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Handhelds Hardware

Omate TrueSmart Watch Stands Alone — No Phone Required 167

Posted by timothy
from the dick-tracey-james-bond-or-maxwell-smart dept.
jarold writes to point out an intriguing entry in the expanding smart-watch field: the Omate TrueSmart watch. Production of samples is about start on the watch after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Unlike some of the smart watches now out (or promised for soon), the TrueSmart is capable of making voice calls, sending texts, and using social media messaging without a separate smartphone or tablet. The specs are impressive, for something you wear on your wrist: Android 4.2.2 running on a dual core Cortex A7 and half a gig of RAM, 4GB of storage (expandable via micro-SD slot).
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Omate TrueSmart Watch Stands Alone — No Phone Required

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  • The only special thing about this one is the specs and it's running Android.

    Is this commercial break almost over?

    • by Tukz (664339)

      Several Android smart watches already exist.
      This is nothing new.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Several Android smart watches already exist.
        This is nothing new.

        Where are they?

        • http://www.imsmart.com/en [imsmart.com]

          The reviews are not flattering.
          • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Several Android smart watches already exist.
            This is nothing new.

            Where are they?

            http://www.imsmart.com/en [imsmart.com]
            The reviews are not flattering.

            Nope. That's just another watch that connects to your actual smartphone via bluetooth... It's not an actual smartphone IN a watch. Still waiting for proof of "Several Android smart watches already exist. This is nothing new." being a relevant statement for this article.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              Still waiting for proof of "Several Android smart watches already exist. This is nothing new." being a relevant statement for this article.

              It very clearly is a relevant statement for this article. The question is whether it is a true statement.

            • by Comen (321331)

              Actually I was just looking for a Bluetooth waterproof watch that would vibrate or something for when I am riding my jetski, because I do not want to drop my expensive phone in the water when I need to make a call or take a call.
              So I did a search on Amazon and found nothing but non Bluetooth cell phone watches just a couple days ago.
              I do not know why someone would want a cell phone in a watch its not going to be as nice as current phones are, and you would have to pay for a another carrier contract and sepa

              • by Comen (321331)

                BTW, I have seen the Pebble and Sony watches that are just Bluetooth extensions like I want, but they do not seem to be able to actually take a call on the watch, they just let you get messages/email or apps on the watch.
                It would be nice to be able to use a small speaker phone on the watch even if I had to hold it to me ear, nothing expensive Bluetooth devices like this that just go in your ear are pretty cheap, but I wear glasses and wearing one on my ear the whole time would suck. I just want a cheap Blue

    • by RDW (41497)

      There's a specialised market for phones of this size in the UK - if they make a version without the strap lugs, they could be on to a winner!:

      http://gizmodo.com/uk-moves-to-ban-phones-designed-to-fit-up-prisoner-butt-1178815285 [gizmodo.com]

      • That.. adds a whole new facet to the concept of "phone sex" :p what's even more ludicrous is the linked story where people were smuggling in normal smartphones.. ouchhhh.. :s

      • by jkflying (2190798)

        Does it come with a 'vibrate' ringer option?

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        Hell, when I was in the joint, there were guys who could have fit an LG Optimus up there and still have room for an ounce of weed and a Dremel tool.

        We used to joke, "...help me find my keys and we'll drive out of here."

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      We are presenting a few leaps forward that are new 1) First Smartwatch that is water-resistant companion to phone (like the rest) AND standalone phone 2) First Smartwatch with Google Play App store - we believe apps will do to smartwatch like they did to smartphones 3) and if we successfully surpass $500K funds raised on Kickstarter, TrueSmart will be the First Smartwatch with Sapphire Crystal glass - the best scratch-proof, stuff used by the Grandmasters of watchmakers (Rolex, Omega, Hublot, Tag Heuer, etc
    • So... Another made-in-china Android device that you're supposed to trust with your personal data? Where's a privacy-oriented smartphone maker when you need one? Why didn't Ubuntu's marketing for their phone focus on that?
  • Refreshing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Monday August 26, 2013 @03:51AM (#44674747) Homepage

    Nothing like having the refreshing backplate of a smoldering hot CPU tied around your wrist.
    I hope it comes with a quick release mechanism.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      It looks low end enough not to get particularly warm. Dual core A7 and 512MB RAM are not a lot.

      Battery life looks like more of an issue. The advantage of smart watches without their own phone functionality is that they can run for a week on a charge (the good ones anyway).

