Memory // Innovations

Evolution of the Digital Watch and What It Really Signals

By Hansheng Tan - 2015-04-24

Like you, I’ve been anticipating the launch of the Apple Watch. For an interesting read on the evolution of the digital watch from a simple counter to a highly advanced computing platform (1972–2015) and memory’s role in shaping it, see the latest post on the Forbes “Storage Bytes” Blog.  

Will Apple’s launch finally solidify the connected watch as a must-have item? Only time will tell, but what its availability means is that we can expect to see more connected devices as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to push more personal and ubiquitous experiences. Watches have always been a very personal item with a choice of styles and features. The connected watch is no different—it comes in many forms from multiple manufacturers with personalized features through customized apps that can be uploaded to the watch.

Apple Watch

However, we shouldn’t dwell on the form factor alone. There is much more than meets the eye. Yes, it’s a watch and, yes, it’s connected to the Internet. In the big picture, it’s about what we can do and how we stay engaged in the information and activities that make up our hyperconnected digital lifestyle. And it’s about the supporting technologies that make all of this possible.

We have the wireless and wired infrastructure in place to provide seamless connectivity. We have consumers and enterprise users that are accustomed to an app culture thanks to smartphones and tablets. We have innovations in data management systems that are capable of processing and analyzing big data coming from our mobile devices, sensors, and connected cars and feeding our favorite apps.

All of this is leading to a robust and healthy wearables market that is practical and productive—not just a novelty. As we herald the arrival of the Apple Watch, I can’t wait to see what follows.

Hansheng Tan