Yes, it’s true—Microsoft is about to get into the smartwatch game, and I got the opportunity to play with it. As we'd previously reported, Microsoft has filed a patent that details a smartwatch. However, often these patent filings aren’t exactly what we see companies end up releasing. So, let’s separate the cruft and get to the meat of the matter. A number of months ago I took a trip to New York where I came across someone who was testing the upcoming Microsoft wearable device. I saw it on their wrist and asked about it. They tried to explain that it was a random fitness wristband ordered from China at first, but eventually (with some prodding) gave me the scoop. Here is your exclusive first look at what Microsoft is planning for its first wearable smart device, what we are referring to as the Surface Watch:
- As far as looks, the image above is a parody, but not far off. It has an elongated form factor, but isn't as comically large as what's in the image. It is much more akin to something like the Fitbit One or Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit in shape rather than taking on the shape of a traditional watch, like Pebble did, or like what Google showed off with Android Wear. What we saw had a flat display, while the inner portion that would rest against your skin was curved.
- The icons are the flat style that Microsoft has been using on its other devices like Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Xbox One. That's what tipped me off in the first place.
- Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy is how it interacts with the rest of the world
- The flat glass display, and was definitely not high resolution. We hope that both of these change in the final product--a high-resolution curved display already exists on the Samsung Gear Fit, and the Microsoft device just didn't look as good.
- The watch is packed with sensors. It has a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS, and most interestingly, a galvanic skin response sensor all built-in. The galvanic skin response sensor is built into the watch band, while everything else is built into the unit itself.
It is highly speculated that 2013 is the year that Apple's Tim Cook, or Phil Schiller, will walk on stage at an Apple event rocking something special under his sleeve. Something that you quite possibly couldn't live without. An iWatch.
Rumors are at an all-time high as speculation that Apple is getting serious about getting into the nascent smart wristwatch game, taking on the likes of upstart Cookoo watch and the KickStarter funded Pebble smart watch. Many agree that smart wearable computing is the way of the future. For instance, companies have given their take on wearable computers like, Nike's FuelBand, Jawbone's Up, Fitbit's activity trackers and, most recently, Google Glass. Perhaps, Apple can make them all obsolete with the iWatch. Bloomberg has written a fairly ridiculous essay as to why it might be more lucrative and, more likely, in Apple's best interest to ship an iWatch first rather than an iTV television set.
Since we’re on the topic of watches today, let's talk about the Sony SmartWatch. Powered by Android, the Sony SmartWatch does more than just tell time. The SmartWatch features a 1.3-inch OLED 128 x 128 display, and is 0.3-inches thin. The SmartWatch will allow users to connect the watch to Android devices, thereby allowing them to read texts, tweets, and also use various apps and widgets found on Google Play. The battery life is somewhere around the three to four day mark (depending on use) and has a standby lifespan of 14 days per charge. The SmartWatch features interchangeable straps, so you can color coordinate it to your liking. Expect to pay $150 USD for this one.
Read More | Sony
Most digital watches are tacky, and some analog watches are difficult to read. However, the The Qlocktwo W by German studio Biegert & Funk offers up a stylish and intelligent solution. The watch spells out time by displaying it in five-minute intervals (i.e. it’s five past three.) In order to compensate for the minutes in between dots appear at the bottom of the watch until a new five-minute interval accrues.
You might have seen this design in a wall clock B&F produced, which sells for about $1,100. The wristwatch won't be much of a deal either, as it's set to sell for around $700 USD. If you’re ready to pick this watch up, you’ll have to wait. There’s no set release date yet, however you can sign up for updates on the studio's site.
We are kicking off our 2011 Mother's Day Gift Guide with a hot one! The Sottomarino ceramic watch with sapphire crystal typically sells for $499, but eBay has it for $159 for the next two hours and 45 minutes (that's 68% off!) Definitely a good-looking timepiece at an awesome price, and the ceramic is virtually scratch-proof. They're brand new and come with a three-year warranty. Oh, and it's the watch that Sandra Bullock rocks in The Blind Side, and we all know how much moms love movies like that.
Read More | Sottomarino watch on eBay
Toykoflash has a new watch for the holidays. The Tenmetsu, the second in their Kisai series, is made of aluminum with an LED animation mode. At a 220mm maximum wrist size, red, green and amber lights display hours, minutes, month and date. Fortunately, the instructions for the water resistant watch come in both Japanese and English. Get yours for $257.32 in either black or silver with worldwide free shipping.
Read More | Tokyoflash
This spooky watch seems apropos for the upcoming holiday and any other time you are feeling mildly goth. The Marc Jacob Skull Watch has a nasal cavity that shows the hour and a drooping eye for the minute. The face is enameled black and white with silver highlights and the black patent leather band features the designer’s signature. At a price of $200.00, we think you might want to wear it for more than just one day a year.
Read More | Trendhunter
Some of us spent our earlier years consulting the Chinese I Ching to help us make decisions when we were probably procrastinating. The text is created by a set of hexagrams that are arranged in specific patterns in 6 lines for a total of 64 different arrangements. Andy Kurovets has designed a prototype watch that does the same thing.You press the button 6 times to make a hexagram and it will guide you through all those rough spots. We think it would be nice to have our own Oracle around when we are indecisive.
Read More | Yanko
We have seen some fairly strange timepieces in our time but this one has really lived up to the description. The Corpus Clock took a team of 8 about 5 years to create and was recently unveiled by Stephen Hawking on the Corpus Christi College campus. Inventor John Taylor said he wanted to “make timekeeping interesting.” The clock’s face is 4 ft. wide and gold plated. The grasshopper (aka Chronophage, which means time eater) atop it munches a minute every 60 seconds. Run by an electric motor, it will supposedly run for 25 years.
Read More | BBC
Want to own a piece of Albert Einstein? Antiquorum is auctioning off one of his watches on October 16. Pleasure.dk says that the watch, dated when Einstein was 51 years old, is made of 14 carat gold. He was given it February 16, 1931, in Los Angeles. (Einstein was 51 years old at the time.) The Longines timepiece is expected to bring in from $25,000.00 to $35,000, a hefty price, but not if you are one of those who are geeky enough have Einstein’s picture over your cubicle.
Read More | Pleasure
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