A highly programmable wrist watch computer that runs the Android OS and has lots of connectivity and sensors. How cool is that?
If you think that the Arduino or similar is the last word in sophistication then you need to meet the WIMM One. The idea is simple enough - build a small module that runs the Android OS and let developers create apps for it. If you think this is a silly idea you haven't noticed how much users regard their Android phones as small computing devices rather than phones.
A wearable Android module is not a crazy idea - not when it comes with WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS in a one inch package. It also has the sort of sensors you would find in most phones - magnetometer, accelerometer and vibration motor. A 160x160 pixel screen provides just enough graphics real estate to allow the user to navigate to find apps via touch. The screen is backlit and can be changed to reflective mode so that it can be viewed in full sunlight.The device can be paired with your phone and it will alert you to an incoming message. It can also connect to the Internet via Bluetooth tethering. A connector at the rear allows for charging and expansion.
Exactly how you wear the WIMM One depends on which of the modular enclosures you select. There are a range of watch straps but bicycle mounts, belt clips and pendants that are in design.
As the device is Android-based you should be able to work with it without having to learn too much that is new. You should also be able to port existing apps easily. An SDK is about to be released, along with development hardware, and you can get more details and sign up at the WIMM site. The end user cost will be $299 but the SDK device will be sold at $199 to encourage you to get developing. There will, of course, be an app store to sell apps directly the user.
There have been wrist watch computers before - the Microsoft Spot comes to mind as one of the earliest failures. There are already alternatives such as the MetaWatch or the InPulse watch but the WIMM One has a lot more programmability built in, but at a higher price of course.
So will it catch on?
Who knows but it probably all depends on finding a killer app that makes the module the thing to have.
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