With so many smartwatches expected to hit the market in the next year or two, designers and developers are going to have to really think outside the box to come up with a design and feature set that will help their offering rise above those of their competitors.
Billing itself as a “genuine standalone smartwatch”, and a water-resistant one at that, Omate’s TrueSmart smartwatch has just hit its $100,000 funding target on Kickstarter – on the same day it went live. Of course, many of you will recall that the folks behind another high-tech wristwatch, the Pebble, hit their target within hours of going live on the site last year, and things seem to have worked out pretty well for them.
So what exactly will Omate’s watch bring to the table – well, it’s a standalone device, remember, so there’ll be no messing about pairing it with a smartphone. It virtually is a smartphone, albeit a very small one with a strap. So yes, you can make voice calls on it, and take photos with its built-in five-megapixel camera. If you really must connect it with your handset – the big one in your pocket – you can do so via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
The device, powered by a 1.3GHz dual core processor, runs Android 4.2.2 and incorporates a 1.5-inch touchscreen. Gesture and voice controls and GPS support are also part of the package with the TrueSmart, which comes with 4GB of internal storage, though a microSD card slot means this can be increased by up to 32GB.
Its metal body, watertight seals, and waterproof connecters means you’re safe to keep it on when you run in the rain, swim in the sea or step in the shower. Heck, you can even stick your arm in a fish tank and you’ll be fine, so long as there are no bad-tempered piranhas swimming about, of course.
Surprisingly, Omate seems all ready to go with its new watch, with plans in place to ship the first batch of devices as early as this October and November. The new smartwatch will retail for $299, though the first backers will be offered it for $179.
With Samsung expected to launch its own Galaxy Gear watch next month, Apple prepping one of its own, and a slew of other high-tech watches set to launch in the next year or so, the space is set to become very crowded very quickly. Getting in early, as Omate appears to be doing with the TrueSmart, could prove to be its wisest move.