As a gadget nerd, it has been interesting to track the evolution of the smartwatch over the past couple of years. For the most part, these devices have struggled to attract a mainstream audience, remaining largely popular only with the early adopter crowd. At the moment, it appears that only the Apple Watch has found any measure of success in this increasingly crowded field, although even that could be fleeting.
Of course, the lack of demand for smartwatches hasn’t stopped other watchmakers from trying to capitalize on the trend, with some going to great lengths to attempt to set themselves apart from the competition. An example of this is an elegant looking device called the Moskito, which recently launched on Kickstarter. In many ways, this gadget performs just like any other smartwatch, providing notifications of incoming messages, alerts, and phone calls when worn on your wrist. But, when attached to your bike, it also serves as a full-featured cycling computer capable of tracking speed, distance, average pace, and more.
At first glance, the Moskito looks a lot like a standard analog watch. That’s because it sports an analog face, rather than a digital screen like most other smartwatches. Under the hood, the Swiss-made watch features precision quartz movement powered by six bidirectional motors, and it has analog hands and a dial, too. But, the watch also includes a Bluetooth 4.0 chip for pairing with an iPhone or Android device, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that is capable of keeping it running for anywhere from six to 24 months depending on usage.
When using the Moskito, users can set it to one of three different modes. In “time” mode it acts like any other watch, displaying the date and time, including seconds. But with the simple push of a button, the device can switch to “speed” mode, which is how it functions as a bike computer. In this mode, the second hand displays the current speed, while the minute hand shows distance covered in either kilometers or miles, and the hour hand continues to display the current time. The third mode is “chronograph,” which indicates the total amount of time riding.
The watch comes with one of two different bands: a standard leather version and a more sporty nylon option, as well as a bike mount. When in “time” mode you wear the Moskito like any other watch, with the day, date, and current time displayed. But when you’re ready to ride, you simply pop it out of a housing on the band and snap it into place on the bike mount before switching it over to “speed” mode as you start your ride. This turns the device into a beautifully crafted analog speedometer that is unlike anything else out on the road.
Because the Moskito connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, it can be used to track and store the data from your rides. That way you’ll be able see how fast you were actually going during your workouts, and the total distance you managed to travel too. That data is compatible with both Strava and Garmin Connect, so you can upload your training rides to those platforms to share with others, while also tracking performance over time.
The designers behind the Moskito have set a lofty goal of raising nearly $150,000 to get their smartwatch-bike computer off the ground. So far, they are about a third of the way towards that goal, with a few weeks yet to go in the Kickstarter campaign. If they are successful, they hope to begin shipping the device in October of 2017. It won’t be cheap however, as this Swiss-made chronograph is expected to retail for $765 when it becomes available. Early bird supporters can claim their Moskito for as low as $528 if they reserve one now.