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Handhelds Hardware

Palm OS Wristwatch 242

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the but-can-it-tell-time dept.
countach writes "Amazon are taking orders for a new Palm OS Wrist Watch. It has an infra-red port, touch screen, back-light, stylus and 2MB of RAM. Price is $US 295.00." Because sometimes you don't look nerdy enough ;)
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Palm OS Wristwatch

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  • Nice! (Score:3, Funny)

    by frieked (187664) * on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:53AM (#6223212) Homepage Journal
    We're well on our way to becoming Dick Tracy :D
  • So whoâ(TM)s the market? The guys who enjoy the nostalgia of the daily beatings, 0% chance that any girl would talk to them, and the smell of the inside of a locker, because they had a Casio CFX-40 Calculator Watch [pocketcalculatorshow.com]?

    Mike
    • Well this is the second or third attempt at this, and according to a wired article from a couple of months ago, they broke some of the major rules in watch design in making this. One, and they admitted it is a big one, was exceeding the (percieved by the public) height limitation of a watch case.

      I give it a couple of months at the most. Just like the last few designs. Palm sales are on the decline anyway, and I can't see a watch getting a better reception than some of really cool designs that are out no
    • I know that's supposed to be funny, but I've tried to repress those memories, thank you very much.
    • by Saint Stephen (19450) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:15PM (#6223423) Homepage Journal
      Jeez louise, that first year they came out (before the Math teachers were aware of their existance) was sweet. You could just blantantly be fiddling with your watch during a math test and no one would know what you were doing. By the next year they'd caught on.

      Are there any purists out their who don't allow calculators in math anymore? Last I checked almost all students use graphing calculators (wimps!)
      • Are there any purists out their who don't allow calculators in math anymore? Last I checked almost all students use graphing calculators (wimps!)

        I didn't when I was teaching college algebra at my Uni. The only time calculators were allowed were when we got to the section on logs. I figured it was a nice comprimise from having to look values up from log tables.

        I have no problem with caluculators per se, but they shouldn't be used when teaching fundamental mathematics. Learn it the hard way first, so yo
    • My orange handspring visor was a great conversation starter, as it combined stile with technology and geekiness. While you are shoing her how your pilot works, make sure to demo the addressbook with her contact information. Never miss a phone number again!

      Now that I have a girlfriend, I've moved up to a Sony Clie. The Clie doesn't seem to have the same magenetic powers as the visor, but then it is not orange.

      Seattle is a geek town, so things like palm pilots are critical for demonstrating your geek cre
  • Calculator Watches (Score:2, Interesting)

    by svenjob (671129)
    How many /. readers wear calculator watches. I haven't seen 'normal' people wearing thos ein years! I wonder if it'll catch on again with these?
    • i do (Score:2, Informative)

      I alternate between a classic Casio calculator and my Seiko kinetic.

      The LCD on my Casio doesn't work so well anymore, and it makes me sad.

      Is anyone still producing calculator watches? Where can I get a new one?
      • Is anyone still producing calculator watches? Where can I get a new one?

        Just about everyone? Try, oh, any large retail store where you would normally buy a watch. In the US Target and Wal-Mart for example. Casio databanks are about $40.

        • The databanks are pretty spiffy, also, I think Casio just released a watch with a miniature digicam that takes small JPG images and connects through USB. It was a couple hundred at my local $BIG_EVIL_RETAIL_GIANT.
    • by uunh haun (638348)
      I just bought a casio wave ceptor. Not only does it have a calculator, but it recieves the time via radio waves. So I know exactly when it is 12:21:17, 11:21:25, 11:21:32....
    • by ip_free (544799)
      Try Casio Easy Rec. It is a calculator watch. It also records up to 30 secons of sound. KOOL.
    • I miss my Casio phonebook/calculator watch(back from 1991). Imagine my delight when I was able to put in names/phone numbers AND do calculations!

      I also remember the el-cheapo watches that had + and = on the same key, making it useless for longer equations. Casio was ahead of the game by making + and = independent. They just added buttons on the side to facilitate input.

