Casio Made Smart Watches Decades Before Apple
In the tech world, releasing a product too early can be just as detrimental to its success as releasing it too late. Such is the case with Casio and its forward-thinking wristwatches released in the 1990s. The Japanese watchmaker included many of the must-have features of modern-day smartwatches—fitness tracking, music, weather, phone notifications, and much more—on its now seemingly ancient timepieces. The Toshio Kashio Memorial Museum of Invention, named after the late Casio co-founder, is home to a trove of the bizarre and seemingly anachronistic watches. The Verge‘s Sam Byford paid a visit to the museum and spoke with a Casio representative about why their elaborate timepieces didn’t quite take off. Here’s what they said:
“The intent behind the exhibition is to lend context to Casio’s current lineup of more traditional watches. Barring a huge spike in the mid-‘90s when the G-Shock line gained popularity, Casio was never able to achieve major sales growth in the watch segment until more recently, when it started to focus on analog models — some of which have basic Bluetooth functionality, but none of which go to such design extremes.”
Byford detailed all the Apple Watch predecessors here. Take a look at a sampling of them below.