A friend and I were talking about smartwatches recently. While I can totally see why some folks with large phones buried in their pockets or handbags might want a device that lets them interact with notifications without pulling out their phone, I’m not sure I need to carry two different gadgets around… but it would be nice to be able to tell time without pulling my phone out of my pocket.

I haven’t really worn a wristwatch since the strap on my old watch died during my first week of college, back in the dark ages.

While most smartwatch makers are pushing a two-device solution, a handful of watchmakers think your wristwear can be the only device you need, replacing your phone. The Omate Smartwatch is one such solution, and now the folks behind the A.I Smartwatch are tryign to raise money to create a new Android-powered smartwatchphonething.

Update: Alright, this particular one may just a rebranded version of a Chinese smartwch that’s already sold in Europe as the AX2. But the question still stands: Do you need a smartphone and a smartwatch, or will just one do?

A.I Smartwatch

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12 replies on “Lilbits (9-30-2013): Who needs a smartphone and smartwatch?”

  1. Hello to all,

    Further to our last comments, here bellow, posted on October 01 (second update): https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-i-watch-smartwatch-the-new-intelligence-life-is-here/x/4886567?c=activity

    We would like here to call your attention that our A.I Watch campaign is diverted by a third parties under ID: “Vapirius” selling a smart watch AX2 (having only some basics functions) misleading and cheating interested internets followers.

    We hereby confirm that this product has nothing to do with our A.I Watch, a very complex concept development based on different working prototypes as explained on Indiegogo crown funding platform… https://igg.me/at/aiwatchsmartwatch/x/4886567

    After long investigation those last days, we have taken all necessaries actions against those parties. We summon them to remove all our artworks and photos that they diverted from our website and Indiegogo campaign as they are our property.

    In addition we summon them to remove and to stop all offensive and insulting words that they propagate against us trough different website and blogs who published articles that were concerning A.I Watch.

    We want to thank particularly to all of you for a huge number of questions and emails that we are trying to answer. As well as worldwide well-known companies interested in our project.

    Thanks to continue supporting us to achieve our goals.

    Damien DOUK / A.I Watch

  2. I don’t see myself using a smartwatch until

    – the battery life is at least 1 week long, with very fast wireless charging

    – I don’t really care about the display, and if it has to be e-ink to get the
    desired battery life, so be it. Alternatively, like the LED watches of yore,
    the display can be blanked until you actually need it (using a proximity
    sensor, some gesture, touching the watch, etc to wake up the display)

    – it offers something that I can’t get with a smartphone or tablet, such
    as fitness tracking, which I think will be its killer app. Unlike a smartphone,
    a smartwatch has direct contact with your skin/body. I suspect this could
    be why Apple hired the Nike fuel band (or whatever it’s called) designer.

    – as any kind of radio will kill battery life, I suspect that the device need
    not have a radio to communicate with the mother smartphone, or if it
    did, it would be to transfer data. Communicating with a PC could be
    done via the wireless charging dock. The device might incorporate
    phone functions but I wouldn’t use them.

    – to further improve battery life, the wrist strap could have a flexible
    solar cell, have kinetic charging, or even a fuel cell (whatever happened
    to those?).

  3. Who needs a phone in their watch? That’s really awkward and when you run out of battery (which you will, quickly too) then you can’t even tell the time let alone make a phone call. Sounds like big trouble.

    1. Considering many people use their phones as watches and far fewer people bother with wrist watches anymore, then that usually won’t be a deal breaker these days…

      Besides, it depends on how good the battery life will be and how fast it can be recharged…

      While people who use bluetooth ear pieces will probably be just as comfortable using a phone watch as they are now with their phones… They’ll just have more free room in their pockets 😛

      Like tarwin stated, it depends a lot on your usage case scenario as to whether it would be disruptive or beneficial…

  4. Honestly it depends on a usage case scenario. If you spend most of your day at a desk I don’t see much of a point in a smart watch, much much less a watch+phone.

    If you like to play games or watch movies a smartwatch isn’t the best choice either.

    But here are good reasons for a smartwatch:

    If you tend to work with your hands to the degree where reaching for your phone isn’t truly convenient (artists, construction workers, handymen, mechanics, etc.). It lets them see whether a callmessage is important/from someone important or if it can wait.

    It can be a discreet way to check notifications/importance of incoming notifications. Imagine a teacher whose phone starts vibrating/ringing, they can check their wrist to decide if there’s cause to interrupt class.

    Also in the case of the Toq or Pebble, they provide you with functionality in bright daylight. I’ll be going on vacation soon and I’ll be outdoors in the Mexican sun. In those situations it would be easier to read the notifications on the watch under the bright light and would save me the hassle of squinting if I dared want to check the time. Actually, if I’m outdoors I prefer to check the time on an reader than on the phone and the right smartwatch, could be a boon to smartphone owners who spend alot of time outdoors (for whatever reason).

  5. If I were to get one, it will be with phone. But I would like to see the buzz settle down first…. And probably once Apple showcases it’s watch, it will be more fun to see competition rising up to make a final call… I am sure Apple will make watches famous…

  6. Considering that the still shots of models wearing it are fake and the other things that have come to light, I surprised to see you still covering it.

    1. Eh, I missed the updates suggesting it’s just a rebrand of a Chinese design (which is true of many devices) and a kind of annoying Indiegogo campaign. But the question about whether you want a two-device solution or if one will do still stands.

      1. Standalone vs accessory vs “No thanks” is a valid question. I personally don’t need more devices and would chose a standalone device but can understand the other positions on the matter as well.

        Thanks for updating

        1. Thanks for prompting me search for that Engadget thread you were referencing. The bit about Photoshopping what appear to be stock photos is kind of obnoxious… but it doesn’t necessarily mean that this watch won’t come to market if they hit the goal.

          I suspect they just need to raise enough money to make a minimum order with the same Chinese supplier that’s behind the AX2 watch.

          On the other hand, the revelations of these sorts of tactics could make it tougher for them to hit the goal.

          1. But indiegogo site said that even if they didn’t hit their goals the fund will still be kept which for me isn’t very enticing. I’ll wait until they are about to hit their goal..maybe. Also already funded Omate and Hot watch, both have their pro and cons. Omate can both be stand alone and companion device. Hot Watch incorporate gestures and private call feature. So I funded them both, maybe I sell my cellphone and start carrying my Samsung Note 8.0 and these watch lol!

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