      Those watches were USEFUL! I also remember my Nelsonic Pac Man watch from 1982 or so. That was fun.
    • I looked at all of the different views of the watch on Amazon.com and NONE of the views showed it telling the time. An organizer, calendar, and contacts are nice for a watch, but WHAT TIME IS IT??? Make it in great big numbers in the middle so I don't have to squint my eyes.

      That's fine with me, though, since telling time is the ONLY thing that my cell phone is good at (with its eternally poor reception). It has a nice bright color screen (in a place of where extra battery life or an antenna might have gone

  • by teamhasnoi (554944) <teamhasnoi@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:56AM (#6223240) Homepage Journal
    will it take before this madness is stopped?!

    Won't someone think of the (geeky) children?

    Friends don't let friends drive drunk girls away.

  • Precarious? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mgcsinc (681597) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:56AM (#6223245)
    I already have a dandy of a time just keeping the crystal of my little Seiko from getting scratched up, how am I gonna manage to keep a touch screen safe on my wrist? Not to mention incidental pushing of the on-screen buttons. I know these are relativly logistical concerns, but these things could prove annoying...
    • by jpellino (202698) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:01PM (#6223301)
      Um, yeah - like 'accidentally' getting 12,000+ copies of an appointment from repetitive hand motions...
    • Re:Precarious? (Score:5, Informative)

      by beee (98582) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:11PM (#6223382) Homepage
      This was exactly my reaction too -- I'm very interested to see how Palm handled this, if they handled it at all.

      I've had a part in developing a few touchscreen devices and this was a problem our group ran to as well (our hardware was going to be situated in high-traffic areas and geared towards kids, who would no doubt put it through the ringer).

      Touchscreens work by sensing not only your "x" and "y" position on the screen, but most of them now also have what's called the "z-loc" (or z-pin depending on the hardware manufac.), and it's basically a way to sense where someone has gently pushed their finger onto the surface. It's calculated using the same sensors, but it reports many less false-positives because it only detects when someone makes a motion "downwards" towards the screen.

      The problem I can see is that when the surface of the monitor (or in this case, watch) becomes irregular, the z-pin stuff has trouble picking up actual signals, and sometimes sits there reporting signals constantly. It relies on the regularity of the surface of the device. Considering watches' ability to become scratched up (ever tried doing hardware upgrades on a Compaq desktop machine with a watch on? ;), I'm very interested to see how Palm prevented this from happening. If they haven't accounted for it, you could see a massive return-rate because your watch thinks you're opening your address book 24/7.
      • by nharmon (97591)
        I'm very interested to see how Palm handled this, if they handled it at all.

        By making it cost $295, I think they've pretty much convinced the user to not abuse it. :)
    • Re:Precarious? (Score:2, Informative)

      by ipxodi (156633)
      I had one of the Casio Touch-screen [pocketcalculatorshow.com] Calculator watches.
      It worked for several years -- was great for figuring out tips, etc. But, much like I expect with this Palm watch, it only took a couple of years for the screen to get scratched. Accidentally "pushing" buttons on the watch was a non-issue -- it didn't rely on pressure, but on the conductivity of your finger. You couldn't use a pen, etc to press buttons. The Palmwatch, I expect WILL be pressure sensitive like a regular PDA.

      I still have the watch --
    • Have a lock mode, like on your cell.

      Have the user make a giant X to lock and unlock it. SHouldn't be hard for the os to pick up :P
  • Price bump? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by greenfly (40953) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:57AM (#6223250)
    Am I the only one that remembered them quoting $149 for this watch back last fall when slashdot did the original story on it?

