One of the most forgotten victims of the rise of smartphones is the humble wristwatch. Watchmaker Fossil is trying to make them relevant again by helping them sync with your phone.
It may sound trivial at first, but anyone who gets constant messages, emails and notifications knows it gets tedious taking a phone out of a pocket/holster/purse whenever it beeps. The new watches from Fossil, called Metawatches, display notifications and messages so all it takes is a quick glance at your watch to know what’s going on.
Plus, it’s an added bonus for the stubborn watch wearers who prefer to keep sporting a good old chronograph.
That being said, the Metawatch isn’t exactly much of a fashion statement. They’re a bit thick and clunky, which isn’t too surprising when taking into account the extra technology that must fit inside.
There are two basic models, one with a more traditional analog watch face and another with a fully digital face.
The analog watch has two hands, but also sports two tiny OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens above and below that can show updates and information. The digital watch has a reflective LCD face that can display just about anything, but only in black and white.
The Metawatches sync to smartphones via Bluetooth and can display weather, short messages, email notifications, Twitter updates and other social media notifications. The also have accelerometers and ambient light sensors, which may not sound important for seeing text messages, but they will become increasingly important as developers program new ways for the Metawatch to interact with a phone.
The screens are small and the design is basic at best, but for the various minutia of smartphone communication, it’s certainly convenient. The Metawatch is available for preorder now. It costs $200 and will ship to customers on June 30.