The latest smartwatch to hit the headlines is not one from Motorola, Sony, or Samsung, but from Will.i.am. That’s right, the man better known for music, is once more turning his attention to tech. However, he hasn’t held a flashy press event, or even official revealed it yet. Instead, he vaguely demonstrated the wrist worn device on a TV chat show in the UK.
He didn’t give the watch a name (maybe it’ll be the smart.w.atch), or make a point of showing the UI directly to the camera, but he did seem to be flicking through screens, and added that it could make phone calls too. He also claimed the watch stored his music, and appeared to play some for the audience, plus told the show’s host it connected to Bluetooth headphones, and provided access to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
From what we can see in the video, Will.i.am’s watch has an unusual bracelet-style design, is quite thick, and has a slightly curved glass screen. The brief glimpse of the display didn’t give any clues to the software, but we’re guessing it’s proprietary rather than, say, Android Wear. If it does make calls, it’ll be more in-line with multi-function hardware like the Neptune Pine.
A report in the Telegraph says the chat show wasn’t the first time the watch phone had been shown on TV. The singer tried to place a call to fellow warbler Cheryl Cole on another UK show over the weekend, but the demo apparently didn’t go well, resulting in muffled audio and the call eventually being dropped. This could have more to do with the studio location than the watch, though.
Will.i.am is no stranger to the tech world, having come up with his own line of camera-enhancing cases for the iPhone, and is “director of creative innovation” at Intel. In an interview back in early 2013, Will.i.am talked about his fascination with wearable tech, saying he was ready to “create a movement, an aesthetic” around it. His ties with Intel make the watch particularly interesting, as it’s an area into which the chip manufacturer is heavily investing.
When will we get a proper, official look at Will.i.am’s watch? In a tweet to Engadget, after being quizzed about whether the watch was a genuine product, he said “Yes, it is really real… I will definitely share more info with you soon.” Another tweet, this time to Alan Carr, the host of the chat show, said it’ll launch in July.