    It could simply have been a mixup on the part of whoever submitted the story, since their old pda watches (non-Palm) were $149, but still, I got my hopes up until I saw the $300 price tag.
    • I don't know about $149 (I can't remember), but the price HAS gone up quite a bit, yeah.
    • On the same topic but different technology, the Casio Satellite Navi (a/k/a PAT2GP [slashdot.org], GPS wristwatch) is on sale [partshelf.com] at $199. Mine is still working like a charm one year after, the only noticeable problems are the scratches if you're a tad careless, and the software provided that is really outdated.
    • Fossil has 2 brands. The Fossil brand is more expenisve and the Abacus brand will be the cheap one (Different casing, etc). The price of the Abacus will stil be $199 though.


      See the Register story [theregister.co.uk]

  • by jkrise (535370) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:57AM (#6223252) Journal
    How can Palm make a Wrist product? They should prolly change the name of the OS to Wrist OS or something...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:57AM (#6223253)
    ... when they do the Pulp Fiction remake in 5 years.

    Just imagine the scene between the army dad and the dead guy's son - "I kept this watch up my ass for 5 years - and I have the photos to prove it!".

  • Why is it so ugly? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rkz (667993) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:57AM (#6223260) Homepage Journal
    http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00009QR9X.01.LZ ZZZZZZ.jpg [amazon.com]
    Would you wear one of these? Its huge and the screen looks like it escaped from the 1980's.
    There have been watches that allow syncing with PIMs for years (equally ugly). The MS SPOT watches look more interesting with their GRPS internet connectivity.
    In this day and age they could have used OLED technology to make the face colour and themeable, so you could download nice different facias off the net when you felt like a change.
  • by jpellino (202698) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:58AM (#6223268)
    ...and they're funded by a VC firm made up entirely of optometrists. The flash demo on the Amazon site is at least 1.5x actual size - so we'll all be going blind in record time. Trifocals not included.
  • See? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sporty (27564) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:59AM (#6223276) Homepage
    See what happens if you get a watch designer to make a computer watch? You get a good asthetic design.

    I hate the hybdrid device indusustry where one company thinks they can do "both" really well. It's prolly why a lot of pda phones fail. Pair up with Samsun or nokia and get a phone good design, work with MS or Palm to get a good software interface on there.
    • I'm personally impartial to my Danger smartphone. It's not Palm OS or Windows CE, but it has a kickass microbrowser and over-the-air synchronization of contacts, calendar, etc. It does AIM (I wish it did YIM or MSMIM or Jabber), and has a nice email client. The best part about it is the nice big (much bigger than the thumbkeyboards on Palms) thumbkeyboard that is revealed when you swivel the display. Best of all, there's no touch screen to break and no stylus to lose.
    • work with MS or Palm to get a good software interface on there.

      I hate to dissapoint you, but Stinger isn't doing so well on the software front. [theregister.co.uk]
  • Why? (Score:5, Funny)

    by PhysicsGenius (565228) <physics_seeker.yahoo@com> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:59AM (#6223280)
    I have a Palm and I love it. However, when I use it, I rarely think to myself "if only I could be holding my arm awkwardly up to my face right now, life would be perfect". Likewise, it is only infrequently that I moan over how much extra screen real estate my Palm has. Since these two things seem to be the only problems that the Palm Watch solves, why would I want to spend $300 on it?
  • by dschuetz (10924) * <.slash. .at. .david.dasnet.org.> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @11:59AM (#6223286) Homepage
    While I'm usually an all-out advocate of PalmOS and am generally happy to see new and different offerings, I can't help but think that this is a bad idea.

    First, the reviews I've seen (based on earlier versions) showed this to be really big and clunky. I know it can be hip to be square, but this might be pushing the limits a bit.

    It's pretty expensive, especially considering what you can get in a full-out PDA for the price.

    It will take a little getting used to for regular Palm users, as it deviates a little bit from some of the standard interface widgets (no icons for "home," for example -- you just "back out" of whatever program you're in). Plus, it'll be tough to do many things on such a small screen (but, again, this is a new approach).

    Finally, from what I've read (including on the Fossil site), it won't synchronize directly with a computer. You have to load up special software on an existing Palm, and then use that software to sync selected data from your handheld to the watch (via IR). I suppose that someone might be able to hack together a CPU-based IR sync system, but that should be standard equipment.

