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Android Hardware

Is That an Android On Your Wrist? 119

Posted by timothy
from the or-are-you-yourself-an-android dept.
DeviceGuru writes "Two startups are about to go chrono y chrono with competing Android gizmos. The I'm Watch exclusively targets smartwatch applications, whereas the WIMM Platform is meant to create 'a new market of connected wearable devices that deliver timely, relevant information at a glance' — of which smartwatches are but one example. The Italian-designed I'm Watch runs a customized Android 1.6 on a 454 MHz ARM9 processor with just 64MB of RAM; the WIMM module, a product of Silicon Valley, runs Android 2.1 on a 667 MHz ARM11 CPU. Would you actually wear one of these things?" Personally, I'd rather have an IBM watch running Linux.
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Is That an Android On Your Wrist?

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  • Option C (Score:2, Informative)

    by lennier1 (264730)

    Don't give a shit about either one.

    • It is accurate to the second, the battery lasts something like 10 years.

      It has never failed me. I really can think of another piece of advanced technology I can say that about. It has to be the single best technology purchase i've ever made.

      Why would I want an operating system? Are you totally insane?
       

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      I agree. Forget android hate or love, these are just purely crap. At least the Motoactv [techcrunch.com] (note their weird spelling) is more interesting since it combines heart rate monitoring + gps + music + android sync stuff. How much are people really expecting to do out of a wristwatch?

      • Depends on the wristwatch. I know several people who wear a dive computer as a wristwatch for their day-to-day use... those can be somewhat unwieldy compared to some other watches on the market, and aren't much bigger than the ones discussed in the submission.

        That said, there's a reason dive computers are that big... they can be built into smaller devices, but are deliberately that big so that they can have large easy-to-read displays. Kind of an important thing when you're 100 feet under water, diving a wr

  • by For a Free Internet (1594621) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @07:19AM (#37877624)

    People are becoming stupider because of conputers. Now with wrist conputers, people will become as dumb as sea anenomies. That is why my plan is to conqyer the world by never using conputers. I have my assistant type and submit all my slashdort posts. She is stupid but loyal and frisky.

  • by EdZ (755139) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @07:28AM (#37877652)
    I've got a smartphone in my pocket that can do anything either of those watches could do (and more) except sit comfortable on my wrist. These seem hugely overpowered for what should be a simple RTC, display and bluetooth/PAN radio. It shouldn't need to process ANYTHING onboard other than to decode a low-res video stream. Cheaper, better battery life, more versatile.
    • by chromas (1085949)
      Your smartphone is a pocket (smart-) watch with a wireless chain. Classy.
    • by cheekyboy (598084)

      Then if your so smart, go pitch your idea to a VC or google, and make a working prototype even if its 3x the size and ugly.

      Go on...

      any one ring back yet?

      I think it looks cool btw, just no more than $299 usd

    • by hitmark (640295)

      Like say a SE (or just Sony now?) Liveview?

      http://www.sonyericsson.com/cws/products/accessories/overview/liveviewmicrodisplay [sonyericsson.com]

      • by EdZ (755139)
        No, that also needlessly runs android. Your watch needs an OS about as much as your monitor needs an OS.
        • by hitmark (640295)

          No, it does not. It simply acts as a disply for the Liveview app running on a Android phone (the app is available via Android Market, and will function on any Android 2.0 or later phone). All the smarts are in the phone, and as such Liveview will be more or less a expensive watch without it.

        • by peragrin (659227)

          bad analogy. especially with all in one displays more popular than ever.

          I do agree, however it is because I only wear a watch while racing, and the moment I don't need it on my wrist it comes off.

          I just need to find a good digital fob watch or use my phone

    • My ideal traveling gadget set is a 10" razor thin tablet with ALL the smartphone capabilities, and a bluetooth earpiece. I hate those earpiece phones, but then I hate phones in general, so pulling the earpiece out of my pocket when I need to use it isn't so bad, and as long as the tablet is within 20' of me, I do have a fully functional phone with a screen I can read. Connect it to a bluetooth full-sized keyboard and mouse at the desk, and maybe put on a couple of HDMI ports capable of driving 30" monitor

      • by Arlet (29997)

        My ideal traveling gadget set is a 10" razor thin tablet

        So you can also use it as a razor ?

      • So... what you're saying is you want an iPad with Skype installed? After all, that's a very thin 10" tablet, it supports bluetooth, Skype would let you make phone calls, and you can get a "Digital AV" adapter that allows you to plug an external monitor into it.....

