Casio, an established name in watch making, has announced a pair of smartwatches with a difference at the Baselworld 2014 Watch and Jewelry Show. We’re used to our smartwatches delivering notifications from our phones to our wrists, but looking a bit clunky at the same time. These turn all this upside down. The smartest of the two is Casio’s new Edifice EQB-500. It looks brilliant, but despite having Bluetooth connectivity, it won’t alert you to incoming emails or calls.
What does it do? Think of the Edifice like a Smartwatch Lite, and you’ll have it about right. It’s Casio’s first analog watch to come with Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and after connecting it up to your phone, the time syncs up. Handy if you do a lot of traveling. Additionally, setting the world time options has moved from the watch to the phone. Most Edifice watches can display the time in 48 cities around the world, so this will make it easier to set up. Finally, the various alarm functions are also all adjusted on the phone.
Casio describes the Edifice as a concept watch, and it’s part of the firm’s new “synchronized timepiece,” strategy. Continuing on from this, it also launched the G-Shock GPW1000, another connected timepiece. There’s no Bluetooth this time, but it is the world’s first to use a low-energy GPS system, combined with Multi-Band 6 technology, to set the time. Because the watch knows where it is, the time is set automatically using either six international Multi-Band radio stations, or with GPS signals.
Both these models are hybrids, not quite reaching the functionality of the smartwatches with which we’re familiar, but elevating the functionality beyond a regular analog timepiece. Most importantly, it’s all wrapped up in a classic design. Casio hasn’t provided any launch information for these two concepts.
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