    I'll be interested to see where this goes, but I'm frankly a little disappointed, especially with regards to synchronization -- I think that'll be the biggest complaint (right before how big the thing is).
    • by Mr. McGibby (41471) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:11PM (#6223387) Homepage Journal
      Finally, from what I've read (including on the Fossil site), it won't synchronize directly with a computer. You have to load up special software on an existing Palm, and then use that software to sync selected data from your handheld to the watch (via IR). I suppose that someone might be able to hack together a CPU-based IR sync system, but that should be standard equipment.

      WRONG (from amazon):

      How do I synchronize a Wrist PDA with a PC?
      Included with the Wrist PDA is the HotSync Pod, which enables you to synchronize information between your Wrist PDA and your PC. Connect the cable from the HotSync Pod to the port on the back of the watch when recharging, or to perform a HotSync operation. You will initially need to install some software.
      • (re: not being able to sync with a PC)

        How do I synchronize a Wrist PDA with a PC?
        Included with the Wrist PDA is the HotSync Pod, which enables you to synchronize information between your Wrist PDA and your PC.


        Okay, this looks like a new development, and is obviously pretty welcome. Thanks for noticing that. :)

        So now we're back to size being the big issue -- both in terms of bulkiness and in terms of screen real estate.

        Incidentally, it looks like the battery is expected to last only 4 days! (based
  • More choices (Score:4, Informative)

    by Traa (158207) * on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:00PM (#6223291) Homepage Journal
    So Fossil offers us a Palm [fossil.com] based wristwatch. We already all knew about the Linux [freeos.com] based wristwatch from IBM right. What the Slashdot crowd really needs to know is that the Microsoft/MSN [fossil.com] based wristwatch will be here this fall. :-)

    ok, so maybe not as breakthrough as to deserve any attantion, it does look to offer IM through Microsoftâ(TM)s dynamic new Smart Personal Objects Technology platform.
  • I would have sworn that I just saw a news article in the past couple of weeks stating that the launch of these had been delayed until late this year...

    Now where did I see that article?
  • Who will buy this? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:01PM (#6223304)
    • Those that already have a Palm probably carry it around already.
    • Those that don't have a Palm probably don't see the need.
    • Those that want a Palm probably have a nice enough watch as it is.
  • by xYoni69x (652510) <yoni.vl@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:03PM (#6223314) Journal
    A nerd-watch that I would really consider buying is the LAKS [slashdot.org] watch.
  • by powerlord (28156) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:03PM (#6223317) Journal
    including "Sport [amazon.com]". ... As if people Geeky enough to buy this would be into sports.
  • by kyoko21 (198413) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:04PM (#6223323)
    Is this watch waterproof? The screen is touch-screen, but where do you put the stylus? Does it have a stylus? I hate to loose the stylus underwater.

    There is nothing like checking my list of contacts and to-do list (never know when you need reminding of stopping by at the local hardware store after a day of underwater welding) and picking up a few daily necessities, like some Doritos...mmmmm.
    • Re:Water proof? (Score:4, Informative)

      by wizzy403 (303479) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:14PM (#6223408)
      It is *NOT* waterproof. Check the FAQ section of the PDF on Amazon's site for more details. It is not waterproof, not water reisitant, and should not be allowed to get wet or damp. *sigh*
    • Dude? You buy your Dorito's at a hardware store????

      • Ever visit a Fry's Electronics store?

        They are like, walmart for electronics... Also happen to carry various non electronic items like some food stuffs.
        • Fry's is rather regional to the American Southwest and Northern California. There are no Fry's anywhere else in the country, like for instance, where I am (Michigan). So no. I think I might have drove past one in San Francisco when I was there a couple of years ago.

