A new smartwatch made by Somatic labs aims to change the way we think about what smartwatches can be. The startup, which is now taking preorders for their new device, has designed their watch to rely on touch instead of a touchscreen as the primary interface.
Up until now, smartwatches has been designed and made, largely, in the image of the smartphone. Like the smartphone, smartwatches feature touchscreens that cover almost the entire real-estate of the device. Thus allowing users to interact with apps on the device exactly as they would with a smartphone.
However, the current configuration of smartphones isn’t appearing to win over the average consumer. Smartwatch sales have been sagging and some have been suggesting that smartwatches may have been a fad. More specifically, they argue that the failure of the smartwatch is due, in part, to the fact it offers no difference in functionality or distinguishing features from a smartphone. Smart phones and watches are both, in essence, touchscreen devices that run apps. Simply put, it’s hard for smartwatches to compete with smartphones when screen size only keeps increasing.
As such, by removing the screen and relying on touch, the Moment Start Watch aims to reimagine what a smartwatch should be. It features a single multi-color LED and all other interactions with the device are done through 4 haptic feedback vibrators. According to the makers of the device, the haptic feedback feels like “pulses … moving across your skin”. The haptic feedback will be used for things such as keeping track of time, sending you directions and custom notifications based on who is contacting you and how. It will work with both the iPhone and Android devices and will let you sync the watch up with several apps. Yet, one of the most impressive features of the device is that it will offer a battery life of up to 2 weeks. This is especially pertinent, given that most smartwatch owners today are lucky if they can achieve a full day of battery life.
The device is more of an extension of your smartphone, rather than trying to directly compete with the functions of your smartphone itself. And, even if it doesn’t succeed, it will hopefully engender greater innovation in smartwatches and in wearables more generally. The Moment expects to ship in March 2017.
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