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The Advent of the Standalone SmartWatch

Before the smartwatch emerged in the real world it existed on the page as a two-way radio in the Dick Tracy comic strip. There was no jam that Dick Tracy couldn’t extricate himself from using his standalone wristwatch. The gizmo lived on in the minds of kids and some of those kids grew up to be engineers. After first appearing as a futuristic device in a 1946 comic, the standalone smartwatch is coming and, at CommandWear, we’re eagerly looking forward to it.

CommandWear is a leader in using smartwatches for first responders so that they can stay “hands-free and heads-up” while staying in constant communication. We’ve integrated the Pebble and Apple smartwatches into our system and used them with first responders in live situations. Our trials with first responders in real situations have indicated that for many the smartwatch is a huge advantage over having to pull out a phone or pick up a message on the radio:

  • There is tactile feedback¬†which means the first responder can feel the notification even when it’s loud and their radio is drowned out.
  • A quick glance let’s them know what the message is. This is really useful on a bike.

One of the drawbacks of today’s smartwatches is that they need to be tethered to a smartphone in order to be used. The phone can be put away in a pocket or backpack, but it needs to be close by.¬†We’ve tested with many standalone smartwatches before, but they all suffer from poor battery life when they have the GPS on and have to be updating locations every minute or less.

CommandWear Neptune PineThe Neptune Pine

At CommandWear we are always looking for and testing devices that might help first responders be safer and more effective. One of the new devices we’ve tried is the Neptune Pine, a standalone, full-featured, android smartwatch.

The Neptune Pine provides about 9 hours of battery life running with GPS on and updating it’s location every minute. It’s also a full function android smartphone, and can be used to send and receive messages and pictures/videos. It’s a great step forward in what we believe is an exciting future.