Smart watches have undergone a very important evolution, but they all have a “common ancestor”, the Seiko Ruputer, a device that we can consider as the first smartwatch in the world and that, curiously, had the same problems presented by current models.

The Seiko Ruputer was launched in 1998, that is, 22 years ago. Let’s put that date in perspective, when the first smartwatch debuted we are at a stage in which Windows 98 It dominated the world of the PC, the Intel Pentium II were the last cry and having 64 MB of RAM was something fantastic.

It has rained a lot since then, but the truth is that, despite the limitations of the time, the Seiko Ruputer had a rather interesting configuration. The world’s first smartwatch had a 16-bit 3.6 MHz processor, 2 MB of storage capacity and 128 KB of RAM. Its screen was a two-line monochrome LCD type, had a resolution of 102 x 64 pixels and used a small eight-way joystick and six function buttons. It also had an infrared system to communicate with other devices.

Its two batteries offered autonomy of up to 30 hours, although said figure it could be reduced considerably with use. He was accompanied by a C language based software development kit, It was enormous in size, as we can see in the video, and its interface had nuances that clearly reminded us of the Windows operating system. It worked with batteries, so when these were spent we had to change them, which was a significant expense in the medium and long term.

Not bad at all, right? Well, it may surprise you, but this “little one” could connect to a PC and had numerous functions, ranging from text editing until the creation of reminders, thanks to its integrated calendar.

Poor autonomy and shortage of applications, the great shortcomings of the first smartwatch

Those were the most important problems presented by the Seiko Ruputer, and both remain in current smart watches, although we must break a spear in their favor, since thanks to the use of rechargeable batteriess at least it is no longer necessary to buy watch batteries, with the savings and comfort that this implies.

In addition to the limitations associated with the battery issue and the application ecosystem, we must also take into account another important key: the experience of use. Interacting with current smartwatches is much easier and more comfortable, of that there is no doubt. The integration of touch screens and voice assistants It has marked an important step forward, but its limitations are still very great.

The autonomy of a smartwatch continues to depend on the use we make of it, something that already happened with the world’s first smartwatch. Something as simple as checking the time frequently could greatly accelerate the depletion of your batteries, and with today’s smart watches something very similar happens, because if we want to get the most out of them and activate their advanced functions, their autonomy it will be reduced to a few hours.

Curious, very curious that today, 22 years after the launch of the first smartwatch, we can talk about an enormous evolution in some aspects, but at the same time so limited in others that the shortcomings of that mythical Seiko Ruputer remain, broadly speaking, in current smartwatches.

I don’t know


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