Halo looks like a regular analog watch … until you turn on its transparent OLED display

The Halo smartwatch is a concept device that’s very different from the many other smart watches we’re seeing launched this year. You may think that analog face is another realistic digital copy, but it’s not. It’s a real analog watch face, with hands that tick round using a complex collection of ever-shrinking gears. It becomes smart after you press a button on the side, when a transparent digital display appears, ready to be used with the touch sensitive glass screen.

Discovered at the Wearables Technology Conference currently underway in Taipei, the Halo is the work of Longshine Technologies, a firm which primarily produces hardware for other companies. The screen is a transparent OLED panel with a basic 96 x 96 pixel resolution, which is fine for showing icons, but probably won’t be great for much more. According to MobileGeeks, the low resolution is a limitation associated with using a transparent screen.

The operating system is based on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and Longshine has installed a selection of apps for messaging and music management, plus utilities such as a compass, and a stopwatch. Another version of the Halo smartwatch, called the Halo 2, shares a similar design and comes with the option to insert a SIM card, so it can be used as a standalone device. Unusually, the SIM slots into the clasp on the strap, rather than inside the body. It’s all water and dust resistant, too.

Both Halo watches are powered by an Intel processor, along with 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of internal storage memory. A Pebble-style magnetic charging port sits on the side, along with the buttons for activating the display. Neither watch looks particularly polished, but they are early samples, and will presumably be improved should they ever make it on sale. Sadly, there’s no indication this will happen, although it’s mentioned in the hands-on video Longshine would like to market the watches itself.

Until that happens, or another company snaps up the concept, the Halo smartwatch is an interesting look at how the wearable industry is still trying to solve the problem of combining style and smart functionality.

Product Review

The Oaxis Timepiece is minimalist in style, maximalist in frustration.

The Oaxis Timepiece wants to be a traditional watch, a fitness tracker, and a basic smartwatch all-in-one. That’s a tall order, despite it sounding quite simple, so can the sub-$180 wearable manage to pull it off?

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.

Sony’s weird Wena isn’t a smartwatch, it’s a smart watch strap

Sony's Wena smart watch straps have been around since 2015; but the company has now decided to launch them outside of Japan, starting with the U.K.. The straps convert traditional watch straps into smart watches.

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for February 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.

Amazon discounts Garmin, Fossil, and Apple Watches for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and if you’re after a great gift for that special techie in your life, a smartwatch might be just the ticket. We’ve sniffed out the five best smartwatch deals available on Amazon right now.

These wireless earbuds use an A.I. to get you moving faster

The new Soul Blade wireless earbuds provide the ability to track your heart rate during a workout while an A.I.-powered coach gives advice and info on how to improve form and efficiency while exercising.

To be blunt, the Vuzix Blade smartglasses just don’t cut it

We tried out the Vuzix Blade to find out if it’s worth shelling out $1,000 for smartglasses. Are these augmented reality, Android-powered glasses really ready for primetime or just an expensive gimmick that no one really needs?

The Google Pixel Watch could finally launch sometime this year

From its Pixel smartphones to Google Home, the Google brand is quickly becoming synonymous with high-quality consumer hardware. Eventually, according to rumors, Google may branch out a little further by creating its first smartwatch.

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for February 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.

Smartwatch sales soared in 2018, with Apple leading the charge

The NPD Group, a market research organization, has reported smartwatch sales soared in 2018. Apple is leading the charge, but it's clear there's still room in the market for competitors, as Samsung and Fitbit also did well.

North Focals smartglasses discount cuts the price by a massive $400

Canadian startup North is hoping smartglasses will be the next big wearable. After announcing its new Focals smartglasses in late 2018, the company opened product showrooms in Brooklyn and Toronto and has made its first shipment.

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.

Amazon slashes prices on Fitbit Versa smartwatches for Presidents’ Day

Amazon is offering a solid $30 discount on this great fitness tracking smartwatch right now. So if you're looking for a wearable that can help you track steps, sleep, and activity, now is a great time to pick one up for less.