        • Yes, and I have one, but I'm too damn cheap to pay for 3G and Skype points, and too damn lazy to figure out how to configure my bluetool earpiece to work with it. Also, iOS apps don't really fill my needs as well as Windows or even Linux would.

    • Agreed, we need more stuff along the line of Sony's Bluetooth watches, but with bigger displays and better software. The current models all seem to be rather restricted in terms of what they can do, and the main problem seems to be the tiny two line LCD.

      I'd love a watch that displays all my notifications and such, and has a decent speakerphone built in, but you're right - it really doesn't need to be a standalone Android device.

    • What I don't understand is why these people are trying to break out one paradigm by imitating it - badly. Why would I trade my Eco-Drive watch (solar) which requires 0 maintenance, and my Galaxy S (next week it will be an S2) for a device that tries to imitate both and delivers less.

      If you're going to replace a watch with something more smart phone like, why not replace it with something that will actually deliver more than is currently available? Something like a gauntlet, which can pack much more techno

    • by Larryish (1215510)

      I want a sleeve-tablet. Something that I can strap to my forearm with a decent screen (7x3 inches?) and a fold-out qwerty keyboard. Also wifi and USB for use with a wireless connectivity dongle and at least 8 hours of battery life.

      I am willing to pay $100 for one of these, with a 12 month warranty.

      C'mon, Chinese people. I know you bitches can cough it up. Get crackin'. Chop chop.

  • i wonder if it's ok for your body to keep such transmitter so close to it 24/7..?
    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      What's it gonna do, make your wrist joint weaker so it hangs limp all the time? It'd be easier just to buy an iPhone, it does the same thing.

    • i wonder if it's ok for your body to keep such transmitter so close to it 24/7..?

      According to this [slashdot.org] there is no link between cell phones and cancer. I'm pretty sure strapping either one of those two 'watches' to your wrist 24/7 will decrease the chance of getting laid.

      • So it does reduce the chance of cancer? And by cancer I mean kids.
        • by Ofloo (1378781)
          Think about all the radio waves currently emitted, .. satellite, regular radio, cellphones, your microwave ovens or just any house appliance, that emits waves, wireless access points, .. I really doubt one more device is going to matter, lets hope all this doesn't cause cancer otherwise where all fucked, it doesn't really matter if you have it on your wrist, .. think about all the devices we're already using, which have already been emitting for all those years.
      • i wonder if it's ok for your body to keep such transmitter so close to it 24/7..?

        According to this [slashdot.org] there is no link between cell phones and cancer.

        "researchers say more work is needed to be completely sure." - as they have been saying for the last 50 years (re: emi from powerlines, radio transmitters and other sources), anybody been studying cancer trends across the last 50 years? I don't think we're getting less cancers now than we did in 1960.

        I'm pretty sure strapping either one of those two 'watches' to your wrist 24/7 will decrease the chance of getting laid.

        I was married when I wore my Palm OS watch, it was mostly the children decreasing my chances of getting laid then.

        • I don't think we're getting less cancers now than we did in 1960.

          We're getting more. By a very wide margin. But what's in question is whether that's caused by EMI from our electronic devices, or whether it's caused by contaminants in the environment. My money's on a mix of the two, with the bulk of the cause lying in the contaminants in the environment: We're eating a hell of a lot more toxic stuff now than we did 50 years ago. It's in our food, it's in our water, it's in the air. Individual devices/cars may be cleaner now than they were in the 60's, but there's so many

          • I don't think the cell phone risk is large, hell, I sit at my desk with a 1W transmitter 2' over my head for hours at a time, but it amuses me that after a lifetime of talking about it, nobody can quantify the risk.

    • It might warm you up a little, but anything below ultra-violet frequencies won't give you cancer.
  • Im Watch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by should_be_linear (779431) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @07:37AM (#37877670)
    I'm watch is excellent execution of really stupid idea. If battery can last for AT LEAST one month... but one day? For wristwatch???
    • by munch117 (214551)

      Right. There are gas meters that can run for 20 years on a single AA cell [flonidan.dk]. And these guys have a long-term goal of reaching 48 hours battery life?

      But they do look cool. They should make a model with no electronics at all, displaying the fixed image 16:01 . I'd buy that: "Oh, sorry, mr. PHB, it's getting late, those TPS reports will have to wait until tomorrow."