  • Tech news article (Score:3, Interesting)

    by damiangerous (218679) <1ndt7174ekq80001@sneakemail.com> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:04PM (#6223324)
    Here's another article [bbspot.com] on it. Apparently Microsoft will be introducing a competing product soon.
  • by tuffy (10202) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:07PM (#6223352) Homepage Journal
    I might need a second watch for that...
  • Fossil licensed this technology, but Abacus makes a cheaper version [amazon.com] for $179. Not quite as cool looking, but quite a bit less money to shell out.
    • Not quite as cool looking

      They also have another model that looks (basically) exactly the same as the fossil one for $199. Its in this months Maxim or stuff or some generic mens non-boobies magazine. And yes, this was advertised last year for like $149. Way to double the price on us Fossil :(.
  • by geeklawyer (85727) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:10PM (#6223377) Homepage Journal
    wow thats useful. My digital watch hasnt had a battery change since I bought it 2 years ago.
    info [amazon.com]

    pass...
  • by Anonymous Custard (587661) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:10PM (#6223380) Homepage Journal
    Once again, lefties are left without usable controls. The watch is designed to be worn on the left hand, operated with the right hand. Lefties wear their watch on the right hand, typically. Anyone know if they're making them left-hand oriented as well?
  • ...why does it only have a nearly microscopic time display.

    I mean seriously, the primary function of a wristwatch will always be to tell you the time, why couldn't they have a nice full-face digital or (better even) analog style time display?
  • by Pionar (620916) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:12PM (#6223395)

    From the specs:

    Average battery life: Approx. 4 days (Based on an average use of 30 minutes per day, with backlight set OFF. The battery life varies depending on the temperature and conditions of use.)

    So, in other words, it has a 2-hr battery. So much for using it on a long road trip. Do they expect me to plug it into a cigarette lighter? I can just see the headline now:

    DUMBASS CRASHES CAR

    Keeps watch on during recharging; can't turn left.

    • by metamatic (202216) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @01:44PM (#6224389) Homepage Journal
      That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

      Maybe I'm a freak, but I have some fairly simple requirements for a wristwatch, which come down to wanting it to tell the time without needing me to go through unnecessary dicking around:

      1. It needs to work for years on end, without my needing to wind it or change batteries at all.

      2. It needs to be accurate to a few seconds a week or better, so I don't need to adjust it more often than travel and time zones dictate anyway.

      3. It needs to be waterproof to any depth I'm likely to swim to without serious diving gear.

      4. It needs to be shockproof enough to withstand (for example) my accidentally slamming it into doors.

      5. It needs to be light enough that I don't feel like I have a brick tied to my wrist.

      6. It needs to be easy to read in daylight and in the dark.

      On top of that, it's a bonus if it isn't horribly ugly or repulsively ostentatious (hello, Rolex owners).

      The requirements all seem fairly obvious to me, but you'd be surprised how hard it is to find a watch that fits the bill. I tried a Seiko Kinetic, but the mechanisms need servicing every few years.

      So now I have a Casio G-Shock with a titanium case and solar panels on the face. At the time I bought it there was only one model of G-Shock with solar power and titanium casing, and it ended up being pretty expensive considering its borderline ugliness.

      So anyway, a watch which has a battery life measured in days is about as much use to me as an Athlon heatsink made of chocolate. I wouldn't buy it if it was $5.
      • Enter the Citizen Eco-Drive. Solar powered (and you can't tell), accurate (barely loses a second a month), WR 100, supposedly unscratchable face (I do contest this, although it is *really* difficult to do.. I have managed several small scratches in two years), very light, and exceptionally easy to read in the dark.

        Add to these the rather stylish models available (at least the one I got was) and you've got yourself a watch that never needs to be replaced that also never has to have a battery replaced.


    • DUMBASS CRASHES CAR


      Keeps watch on during recharging; can't turn left.