      • phone functionality is there when you need it. Otherwise, it's ALSO a smartwatch without phone functionality if you prefer :-) We designed TrueSmart to be best of both worlds.
      • It looks low end enough not to get particularly warm. Dual core A7 and 512MB RAM are not a lot.

        Battery life looks like more of an issue. The advantage of smart watches without their own phone functionality is that they can run for a week on a charge (the good ones anyway).

        Someone will figure a way to adapt the old "self winding" eccentric weight system to a charging component like a spring driven micro generator. The old self winding watches went to great lengths to prevent over-winding, and the amount of energy the watch collected and used was a lot less than what was actually available by collecting momentum from the users movements.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_watch [wikipedia.org]

        • The power draw on a CPU, even a modest one, is a lot larger than that of a lightweight, near frictionless gear train.
        • Someone will figure a way to adapt the old "self winding" eccentric weight system to a charging component like a spring driven micro generator.

          I hear Seiko are working on something called a kinetic. I can't give any more details as I'm off to a Duran Duran concert.

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      A pocket watch would dissipate heat better and the chain could work as usb cable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      No worries about that, mate. We've been fiedtesting and none of our staff has been sent to the Emergency room for burn wounds lololol. On a more serious note, the CPU is the latest low power dual core 28nm processor. Low power, low heat (which is waste of energy) and that's good for battery life too.
  • by techno-vampire (666512) on Monday August 26, 2013 @03:54AM (#44674759) Homepage
    There's nothing new here. Dick Tracy [wikipedia.org] had one of these over sixty years ago.
  • Heat (Score:4, Interesting)

    by serviscope_minor (664417) on Monday August 26, 2013 @03:56AM (#44674767) Journal

    I have what is now a quite low end phone, Galaxy Ace.

    That thing gets warm if you use it "intensively", i.e. play a game that maxes it out. It has a considerably larger area over which to dissipate heat. I wonder how this one does.

    Though I'm struggling to think of what would max out such a tiny device anyway. I can't see it running games or sitting there headless running a folding client.

    • Re:Heat (Score:5, Informative)

      by viperidaenz (2515578) on Monday August 26, 2013 @04:56AM (#44674965)

      The idea is probably that this watch device uses a newer SoC that requires less power.
      Your Galaxy Ace has a 65nm CPU. I dare say a brand new dual core Cortex A7 is built on something a little smaller. All of MediaTek's Cortex A7's with 3G support appear to be 28nm.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DNS-and-BIND (461968)
      You have the wrong idea. It's not about functionality. It's about making people envy you by the products you buy. Moreover, you identify yourself as well-off and on top of the latest trends. Why do you think the iPod came with easily-identifiable white earplugs? Even if you're dressed like a homeless person, with this device on your wrist nobody will actually mistake you for one.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      You can be assured there's no heat issues with the TrueSmart. Technology progresses and energy efficiency improves too - the processor is the latest low-power 28nm processor, low power and less heat generated (which is a waste of power actually). No problems here
    • by stenvar (2789879)

      Technology gets more power efficient. Something as computationally powerful as your Galaxy Ace these days uses a lot less power and generates less heat.

    • One thing I've noticed is that what seems to eat the most power on my phones is the "display" (it's never been clear to me how much of that battery-usage figure represents the actual screen and how much of that is the GPU, but whatever). This appears to have a comparatively tiny, relatively low-resolution display, which I'm guessing will limit how much power it can eat up (and as a result how much heat it will generate). Like you said, this doesn't seem like a device that's going to be tasked with really h
  • That's all I've got. A standalone device,,, very interesting. Depending on price and availability, I'd like one.

    Back in the nineties there was a watch that was a pager, and you could also get news headlines and stock reports on it. I wore mine 24 hours a day and got a skin infection... wait, too much information. Suffice it to say, I really liked that product and this one looks very interesting.

    • I wore mine 24 hours a day and got a skin infection... wait, too much information.

      You got a skin infection from too much information? Hmm. Maybe that crusty orange lump isn't a cheeto...

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        I wore mine 24 hours a day and got a skin infection... wait, too much information.

        You got a skin infection from too much information? Hmm. Maybe that crusty orange lump isn't a cheeto...

        Cute. Dermatophytosis, if you must know. It happens sometimes when sweaty skin is kept covered for too long by something that doesn't breathe. The moral being, rubber watch straps aren't a good idea, and "take off your watch once in awhile".

  • What if I want a smart watch but no phone? Putting the phone inside the watch isn't going to help. I value my privacy, and don't want to walk around with an effective radiolocation beacon.

