1990s has come back to life in app form. The app is called Tamagotchi L.i.f.e., and while there have been other virtual pet apps, this is the first from the original Tamagotchi company.
It was released Feb. 14 on Android devices.
Guevara remembers when he played with Tamagotchi products as a child.
“I got mine to grow and then I forgot to feed it, so it died,” he said. “A Tamagotchi app would… have kind of a retro-modern appeal. It would be fun to go back to that that time on current technology. It’s fun looking back on stuff that used to be a big deal, stuff we used to do back then, kind of like how we can take a PlayStation 2 game like Grand Theft Auto and play it on iPhone.”
He then downloaded the app on his tablet.
“Looking at it, it feels close enough,” Guevara said. “It does everything the old Tamagotchi device used to do. It’s just on a tablet.”
5. Wireless charging
A common complaint among people who have various devices is there are too many chargers to keep track of — not to mention cords that can get easily tangled.
To get rid of the hassle, some new phones have the capability to charge without ever plugging them in. The Nokia Lumia 920 has built-in wireless charging and the Nokia Lumia 820 can be charged wirelessly by placing it on top of a charging shell.
What new tech developments are you excited about?
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