      Translation for Right Hand Drivers in the UK, Australia and Japan:


      DUMBASS CRASHES CAR


      Keeps watch on during recharging; can't turn right.
  • Hmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mhore (582354) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:14PM (#6223411)
    In the categorie of "why bother"... I bet that Linux will run on this. I imagine that in such a small package, the screen is controlled by the cpu's onboard lcd controller? The seems to be the major obstacle. It would have run just fine on my Palm IIIc if PicoGUI had a driver for the LCD controller that ships with that model (or if I had time to write a driver for them).

    PicoGUI and Linux will run in this kind of situation (devices such as this and Palm IIIxe). In 2 MB, I'm not sure what exactly you'd accomplish except establish "wow" factor, but it'd be neat to try one afternoon.

    Mike.
  • Interesting product, I don't think I'll ever buy one (I have a Kyocera smartphone and the integration of a Palm Pilot to a cel phone seems to be a much more likely combination than a Pilot to a watch), but I'm sure I'll take a look at Amazon.com periodically to see what people think of it. It will also get him some free press when the product is reviewed and discussed.

    And, thinking of this device as well as the Segway, I wonder if this is why Bezos is supporting these "out there" products. Many people wi
  • A very silly device (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DrXym (126579) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:15PM (#6223426)
    I own a Palm and I love it but what the hell is the point of this? It's too small to be a proper PDA, too chunky to be a normal watch and you need to recharge it every four days! Excuse me, but I prefer my slim conventional watch which has a battery life measuring in years.


    It's not like you can't get organiser watches from the likes of Casio for much if you want that kind of thing, and I bet they last considerably longer than this. Come to think of it, why not just buy a Palm Zire for $120 and buy a really nice watch with the change?

  • by umrgregg (192838) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:16PM (#6223431) Homepage

    Duct tape and an iPod; slap it on your wrist. Hey, at least it will be sexier.
  • Hmmm... (Score:3, Funny)

    by manduwok (610836) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:19PM (#6223461)
    "Amazon are taking orders for a new Palm OS Wrist Watch.

    Amazon also claims that "All your orders are belong to us."
  • by TheAncientHacker (222131) <TheAncientHacker@@@hotmail...com> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:22PM (#6223479)
    Gee, this was only announced 30 weeks ago at Comdex Fall. Perhaps a watch article could be on time?
  • Resolution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SCHecklerX (229973) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:25PM (#6223522) Homepage
    Why didn't they use an lcd like the Clie', only at the smaller size? That way it could actually run all native 160x160 resolution apps on the small screen. As it is, I don't think many palm apps will even run on this thing :(
    • Re:Resolution (Score:3, Informative)

      by isaac (2852)

      Why didn't they use an lcd like the Clie', only at the smaller size? That way it could actually run all native 160x160 resolution apps on the small screen. As it is, I don't think many palm apps will even run on this thing :(

      This watch does have a 160x160 screen. The reason you only see 4 big icons on the home screen is that the built-in apps have been customized to use larger icons and fonts. Other apps will run without modification in 160x160 mode.

      -Isaac

  • Sorry... (Score:5, Funny)

    by yellowstone (62484) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:34PM (#6223593) Homepage Journal
    No way I'm getting one of these. The screen is just way too large. I'm holding out for the Palm OS Pinky Ring.
  • If this thing really uses a touchscreen, the stylus must only be about an inch long!! People have enough trouble with losing their Palm styluses - I hope this thing comes with about 50,000,000 spares... I hope they don't expect people to use Graffiti on this thing...
  • It's a good think geeks are pale to begin with. This watch would create a horrible watch tan.
  • Handedness... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KFury (19522) * on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @12:45PM (#6223749) Homepage
    My personal problem with this watch is that I'm left-handed, but keep my watch on my left hand. Now, try writing graffiti on a 1.5" watch face with your wrong hand. It ain't easy!

    Now if only the watch was color and use a peephole display [berkeley.edu]...
  • if you're that hard up to show the world you're a big nerd, perhaps this [halfkeyboard.com] is more up your alley. Pros? You can use a much more substantial PDA, enter text a lot faster, and get beat up much more often! :)
  • My PDA is my PDA, and my watch is my watch.

