Cellphone Watches Aren’t Just for Dick Tracy Anymore

Talking timepieces take center stage

Dick Tracy, this is your year. Gadget makers have tried to re-create the 2-Way Wrist Radio before, but now they’ve finally managed to pack cell-phones into watches so sleek and func-
tional that you’d actually wear them.

LG’s GD910, which went on sale in Europe last year, kicked off the trend. We’re looking forward to seeing this prime video-chatting, text-messaging watch stateside at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show, along with new models from Kempler & Strauss and others. All of them let you converse through built-in speaker-phones, à la Tracy, or maintain privacy by beaming sound to a Bluetooth headset. Fitting such versatility into thin cases required years of engineering to squeeze together parts that are usually separated. (Kempler & Strauss, for example, overhauled a standard cellphone circuit board several times to keep the cellular and Bluetooth radios from interfering with each other.) Look for upcoming models to pack even more features, like GPS and Web access, in even smaller packages.

Corinne Iozzio

Corinne IozzioCorinne is the Editor-in-chief of Popular Science. She's been here, in one role or another, for more than 11 years. With a background covering consumer tech that began with the launch of the first iPhone, she's made a career nerding out about how fast the world changes around us every day.