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Firefox OS smartwatch to be launched in June

by Mark Tyson on 22 March 2013, 10:04

Tags: Mozilla, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), PC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabuab

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It looks like, in the minds of industry analysts and planners, that smartwatches are going to be the next big thing. Recently we have heard more and more rumours bubbling up about various tech companies channelling resources into developing this wearable tech item. Just a couple of days ago we got Samsung’s official confirmation that it is preparing a smartwatch product for market. Earlier in the year we heard about Apple working with Foxconn in testing smartwatch designs.

The Bambook Smart Watch, with Firefox OS option

A Chinese tech company called Gouke intends to make two versions of its Bambook Smart Watch available in June this year. Gouke is a subsidiary of Shanda, a company that has previously dabbled in set top boxes and e-ink screened eReader slabs. Of the two smartwatch versions one will run the Android OS and another will run the new Firefox mobile OS.

The Bambook Smart Watch pictures looks quite appealing, not as clunky as a lot of other smartwatches we have seen. However it’s hard to say how accurate this sole picture of the Bambook is in representing the final product. The original source says that a variant of the Bambook will ship with an e-ink screen but we just see two product angles with colour screens. The Bambook will be priced “above $100”.

Google planning a smartwatch too

The FT informs us that Google’s Android unit, rather than the X Lab responsible for moon-shoot projects such as Glass, is working on a Google smartwatch. It would act as an extension to Android smartphones’ current functionality. This isn’t a work in collaboration with Samsung added the FT’s sources.

Features of Google’s own smartwatch may include “a dual-screened flip-up display, tactile user interface and onboard camera” according to a Google patent application which was approved last year. Flipping open like a Star Trek communicator is bound to be a popular feature and also provide extra screen real estate.

All the other smartwatches, please step forward now

We are still waiting for Microsoft’s Surface Kinect gesture watch and the BlackBerry watch, with hardware keyboard gauntlet, to be announced.

HEXUS Forums :: 13 Comments

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Reason number 1 why these won't catch on… You look like a mongo with your wrist up to your ear and your hand just dangling there above your head while talking to your arm.

I had a watch phone (Chinese model) and while you can put in headphones and have the wire trail up your arm, it just doesn't work well at all.

I dunno, will see how it all develops, maybe it'll work out.
I don't think these watches have phone capability, they're more like extensions to the phone in your pocket, allowing you to see messages, control music, etc, on that device, because you can't be bothered to reach down and extract it from your pocket.

You'll only look as silly as someone talking hands-free looks like a raging nutter if they've hidden the headphone cable well.
I don't wear jewellery like a chick would, I have a wedding ring and a Tag watch that was given to me for my 30th birthday… it cost, I believe, a few grand - but I love it. There is no way on Gods earth I would swap it for one of these! And I don't see Tag, Rolex or Breitling overly concerned about losing market share!
Again, time will tell
Something else also, if you ask most people the time now on the street (apart from being told to f off, depending on where you live) they'll take out their phone and tell the time off of that… so the phone has essentially replaced the watch.
This I guess, they're hoping anyway, would put the watch back in to daily use, if as you say it's just used as an extension to your phone rather than an actual phone itself (like you can buy from China now in various guises).
In that case, it could well work, if costs aren't too high.
Again though, and a great coin phrase to use in this instance as Avi8tor said, Time will tell…
Smart watches will be worn almost exclusively by the same people that wear Bluetooth earpieces and like to talk down them for hours at a time on trains, with the word ‘solution’.. or ‘opportunity’ in every other sentence.