Will.i.am enters smartwatch market with standalone ‘Puls’ device

Will.i.am, a man who appears to have a finger in just about every pie ever baked, has just launched a smartwatch called Puls.

First revealed back in April, the new device is a standalone product, meaning it requires no smartphone tethering to operate, unlike most other smartwatches currently on the market.

Will.i.am showed off Puls (pronounced “pulse”) at a special event in San Francisco on Wednesday. Preferring to call it a cuff rather than a watch, the music artist and entrepreneur (among many other things) said the device does everything you’d expect it to, in other words, make calls, handle emails and texts, play music, and plenty more besides.

Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and running a forked version of Android, Will.i.am’s one-inch-wide ‘smartcuff’ comes with 16GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, and GPS functionality. It also incorporates a pedometer and accelerometer as well as a battery that curves around the entire device (no word on battery life yet). You’ll find a speaker with it, too.

It also features a Siri-like voice assistant called Aneeda that can be used for alerts and reminders, while built-in apps include a fitness-focused offering to track your workouts as well as social media software for Facebook, Twitter and other similar services.

The Puls launches with a few extras, too, including a jacket with cuffs that charge the smartwatch, a backpack fitted with speakers, and even shoes that tell you much how much you weigh, a feature that could prove fun (or horrifying) after a particularly lavish meal at your favorite food hangout.

Will.i.am’s smartwatch comes in multiple colors (gold and diamond versions, too!) and is slated to hit AT&T this holiday season, price currently unknown. Interested consumers in the UK will be able to pick it up at O2.

A sneak peek of the device was given by Will.i.am during an appearance on a British chat show back in April. You can see him show off the watch, which has taken three years to develop, at the 9.05 mark in the video below.


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