Bring on the Android ‘Smartwatches’

i'm Watch

The "smartwatch" has been on the radar for the last few months, with a few reports about the new devices saying it was sporting Android 1.6 (remember that?) We also reported on rumors of both Apple and Google working on "wearable computers" much like Dick Tracy wristwatches.

Italian startup i'm Watch is attempting to beat rival Sony's SmartWatch by bringing its bag of tricks to the Consumer Electronics Show this week and garnering publicity and cultivating demand for its computer/timepiece. i'm Watch is a little different from Sony's $149 device because it offers a diverse price range. Prices start at $249 for a 64MB watch with a colorful silicon band, to a gold, diamond-encrusted version selling for $15,000, according to Agence France-Presse.

i'm Watch's chief executive said that the idea for the device was taken from Apple's iPod Nano. "Everybody wants to have technology that is also fashion," he said. "That is the Apple secret; making devices that people fall in love with."

Both i'm Watch and the SmartWatch are basically linked to smartphones and act as wearable extensions. You can't send messages, only view them.

We're not quite sure what makes these devices necessary. A simple alert on a smartphone will tell someone if he or she has a new message or email and that comes free with the device. Paying an additional $250 to wear something on one's wrist seems frivolous and unnecessary. Until these smartwatches can actually be used to both send and receive information, they won't be a success. But even if people could send an SMS on a smartwatch, it's unlikely that most could text with only one hand.

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