    Of course, since my PDA is also my portable mp3 player, digital camera storage brick, and a few other things, my watch [casio.com]* is also my thermometer, compass, altimeter, and barometer...

    * This is actually the newer version of my older model Casio Pathfinder.
  • by mistermund (605799) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @01:29PM (#6224247)
    ....does it tell time?
  • by Rayonic (462789) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @01:31PM (#6224267) Homepage Journal
    That Fossil Palm watch isn't a full PDA, it still needs to sync up with a regular Palm (or PC). I suggest looking into the only true watch-PDA, the onHand PC Watch [thinkgeek.com]. It has an estimated three months battery life, as opposed to the Fossil's 4 days (at 30 minutes a day). Not sure about the daily usage of the onHand, but I haven't had to change the batteries since I got mine in March.

    It also comes with an open-source dev kit, not to mention IR and serial connectivity, and 2 megs of RAM.
    • by isaac (2852) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @03:41PM (#6225525)
      That Fossil Palm watch isn't a full PDA, it still needs to sync up with a regular Palm (or PC)

      You're thinking of fossil's other so-called PDA watch. This one runs Palm OS and has a 160x160 screen. It is a "real PDA." You can sync it to a PC, but you can also enter data directly into it with grafitti or an on-screen keyboard.

      I suggest looking into the only true watch-PDA, the onHand PC Watch. It has an estimated three months battery life, as opposed to the Fossil's 4 days (at 30 minutes a day).

      The Fossil uses a rechargeable battery - IOW, put the watch on a charger while you sleep. The onHand uses lithium coin cells that you have to pay to replace every few months. It also has a downright painful interface, compared to the button/rocker switch/touchscreen input of this fossil watch.

      -Isaac

  • US $295 short ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hackster (322177) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @02:42PM (#6224950) Homepage
    ... and about 20 years late to market. My old Seiko RC-1000 Data Terminal [michaelwatch.com] from 1983 did almost as much [sincuser.co.uk] with 2K memory, 6 buttons and a 2-conductor serial interface to a TRS 100 / Olivetti M10 (software on cassette). No touch screen (thank goodness) but no market then, and no market now ... except for collectors ...

    FWIW ...
  • Has potential (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OpenMind(tm) (129095) on Tuesday June 17, 2003 @05:02PM (#6226280)
    I think maybe the point should not be "they made a Palm that fits on your wrist" so much as "they made a wristwatch you can easily write software for." I think most Palm software will be useless on this thing, but there are probably a lot of form-factor specific applications that could be written for it. I must say I was amused to see it has the same screen resolution as the Zire. But really, to make it useful, you just need to double your adherence to the PalmOS design criterion mandating that any serious data entry must be done from the companion PC. And while you're at it, quadruple your concern for screen real estate. Given a proper hardware design, however, I think this could be a cool gadget.

    As for programs I think would be nice, there are a few. PalmReader might be doable, ditto Avantgo with the hardware navigation features from the 5.0 beta. Anything like a scaled down DateBook5 would make the platform. Think todos with alarms, event templates, and custom schedule views. Of course keeping in mind that almost all data entry will be on the desktop. Memo reader would be dead. Voice memos would be nice, pending appropriate hardware. Calcul-8! would probably be doable. Address Book could more or less work without modification (except for a bigger font), and would probably be one of the most useful things. But I think most of the killer apps are things we wouldn't even think of for the full sized palms

    For a proper hardware design, I would have to insist on a few things. Number one, the digitizer must be easy to turn off. Really, it should be off most of the time. Number two, there must be sufficient hardware buttons (figure out a way to fit on a 5-way controller, and the thing will get way more useful). Number three, a super durable digitizer, or at least an indestructable, snap closed screen for when you are not entering data. Number four, a very sharp, high-contrast display. I kind of wish they could have shoehorned wi-fi or bluetooth onto this thing, in which case it would be a great little streaming news and email reading device. Another great thing would be an attachable fresnel lens to boost readability when you need it.

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