Why haven't digital watches kept up with digital computers?

My 2009 Timex Ironman watch has two features that my 1988 version did not: an "Indiglo" back-light and something called an "occasion" tracker. What it does not have is a music player, Bluetooth/wifi/USB, a high resolution display, memory or apps. The price was about the same.

Over the same period, portable music advanced from the cassette-playing Walkman to the iPod Nano. I appreciate that one company might stick with its strong brand, but how can no competitor emerge over the same era?

I wrote several years ago my affinity for what I called "fridge books" -- tablets. I think watches offer an opportunity for innovation -- an unexploited piece of real estate on human flesh. As a micro-dashboard, these smart watches will connect to and complement smart phones, conveying information at a glance; when it takes a tenth of a second to look at something, withdrawing and unlocking your phone does actually add up. A smart watch may show:
  • The song you're listening to on your phone (and let you skip it)
  • Who is calling you
  • Which cardinal direction is your mapped destination
  • The next step in your route
  • The temperature
  • How far you have jogged
  • Who and what from your circle is close to you (4Square, Geodelic/Around me, etc.)
  • A pro sports score
  • News headlines
  • Where your phone is
It just seems silly that we don't have high-rez colour touch interfaces just to tell us the time; at least not on our wrist. Add in a new category of micro-push content, and demand for innovative new watches will be there.