With all the talk about newfangled smart watches and activity monitors, it seems a little unfair that Casio has been left out of the conversation. After all, Casio has been making “smart” watches for some time – depending on how you define what a smart watch is. Getting into the activity tracker game, the company is coming out with a sports watch, the Bluetooth Sports Gear STB-1000 with low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 that monitors your personal fitness, as well as control the music player on your iPhone.
Designed to work with iPhones all the way back to the 4S (running iOS 7), the waterproof STB-1000 (down to 328 feet/100 meters) lets you track fitness-related data like running pace and distance, elapsed time, pulse, cycling speed, and pedal rotations. The watch does this by using Bluetooth 4.0 to communicate with fitness apps running on your iPhone; currently the STB-1000 supports Abvio’s Runmeter, Walkmeter, and Cyclemeter, as well as Wahoo Fitness.
As for the other smart features, you can control the iPhone’s music player, including starting, skipping, and stopping songs, and adjusting the volume. You can also receive alerts of incoming calls and e-mail, adjust watch settings from the phone, or use the watch to locate your phone when you’ve misplaced it. The STB-1000 has a bright LED backlight, two-year battery life, time settings for 100 cities. Oh, and the watch tells time. Casio says that it’ll increase support for other apps.
The STB-1000 follows Casio’s 2011 introduction of the first G-Shock watch with Bluetooth 4.0, which offered the same functionality minus the fitness apps. While the STB-1000 isn’t as full-featured as some of the new smart watches hitting the scene (there’s no camera, no Web browser, etc.), we think the simplicity and fewer features can be far more practical. Pricing and availability to be determined.