A smartwatch is an electronic device that acts as an extension of your smartphone. It’s paired, usually via Bluetooth, to your phone and has its own app for performing key functions. They range from simple fitness trackers to sophisticated computerized devices. Most are based on the mobile operating system of the smartphone they work with, but some use their own watch OS or otherwise support many types of smartphones.

Most smartwatches feature a touchscreen that allows you to browse and interact with apps on the device, much like an iPhone or iPad. Most also have a built-in GPS for tracking movement and other data during outdoor sports such as running, cycling, or hiking.

Some models offer additional features that go beyond basic activity tracking, such as a calorie-burn monitoring, sleep tracker, or the ability to store music for listening on the go. Others may have special sensors, such as a body temperature sensor that can be used for retrospective estimates of ovulation in women, or an ECG heart rate monitor that detects irregular heart rhythms, to help people with heart conditions, diabetes, or high blood pressure.

Many models come with speakers and microphones that allow you to answer or make calls from your watch hands-free. This is especially useful for people with a busy lifestyle who want to stay connected but need to keep their hands free. Other functions may include a barometer that measures atmospheric pressure and alerts you to weather changes, or an indoor/outdoor camera that streams live footage straight to your wrist.

Some of the big brands’ smartwatches let you use them as a contactless payment system, so you can simply swipe your device on a reader at the store to pay. The technology is still relatively new but has been adopted by big (and some small) stores around the world.

A smartwatch can also respond to voice commands and let you dictate text messages for quick reply, which can be a big help if your job requires you to work with your hands or you don’t have the luxury of picking up your phone to check notifications. Some even let you turn on or off your home’s lights, or open your smart locks using your watch.

Smartwatches can be a great addition to any lifestyle, whether you’re a busy entrepreneur who needs to respond quickly to emails or an active athlete who wants to monitor their training and recovery progress. With their advanced functionality and sleek designs, smartwatches can take your digital experience to the next level.

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