      • No, you have it wrong, the right time is always 5:02 PM, 22 April 2011. That's the time and date, it's always been like this.
    • Re:Im Watch (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Fozzyuw (950608) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @09:17AM (#37878114)

      The specs aren't in it's favor.

      • 48 hour max battery life without bluetooth.
      • Requires tethering (which will require you to carry a smartphone with you anyhow!)
      • One way communication? (I don't see or hear anything about writing tweets or email. Just reading)

      All for a reasonable price of over $400? Ok, the exclusive obsessed and uber-rich might buy a few, and at those price points, it might make them some money (given I doubt it cost that much to develop). But once people start using them and they have a big cumbersome bracelet on their wrist (because you forgot to charge it) that has no practical purpose to respond to the emails you just got or order movie-tickets online, without pulling out that heavy phone in your pocket or purse, it will lose it's "cool factor".

      • The Uber-rich and sufficiently nerdy are much more likely to fork out for something like this. [ablogtoread.com]

        I honestly don't see the point of this. I was in a watch museum in La-Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, the curator said to me that a watch is not to tell you the time, time is free, It's available on every phone, every computer screen, nearly every street corner, and if you're really stuck simply ask someone.

        Watches are fashion accessories.

        With that in mind the I'm Watch looks like a cheap toy.

      • by T.E.D. (34228)
        The video seems to be selling it as sort of a remote head unit for your smartphone. It would probably be damn useful in that capacity in certian situations. eg: checking who is calling you while driving to decide if you need to pull over and take the calls. Switching songs while jogging, etc. At least at around a $100 price point it would be. At $400, I'd have to be pretty dang low on ideas of other ways to blow my money.
    • Miniaturization is not the big challenge with concepts like these, battery life is. Close behind battery life comes interface: how do you get information into and out of the darn thing? How much fun would it be to try to type an email on a watch using one hand?

      Last but not least you have to think through the use-cases very thoroughly. Look at the iPad. Pretty, cool to have. Not terribly useful. Where do you have time to sit down and use it? If you live in Chicago, New York, or some other place that h

    • by ljw1004 (764174)

      Most GPS-enabled watches last a day -- typically used by athletes to track their workout, especially endurance athletes.

      It becomes a nightly ritual to recharge it just like you recharge your smartphone. My Nokia 8210 from ten years ago used to last 10 days without recharging.

    • by T.E.D. (34228)
      It looks to me more like a remote-control unit for your smartphone. A day of charge for something like that doesn't seem all that unreasonable.
  • I'm waiting for the model that allows two-handed typing.

    • by Sez Zero (586611)

      Actually, I wonder if it could use the accelerometer in your wrist to figure it out. Like the smart phone does in this story [slashdot.org].

      Think of all the keyboards we'd save when we can replace them with pieces of paper that just look like keyboards!

      • Actually, I wonder if it could use the accelerometer in your wrist to figure it out.

        But then all of your slashdot posts would read "spank spank spank spank spank spank...."

  • connected wearable devices that deliver timely, relevant information

    A timely watch that tells time? I have one of these already.

  • When I can get a ruggedized model that I'm not going to instantly destroy and that doesn't require me to cover my watch arm with a plastic bag for use in the rain, let me know.

  • With the MotoACTV: http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/18/motorola-announces-motoactv-the-ultimate-fitness-device/ [engadget.com]

    Better hardware overall, better functionality, lower price.

    Still more than I would pay, but I'm nerdy enough I would like one if I didn't have to pay for it.

  • "Would you like an asteroid on your wrist?"
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't the expression be 'chrono a chrono'? Submitter is making a play on the phrase 'mano a mano', no?

  • Like a head-mount screen compact enough to wear and high-res enough to be useful? That could have real applications in the fields of porn-viewing-in-public and support team rapid response.
  • A programmable watch with communications is a great idea. The market will help pick the right features/size/ price, and these two watches help that process as people explore new applications.

    Texas Instruments has 3 watch styles with low-power MSP430 microcontrollers. The $200 models have Bluetooth and the older $49 watches have a simpler digital display and ISM band wireless links.

    https://estore.ti.com/Search.aspx?k=watch [ti.com]

    http://www.metawatch.org/ [metawatch.org]

    https://estore.ti.com/MSP-WDS430BT2000D-Bluetooth-Weara [ti.com]

  • one thing's for sure, it will be hard to type with both hands on those droids
  • I got one when they came out and actually liked it.