    • You can use the TrueSmart as a smartwatch without the phone function - it is BOTH a companion to your phone AND a standalone. Don't put in a SIM card, it's a smartwatch, a truly smart one, Android 4.2.2 with full access to Google Play apps store (the first and only smartwatch with this). Has Bluetooth, Wifi which you can use to pair with your regular smartwatch or use it on its own.
      • by Arker (91948)

        Is there an easy way to completely remove the radio circuits, or physically disconnect them from any power leads?

        • by mspohr (589790)

          This is a smartphone and a watch.
          It you don't want the smartphone part, then don't buy it. Buy something else (like a watch).
          (OTOH, you could try hitting it with a hammer or putting it in the microwave but these are not very precise methods and may not produce the intended results.)

  • by Tyr07 (2300912) on Monday August 26, 2013 @04:15AM (#44674829)
    I've wanted something like this since I was a kid. Something incredibly useful, portable, does many functions, even phone calls, from a watch? Hell yeah I'll buy one. Someone mentioned heat and games. I don't want to play games on it. I want to text, make phone calls, maybe pictures / video, and get information on it. Like news or directions. It shouldn't heat up too much with that barring the video. Technology has been useful, and it has been convenient for the task it's replacing/performing. However it is rarely convenient to carry with you all the time. Priceless.
    • by Nyder (754090)

      I've wanted something like this since I was a kid. Something incredibly useful, portable, does many functions, even phone calls, from a watch? Hell yeah I'll buy one.

      Someone mentioned heat and games. I don't want to play games on it.
      I want to text, make phone calls, maybe pictures / video, and get information on it. Like news or directions. It shouldn't heat up too much with that barring the
      video.

      Technology has been useful, and it has been convenient for the task it's replacing/performing. However it is rarely convenient to carry with you all the time.
      Priceless.

      Seriously? Remember texting on the old dumb phones? The ones with the small screens? Ya, you get the small screens with these "smart watches" . Hope the texting works for you, using 1 hand (after all, you aren't going to take the watch off to hold it in two hands to text, right?) on that small screen. Not even sure how you want to use it as a phone, hold it up to your ear? bluetooth headset? Did you even think this thru?

      I know this sound cool when we were kids (not sure when you were a kid,

      • by Tyr07 (2300912) on Monday August 26, 2013 @04:48AM (#44674949)
        I don't need a giant screen for simple text messages. If it's a large conversation worth that would be very difficult to type on one single small screen, I'd just call the person. I don't intend to write an email from it.

        Yes, I was imaging using a blue tooth device paired to it. I did think this through, you may not have.
        Ever use a speaker phone before? If it's an important quick call, it can be handy, ideally not used in areas where having a conversation
        on the phone where 3rd parties can hear the conversation is an issue. Say you're just out walking and buddy calls you. You can
        just pick it up, have a quick chat, where are you, oh, I'm here walking over to X store or whatever. Alright, meet you there.

        Personally I'd rather hold my arm up like looking at the time for a few seconds than a phone to my ear.
        Obviously for more private conversations you'd want to use your blue tooth device and be somewhere you're not disturbing people.
        Plus I think it would be quite convenient for reading quick text messages.

        What's also nice is that you can pair it with a phone if you need a bigger device for extended text messaging and other features.
        The real boon is having a display on your arm that is easy to look at, instead of digging your phone out to see who is calling or texting.


        My personal experience with my phone in my pocket or a case is it falling out, into water, or just on concrete. Getting scratched and damaged
        Or just pressure from being in pockets damaging the touch screen etc.

        Honestly until I saw this, my next phone was going to be as old styled as possible, hopefully no touch screen etc.
        My current phone is touch screen and it's going, but it doesn't do smart phone stuff, doesn't run android etc
        Means I don't facebook or do data from it, I charge it once every week or two weeks, I text and phone from it, and it works good.

        So maybe not for everyone, but for me, a functional stand alone watch phone would be great.
        • Very well put, we couldn't have said it better! It's a new use, not to be compared with phones.
      • I only use 1 hand to write text messages (the other is holding the phone) Swype is very effective at this. If the device is strapped to my arm, it's being held, and my other hand does the Swyping. There is one issue though, and it's something that nothing really can be done about it. It suffers the same issues that plague so many pieces of equipment, not left-hand friendly. I guess it can be overcome by wearing the watch on the right arm, but that feels unnatural.

        Either way, I'm certain it takes voice comma

        • I only use 1 hand to write text messages (the other is holding the phone) Swype is very effective at this. If the device is strapped to my arm, it's being held, and my other hand does the Swyping. There is one issue though, and it's something that nothing really can be done about it. It suffers the same issues that plague so many pieces of equipment, not left-hand friendly. I guess it can be overcome by wearing the watch on the right arm, but that feels unnatural.

