A Lot Of Companies Have Tried And Failed To Make A Smartwatch

samsung S9110 watchphoneSamsung’s ‘watchphone’ from 2009.

If you believe the reports and rumours, a lot of big names in tech are working on smartwatches. 

Google, Apple, Samsung, and LG all reportedly have plans to make a smartwatch soon.

The concept is pretty straightforward: the devices would pair with your smartphone and let you look at incoming notifications like text messages and Twitter mentions. 

But despite all the recent hype surrounding them, smartwatches are nothing new. Several companies have tried them before. Most of them failed. 

Here’s a look back at some of the most talked about smartwatches in recent memory.

Sony still sells its Android-powered smartwatch, but the reviews are horrible

Sony launched an Android-powered smartwatch last year. It has a tiny full-colour touchscreen, and it syncs with apps like Twitter and Facebook

However, reviews of the device are horrible. Take a look at Gizmodo's hands-on video. The watch doesn't even respond to touch controls.

You can still buy Sony's watch for $129.99.

Microsoft tried to make smartwatches happen with SPOT

Microsoft introduced its SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology) platform in 2004. The platform delivered content such as news and weather over FM radio waves to devices running SPOT for $59 per year.

Companies like Fossil and Swatch made watches that used SPOT, but none of them really took off.

Microsoft killed SPOT in 2008.

Apple sort of had a smartwatch with the 2010 iPod Nano.

Apple gave the iPod Nano a new squarish look in 2010, one that was perfectly suited for your wrist.

In fact, Apple included several watch face apps for the device and third-party accessory makers came up with a bunch of clever wristbands.

But it didn't last long.

Last year, Apple killed the watch-like iPod Nano design in favour of a new rectangular one that's too large to fit on your wrist.

LG tried to make the smartphone watch happen

LG released the GD910 Watchphone in 2009. It was exactly what it sounds like: a touchscreen wrist computer that could make phone calls.

The problem? It was a bit awkward to talk to your wrist, so it worked best if used with a dorky Bluetooth headset.

Engadget gave the GD910 a decent review, but the device never really took off.

Samsung released its second (but most talked about) watchphone, the S9110, in 2009. The device could sync with Outlook email, play songs, and make phone calls. But it was pricey, about $600.

The I'm Watch got a lot of buzz...and a lot of negative reviews

The i'm Watch is an Android-powered smartwatch made by an Italian company. It can pair with your smartphone to show incoming notifications and has a bunch of standard apps. It has a 1.5-inch touchscreen and a sturdy wristband.

But boy is it expensive at $450.

And CNET didn't exactly give it a kind review.

Motorola's MotoActv smartwatch is a fitness monitor

Motorola introduced its smartwatch, the MotoActv, in late 2011 along with its Droid Razr smartphone. The watch is primarily a fitness tool and monitors your heart rate and steps. It can also use it to play music and track your location via GPS.

The device never really took off, but you can still buy it for about $250.

BONUS: The Pebble is not a failure. In fact, it helped renew interest in smartwatches.

The Pebble got a lot of people excited about smartwatches again after it raised $10.2 million on crowdfunding site Kickstarter. The device started shipping to Kickstarter backers this year.

The watch has a black and white display, similar to the one on e-readers like the Kindle. That makes it easier to read in direct sunlight. The Pebble connects to iPhones and Android phones via Bluetooth and lets you view incoming calls, texts, and other notifications. You can also use it to control music playing on your phone.

You can pre-order a Pebble here for $150.

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.