In the late 1990s, M. T. Raghunath was part of a cross-disciplinary team, that included researchers from several countries, at IBM Research, that attempted to fit a programmable computer into a wristwatch form-factor. The team successfully demonstrated a wristwatch that ran both Linux and X11, which at that time, were seen as software that primarily ran on servers.

This work was recognized with a Test of Time Award from Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Mobile computing (SIGMOBILE) for “a wide set of contributions that are found in many of today’s personal devices, including innovations such as a 740dpi OLED screen, being the most miniaturized Linux device at the time, now-standard power-saving techniques in hardware and software, and interaction advances for bezel and touch UX”.

Test of Time Award is given to contributions that demonstrate a lasting impact in the field, which can be assessed only after considerable time. The award was decided in 2021 for work done much ahead of its time, in 1998-2002, with the paper being published in 2002. An IEEE or ACM paper is recognition by one’s peers, a feather in the cap among the best computer scientists in the world. To be chosen as a lasting contribution among that exclusive set, is an even greater honour. The award was declared in 2022, but was actually given out in early 2023.