Smartwatches for Expats: How it can ease a challenging daily life

2 May 2013



Traditional watches slowly faded into the background with people beginning to use their phones as the prime method of telling the time. But the wristwatch could be making a comeback in the form of ‘smartwatches’. Smartwatches are wearable computing devices that do much more than just tell the time, and can potentially offer a great deal to an expat lifestyle. With smartwatches you no longer have to worry about missing notifications because you couldn’t hear your phone that was stuffed away in your pocket or bag while on the move. Stay connected to your love ones, check your messages and get reminders so you won’t forget important meetings, appointments or flight times, with just a glance at your wrist. Smartwatches could also help you keep track of your health, like monitoring your sleep patterns when you are facing the challenge of adjusting to different time zones, as well as keeping track of your progress while exercising and calorie intake to monitor the diet in your new country of residence, so the potential for them to be part of your expat daily life is huge. Pebble is a smartwatch that has generated a lot of hype that allows you to download useful apps and an array of cool watch faces. It uses Bluetooth to wirelessly connect to your iPhone or Android devices, so that you can simultaneously receive notifications for incoming calls, messages, emails, social media accounts and even control your music. Pebble is waterproof and the e-paper display means that it is easily readable even in direct sunlight so that it can effortlessly merge into your everyday lifestyle.



Another example is the MetaWatch, it is compatible with Android devices and now with iPhones, so that with a quick look you can get caller ID and SMS notifications. MetaWatches allows you to control your music and alerts you if your phone goes out of range, which is good news if you have a tendency to lose things and leave your phone behind. Some other smartwatches on the market are the Sony Smartwatch, and I’m Watch, each has similar functions but offer different designs and benefits.  





With wearable mobile tech shaping up to be the next big thing, smartwatch developments are on the rise as more and more companies jump on board the trend. Companies like Apple, Google, LG, Samsung and Microsoft are all rumoured to be developing their own version of smartwatches. In particular there has been quite a buzz around what is rumoured to be Apple’s next big innovation, the ‘iWatch’. Now there has been varying speculation on exactly what the so-called ‘iWatch’ can do, from being able to monitor your calorie intake, control other devices  and be used as a credit card, to being simply a wrist band that would attach to your Apple devices. Either way there has been no official statement from Apple, so only time will tell what Apple will bring to the smartwatch market and the impact it will have on easing the challenges of expats’ daily lives.