          Either way, I'm certain it takes voice commands so you can dictate messages to it.

          MessagEase [exideas.com] might be better, considering the limited space.

      • TrueSmart ships with a special Keyboard enhancer, from a reputable onscreen keyboard most people are familiar with. In addition to the Keyboard enhancer, there's Voice-to-text, Swipe Gestures, Gesture Control... a combination of user input methods. It's a new thing not to be compared with smartphones, not meant to replace smartphone but rather move forward. Not trying to change your mind now, but hope you will keep an open mind. Afterall when typing with an on screen keyboard was first introduced, many peop
      • You won't text on it, that's so last century. You'll talk to it, and it will send text. Standard Android speech-to-text is very good these days.

    • Nice, glad you like it!!! Come join us on Google+, we've got a Omate TrueSmart & GLASS community going on! https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/104860063598575161591/communities/111599684337254042909 [google.com]
    • by bazorg (911295)

      How about strapping a normal smartphone to your wrist? I tried it with elastic bands just for a laugh.

  • So, watches like this with Google's operating system combined with Google's self driving cars... I want to call my KITT now, thank you.
    • by aliquis (678370)

      I also want to get a new one after each jump! :D

      Instant 3D printing on the spot! No need to get out!

  • how do I talk over this thing?

    Is it James Bond or Dick Tracy like, with my left arm riased & talking to watch & looking as if in some sort of conspiration?

    Well, I still might like it. Pondering whether to order one or not...
    • by Tukz (664339)

      Bluetooth earpiece or similar.

    • From the Article:

      600mAH battery
      Multi-touch Capacitive Touch Screen at 1.54 inches
      Color display of 240×240 resolution
      Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
      3G WCDMA : HSPA 7.2Mbps / 5.76Mbps

      I'm guessing a bluetooth headset

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      You can indeed talk into the TrueSmart like James Bond, Dick Tracey and Michael Knight (KITT) :-)) There's a water-resistant speaker / mic built-in. A bluetooth headset can be used too. Texting (special enhanced onscreen keyboard + swipes) is an alternative. Perfect for those quick and short messages like "OK I'll be there", "I miss you too", "What are you doing Saturday"... audio or text :-)
      • wow, you registered on slashdot, just after these news appeared on front page.

        What can you tell about battery life & daily usage & charging? 100hr is a mere 4 days.

        How is it supposed to work on day to day: whenever I get home, I take off the watch, put it on my desk and connect to the charger?
        What if I want to spend 2 weeks in mountains?
        Can I charge in a car [wikipedia.org]?
        What about travelling & battery consumption - I discovered that while in my current (crappy) phone battery lasts about 3 days, it
        • by Arker (91948)

          Very good questions. In my experience, smartphones cope very poorly in areas that lack dense cellular coverage (ie rural areas - most of the US and most of the world.) It seems the people designing them simply cannot get their heads around the fact that people exist outside of built up urban areas.

          So you get a device designed with just adequate battery life, but also designed around assumptions that do not actually hold true in the environment as well - so the thing wastes power constantly seeking and losi

          • I don't know about your alleged smartphone(s), but I can turn cell-data off with one click. Problem solved.

            If there's no tower coverage period, airplane mode is 2 clicks away.
            • by Arker (91948)

              Airplane mode is indeed the only solution, but it's a procrustean solution at best because it turns off wifi and bluetooth as well. It's quite annoying to be sitting here with a fairly decent fibre connection and a perfectly good wireless router but unable to use them without also enabling the pointless waste of battery power called a CDMA transceiver.

              The cellphone towers here provide reasonable coverage for old dumb phones with large antennas, with a smartphone you tend to find areas where you have 3 or 4

              • I guess my old 'dumb phones' sucked balls then, because I honestly can't tell much difference. Yes there's no stubby antenna sticking out of most smartphones but the gain seems quite similar based on my previous phones (LG and Nokia, both CDMA).

                Battery life in general is much poorer on a smartphone but even with spotty coverage (1-2 bars) my phone is good for a day of heavy usage. If I use it like a dumb phone, several days. This shouldn't surprise you, fancy processors and giant screens use battery. If
                • by Arker (91948)

                  The older cellphones often have no better antenna, this is true, but certain models did and people in this area learned quickly to favor them. I dont see any newer smart phones coming out with this feature.

