LONDON – I'm Watch, is a Dick Tracy style watch for the 'app' generation that is being tipped to launch at ARM TechCon, which takes place Oct. 25 to 27 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley.
Almost exactly 80 years after Chester Gould's hard hitting, fast-shooting comic-book hero first graced the pages of the Detroit Mirror it looks like his radio-capable wristwatch has received an iMakeover.
The I'm Watch is a first product from Blue Sky srl (Milan, Italy), a company founded by electronics engineer Manuel Zanella and marketing entrepreneur Massimiliano Bertolini, according to the company's website. Presumably they have decided not to use the more obvious iWatch name for reasons of legal caution.
The I'm Watch is an Android-based wristwatch computer that can run many apps including user interfaces and notifications for familiar ones such as Skype and Facebook. According to the company the graphical user interface is simple and intuitive. "Just touch, drag, swipe or pinch to use all the functionalities or open any of the apps, pre-installed or downloadable from i’mstore."
However, the I'm Watch is not a stand-alone device. It relies on the owner's smartphone for its access to the internet. It connects via Bluetooth to the iPhone 3GS (with iOS 4.3 or superior), iPhone 4, Android phones and from 2012 with Blackberry and Windows Phone 7, the company states.
There is no WiFi connection but the use of Bluetooth can help keep power consumption down and battery life up, as will the use of a customized version of Android that is similar to version 1.6. The standby time is listed as 30 hours with the connection up and talk time with speakerphone engaged is 3 hours.
As Dick Tracy would have expected there is a 3.5-mm headphone connection and power-up mini-jack socket, a microphone and built-in speaker. The display is 1.54-inch diagonal full color liquid crystal display with a 240 by 240 pixel resolution.
We don't know whether the I'm Watch runs on an ARM-based processor, but given the location chosen for the live appearance it would seem likely. And the event should be a good place to seek more details. However, a word of caution for all you Dick Tracy's out there; the company says the I'm Watch is not waterproof!
ARM TechCon is organized by UBM Electronics, the publisher of EE Times, on behalf of processor IP licensor ARM.
The creator of the Dick Tracy comic did not foresee the day when everyone would carry a small phone in their pocket, and that this device would be so much more than just a phone.
Like others have said, so many of us have long ago abandoned wearing a device on our wrists. The fact that this new product is not a replacement for the smartphone makes it even less appealing.
To me $350 sounds expensive. Remember i have to a smartphone as well. This is a funky wrist-based display.
A $35 price might tempt me.
But maybe the price will come down after the company has taken money off all the people prepared to pay $350.
My eye sight is way too far gone to even think that this might be a good idea. I even think the 7" tablets are too small to see.
The younger generation my take to these, but I do not think it will become a must have item.
@rick.merritt: I am one of those who likes to wear an iPod Nano whenever I am flying. Other times I don't see any need for a Dick Tracy-like watch.
@ReneCardenas: ditto, it has been years since I wore a watch. I don't feel the need for one any more with local time available from so many sources. On the color-coordinating side, this may be a God-send for my wife, she can easily change the background to match!
I am not sure that I want to wear anything in my arm or wrist again!.
It has been years that I stopped wearing any item strapped to my body. So I am not sure that I would make the exception just for coordinated color or ID style. But again, maybe many others would not mind, just MHO.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.