Smartwatch: Help or Hinder Digital Divide?

On September 4th, Samsung introduced the new galaxy watch, a $299 smartwatch. This watch is made so that users can avoid having to touch their phones or the watch and can complete the task they would on a phone in a hands free manner. Users of the watch will be able to make hands free calls  and dicate emails directly from the watch. When a text message or email is to long to read on the watch, users can just open there phone and a feature called Smart Reply will display on the phone whatever was being displayed on the watch. It will connect with Samsung devices using Bluetooth and it runs on a Google android operating system.  It will also allow users to sets alarms and check weather using only there voice and will be able to take both video and photos by just pointing your wrist. 70 apps will be available to download on the watch.

As new and more modern technologies start being released, it will be interesting to see whether the digital divide will widen or become smaller. The digital divide is defined as the unequal distribution of technology between developed and underdeveloped countries. The digital divide is often also associated with the gap in economic development. Citizens of country’s who have very limited or no access to Internet, computers, or mobile phones will not have the money or the need to buy a smartwatch. This could cause the digital divide to possibly become wider.  It also will not be a priority to them. One way it could bring countries closer together is through the leapfrogging effect. If possible, developing countries could skip over traditional cell phones and basic computers and use a device, like the smartwatch, which is very modern, and all encompassing. On September 25th, the smartwatch will be shipped to 140 different countries. It will be interesting to see whether this watch becomes a device which brings world closer or will it be a factor is making the digital divide even wider. Related articles


One response to “Smartwatch: Help or Hinder Digital Divide?

  • Juan Carlos Monterrey Gomez

    Your post definitely stands out this week. Most of us focused on products/technologies specifically developed for poor communities, but you didn’t. I am definitely thinking about buying this watch.

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