Google was certainly not the first manufacturer to release a smartwatch device: another notable companies involved with the wearable technology market are Pebble and Sony, where Pebble released smartwatches running a proprietary operating system and Sony have released devices running a variant of Android. However, in 2014 Google released the Android Wear platform with three smartwatch devices, although the original Motorola Moto 360 was not released with the announcement of the platform. Since then, many other manufacturers have released smartwatches both running Android Wear and running other operating systems. Despite there being many more devices available on the market, smartwatches have not sold in the massive numbers that were perhaps hoped for. They are still seen as something of a niche product, perhaps because they are still bulky and inelegant looking.
However, there is a rapidly growing part of the wearable technology market and one that is seen to slot below that of the smartwatch: the activity bands. These wearable devices are designed to log our physical activity and can contain a number of different sensors, such as gyroscopes, accelerometers, heart rate monitors and more. Some activity bands – also known as fitness bands – are relatively simple products that only need an occasional recharge, whereas others can show notifications and allow wearers to respond: but these products are strong sellers. Partially, this is because the devices are smaller and more discrete and partially because people are interested in tracking and improving their activity levels. Samsung are one manufacturer investing into the wearable technology arena and this year have so far released the Gear Fit 2, Gear Icon X and the Charm.
It's the Charm that is the most stylish of its wearable products; it's a fitness or activity band available in Black, Gold and Rose Quartz that appears to be being marketed for ladies. Samsung have released a video showing how to get started with the Charm and the embedded video below shows how to unpack the device and place it on the wrist. It explains that customers will need to install the Charm companion application on a device – showing as a modern Samsung Galaxy S 'phone – and from here the application will record activity levels. The YouTube clip also shows how to recharge the charm using the included dock and how it can receive notifications too. The underlying theme of the Charm clip is how easy the wearable is in everyday life: the Charm may be a relatively simple tracker, but this is not necessarily a bad thing.