                  It makes no sense to add an extended battery to keep driving hardware that I dont want turned on in the first place. I am waiting for a device that isnt so poorly designed in the first place - I wasted enough money on this crap already so if they want my money at this point the onus is on them. I doubt th

  • Battery... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Edis Krad (1003934) on Monday August 26, 2013 @04:41AM (#44674921)
    I hope it comes with its own hand-crank, because I find it hard to believe that is going to hold a charge past 60 minutes...
    • I sometimes wonder why they are putting high-end hardware in these watches when there isn't enough space for a large battery. This has 600mAH, not much for an Android phone. Something like the Nokia 100 can run for a month on 800mAH by omitting all the bells and whistles I think you would rarely use on a keyboard-less 1.54'' screen watch phone anyway, and just being a phone.

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        Well most people don't need more than 1 day worth of battery, when you go to bed you take the device off and attach it to a charger next to your bed...

      • by mspohr (589790)

        Most of the battery drain in a smartphone comes from the display back light and the fact that this has a very small display (about 2.3 sq.in.compared to about 8 sq. in. for many smartphones) should mean that there will be a very small battery drain for the display.

    • The screen is 1/3 the size of a high-end smartphone. The resolution is 1/4 that of a high-end smartphone. The battery is 1/4 that of a high-end smartphone. Sounds fine.
  • Pro's:
    1) Its small size can be convenient in an era of bulky phones.
    2) Attached to your body, it will theoretically be harder to lose it or let it get stolen.

    Con's:
    1) The screen is going to be too small to be very usable.
    2) Battery life will likely suck since it is also too small.
    3) With such a small screen, will be difficult to use, and you won't get many buttons, if any.
    4) You can only use it one-handed.
    5) The screen will probably get scratched to fuck since it sticks out from your wrist, and will probabl

  • I'd be very interested in a pocket version (that's with no bracelet). I have thin wrists and tend to wear small, light watches or no watch at all. But since all I use to carry stuff around when I leave the house is my pockets (I never carry purses or bags), I like to take very little with me (typically small wallet + key ring + phone), and reducing the phone size by a factor of 4 or 5 would make it a lot more comfortable in my pocket.
  • Too ugly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by aaaaaaargh! (1150173)

    ...like all digital watches without hands. Sorry, 'smart watches' will never be relevant for anyone but a few geeks without taste.

  • by DeBaas (470886) on Monday August 26, 2013 @06:52AM (#44675279) Homepage

    Since 'smart watches' were introduced I've personally believed that they were doing it the wrong way around. I'd rather have a watch that has radio and can do the basics (call/text) and have a mini tablet that tethers with the watch for it's connection.

    Now for me for this to become really interesting they'd have to:
    - waterproof them
    - partner with the better watch maker brands to make the watches look like 'normal watches' (for texting they could use the divers ring as an input device, just turn to right letter and press)
    - include car opening remote control (why not)
    - include a mini Bluetooth receiver that you can 'un-click' from the watch and hold close to your ear to make the calls less ''knight rider calls kitt'

    Great for going to the beach. No longer have to worry about your keys, phone when taking a swim. And no longer a need to carry your phone around all the time as it is around your wrist. There are many occasions I'd rather leave my smartphone at home or in my desk as long as I still can be reached

    • Cool, a watch indeed is a very personal thing since it is something you wear rather than put in the pocket. We have kept very strictly to watch designs, going for a look that looks and feels like a watch. We've kept the size at 45mm, according to watch sizes, that's slightly larger than a dress watch, smaller than a sports watch. Omate Truesmart: - is waterproof - you can text on the screen itself (using a combination of special onscreen keyboard enhancer included, voice-to-text, swipe gestures, gesture co
  • The smart wearable device fad will come and go, like it has in the past. I don't see much point in trying to cram technology into something with a small screen, it just not practical for much more than telling time and wireless communication to a headset. And do I need to start wearing smart glasses to pair with my smartwatch and then wave my hands in the air or talk to myself like a crazy person to get things done.

    The Smart Watch and Glasses fad will probably be the most annoying technical meme in the hi

  • by sribe (304414)

    Unless it's tethered to a battery in your pocket that is ;-) Because otherwise battery life is going to make this useless as a phone.

  • by Tom (822) on Monday August 26, 2013 @12:02PM (#44677267) Homepage Journal

    It's been almost 20 years since I last wore a wrist-watch. This or something like it might actually make me do it again. I find it increasingly irritating to dig out my iPhone just to check the time.

  • The shoe phone as used by Maxwell Smart...

  • For a watch that doesn't require watch hardware. IOW, a bluetooth implant.
  • Because if it's as imprecise as phones then it's useless as a watch.

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