Monday, August 29, 2011

Could WIMM Labs Be the One to Get the "Smart Watch" to Stick?

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Ever since the days of Dick Tracy we've been waiting for the "2 Way Wrist TV" that Chester Gould drew way back then.  Unfortunately no one has been able to make these things stick.
Now don't get me wrong, there have been plenty of tries.  The most famous of which was the SPOT Watch from Microsoft. Yet no one has come up with an idea that both works well and sells to the buying public.  Theories on the failures abound.  My personal theory is that most of us are so used to having our mobile phones run our lives that we don't need a watch to do that also... or as a backup, no matter how cool the technology is.
Watches always start out in the space of "Personal Digital Assistant" at a disadvantage.  While many of us (myself included) always wear watches, the screen size is a serious limitation.  There's also the issue of battery life.  While most of us have grown accustomed to charging our mobile phones every night,  that isnt' the same for watches.  Most watch batteries now will run for 5 years or so... it's a completely different mindset to charge your watch every night.
However, with those 2 points being made, I'd still like to have a watch that would carry the same info as my Samsung Epic.  I don't know that I would wear this watch every day, but on business trips where I need access to all of my travel data, I'd gladly carry it as a backup to my phone.
So, the good news is that a company called WIMM Labs is now bringing a device to market that can be worn as a watch or other types of fashion, but will also function as a "smart device".  By that I mean that the little device pictured above will have a smartphone type CPU, BlueTooth, WiFi, GPS, as well as other functions.  It also is designed to sync with Anndroid, Blackberry, and iOS phones via its BlueTooth connection.
The device is designed to be easy on the battery and will run some type of Android OS (this makes it similar to my Epic).  The cool idea behind this is that WIMM is not actually bringing the device to market.  They are designing it and then will allow other companies to partner with them and license the device.  The result could be WIMM devcies that are branded by major electronic manufacturers.
WIMM is hoping to see their devices used in sporting markets (GPS run tracking comes to mind), health care (lots of ways to monitor patients outside of an office or hospital), maybe even delivery services or repair services where the schedule is a highly fluid situation.
I've got to admit, this intrigues me.  It would be a nice redundant backup to my critical information that would be a nice, easy to access, backup when I'm on the road.  This is one of those things I'm going to be paying attention to...

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