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Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce
If you’re still catching up with the smartphone revolution, hang on, because watches are now smart, too.
A mobile technology company called Kreyos has just introduced the Kreyos Meteor, a smartwatch. Waterproof and interactive, a consumer can use voice commands or gestures to control his smartwatch, which in turn remotely controls his Apple or Android smartphone.
“The first generation of smartwatches let you receive notifications. But that’s just one-way communication,” says Steve Tan, co-founder of Kreyos. “We have gone beyond that with the Meteor. Now you can use voice or gestures to communicate with your friends via voice, text, e-mail and social media. Anything your smartphone can do, you’ll soon be able to do on your smartwatch.”
He says soon because though the Meteor has gone on sale, delivery of the product is not slated until November.
The Meteor allows a consumer to remotely connect his smartwatch with his smartphone’s voice command system, such as Siri on iPhones. “Imagine being able to answer a phone without digging in your pocketbook for your smartphone,” says Patricia Roche, vice president of marketing. “The Kreyos smartwatch gives you the freedom to use your smartphone even when it isn’t with you.”
A built-in gyroscope and accelerometer enables a consumer to gesture up and down and left and right to control apps on the Meteor, which sells for $169. A gyroscope and an accelerometer are technologies app developers can use to trigger actions within an app based on the movement of a mobile device.
Another smartwatch that has made it to market is the Pebble, which sells for $150. And Apple Inc. has applied for the trademark for “iWatch,” so you know what that means.
The big question is: Will the smartwatch take off? To be honest, I am stumped. My first reaction is that the smartwatch is just a neat gadget. I mean, really, are people so lazy that they can’t pull their smartphones from their pockets? Still, look at the history of mobile technology. First smartphone adoption went through the roof. Then tablet purchases grew at an even faster pace. Are wearable mobile devices like Google Glass glasses and smartwatches the next big thing? At around $150, smartwatches are priced to move.
The masses are fickle. So time will tell just how smart consumers want their watches to be.
But I’ll end on this note, something that really made me stop and think. A couple of weeks ago, Coupons.com Inc. introduced KitchMe for Glass, a recipe and meal preparation app for Google Glass. Already there are companies in retail creating mobile apps for the new Google Glass. Is this history repeating?