    It was handy getting news, sports and weather on the watch.

    But it was expensive, you needed a subscription and the battery had trouble getting through the day. I wouldn't mind seeing an update of this form factor at all. Hopefully they've got the battery performance figured out, although I doubt it, considering its screen tech. But the price will probably be about what the SmartWatch was a decade ago - not cheap enough, and you'll still need some sort o

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      yours must have been defective. I get a solid 2 days out of my Fossil MSN watch. and this thing is well over 6 years old now and has been left dead for weeks which is bad for the battery.

      and yes, for what you got it was expensive. if it was BT and talked to my phone, it would have use, but now I only wear it to nerdy events to out nerd the others nerds.

  • I want a bracer with curved OLED screen. Kind of like a smart phone but permanently landscape oriented. Just make it tough enough to take a few bumps and push against it such as when you might be lifting something but still light enough and with enough ventilation so you don't get sweaty wrist. With a touch screen it's the ultimate geeks toy. Always within reach, no more pulling out your smart device. And for you uber geek you they can wear the left and right handed models on both arms. You can have a

  • A double din android car stereo.

    I made a personal prototype that I use and every single person that sees it wants one, just not at the $2200.00 price tag I have on them.. $1000 in parts and $1200 in my labor for a week comes with no warranty.

    This would be an item that one of these china crap companies could make and dominate a market.

    • A double din android car stereo

      Hey, yours is the second one I heard of!
      A friend of mine made one too for his car.
      Took a standard cradle, which has just about the right size, and mounted it over the double-din car stereo slot.
      He had one problem, if I remember correctly.
      When you put the Droid tablet into the cradle, I think you could either charge, or have sound output, or something like that.
      Stupid limitation by Samsung who had not foreseen creative uses of their product.
      I don't think it took him a week to make, however.

  • and those that do, usually wear some kind of gentleman's watch... not a digital timepiece.

    • Maybe where you live, but I wear a Timex Ironman Triathlon [timex.com] and I receive complements all the time.
    • by Kevin108 (760520)

      I hadn't worn a watch since I bought my first cell phone in 2000 or so. About a year ago I finally made the jump to a Droid X. Anticipating the potential for power loss and knowing my Droid X is only good for 10 hours or so of average use, I dug a 15-year-old Ironman Triathlon out of my desk drawer a few months ago in preparation for Hurricane Irene. Cheap, waterproof, years of battery life and difficult to damage - it's certainly a better timepiece for a potential emergency scenario. It's still on my w

  • ...Some time ago there was a post about a guy who created a wrist strap and holder for his iPod Nano. This seems a lot like it, anyone know if there's a connection?

    Found the URL: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1104350651/tiktok-lunatik-multi-touch-watch-kits [kickstarter.com]

    From the amount of money pledged I think it can be assumed that he found some fairly major backing
  • As I predicted, those iPod watch straps have shown of for $1 on the deal-a-day type web sites. No one wants to have to push a button to see the time. That went out on the 80s when LCD displays displaced LED displays from digital watches. People forgot about that when they came up with the iPod-as-a-watch idea a couple years ago, but now they've figured it out again.

    Now some dopes are proposing the same folly with a device that runs Android. If you call it a watch it is doomed to failure. People will st

  • I still wear CASIO Data Bank watches (150 model right now) since they are small and light. I am a small guy with thin wrists (like a kid). I looked at these PDA watches, but they're too big, heavy, battery lives are short, etc. It looks like Android has the same problem. Are there any fancy useful watches that are like the old CASIO Data Bank watches?

    I just need a scheduler, times/clocks, basic calculator, alarms, etc. or do I have to keep buying and using CASIO Data Danks? And no I don't want to rely on ce

  • Then I might. I'd love to have my watch show little recaps of emails, caller id, etc. How many times do you hear your phone and don't want to go digging for it.

    I'd rather this be just a dummy terminal with great battery life that my phone can control via bluetooth or whatever.

  • Everybody has a smartphone. If you want to do something useful, make a watch that is just a low power, dumb, bluetooth receiver and remote control. Using the buttons on your watch to skip to the next song would actually be useful. Having a display on your wrist which can alternate between, say, 4 sources of information streamed from your phone would also be useful (next appointment... Last text/email... Etc).

    Having a computer with a horrid interface, painful specs, and horrible battery life, isn't usefu

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