The rise of smart watches

What is even more impressive about the latest smartwatch from Huawei is that it can work with other smartphones. File image.

What is even more impressive about the latest smartwatch from Huawei is that it can work with other smartphones. File image.

Published Sep 26, 2023


Smart watches are slowly taking over from smartphones.

They used to be just gadgets that were announced alongside major smartphones.

Now they are becoming standalone digital products.

Huawei recently dedicated a day to a smart watch launch.

After attending the HUAWEI Watch GT4 product launch, I can now understand why a day was dedicated to the launch of a series of smart watches.

The latest watch from Huawei is not just any other smart watch. Most of these watches require almost a daily battery watch.

This is not the case with the Huawei Watch GT4.

The battery can last for 14 days given the following usage habits: 30 minutes of Bluetooth calling per week, 30 minutes of audio playback per week, heart rate monitoring enabled, HUAWEI TruSleep enabled at night, 90 minutes of workouts per week (GPS enabled), message notifications enabled (50 SMS messages, 6 calls, and 3 alarms a day), and screen turned on 200 times per day.

Actual battery life may vary depending on usage habits.

What is even more impressive about the latest smartwatch from Huawei is that it can work with other smartphones.

Most smart watches work with smartphones within their own ecosystem. An Apple smart watch will not work with a competing brand. The same is true for most technology brands.

Huawei Watch GT4 is probably the first smart watch that can work with other brands. This fact alone got me thinking about the value of smart watches for leading tech brands.

Huawei has done something remarkable by adopting an open standards for its smart watch.

Huawei has learnt a lot from the ban of its smartphones, and is now devising better strategies to keep their lead position in the market.

Apple too has also just improved the functionality of its smart watch.

Their latest smart watch has added the ability to use gestures as a form of navigation which is unique in the industry.

It’s important to note that the Apple smart watch gesture feature has been assigned to a smart watch instead of a smartphone. This alone highlight the value that is now attached to smart watches.

The value of a smart watch is not only limited to industry matters but it extends to consumer benefit.

Consider the health app in smart watches. It is one of the most important tools ever created for digital products after the ability to make phone calls.

In South Africa, LifeQ became one of the first companies to develop a tool that could enable the detection of COVID-19 virus.

1Life, together with LifeQ, using a Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 device, launched a first-in-SA Covid-19 screening app. It used unique models derived from users’ biometric data to give them an indication of changes in their health, enabling consumers to take proactive precautions in the event of potential Covid-19 onset, which was essential as the country faced a potential 3rd wave of infections.

The use of a smart watch device to detect health challenges is one of its most underrated features.

Society has not yet begun to use them extensively for other health purposes. Imagine if doctors were enabled to responsibly access health data with permission before assessing a patient.

Imagine if health data from smart watches could warn a nation about an imminent health hazard, and influence a health defence strategy.

All of these factors are an indicator of the value of a smart watch currently. As they evolve they will probably add more features that will enhance our lives.

There’s no doubt in my mind that smart watches are devices of the future, and just wait until VR headsets are adopted as a form of eyewear. Their worth will be much more that they are today.

Wesley Diphoko is the Editor-In-Chief of FastCompany (SA) magazine.

Wesley Diphoko. Picture: David Ritchie.