This week brought more rumors of Apple's entry into the smartwatch market, a fast-starting Kickstarter funded watch in the OMATE TrueSmart, LG admission of it's coming smartwatch, and Switzerland finally jumping into the smartwatch game with the Hyetis Crossbow.
The iWatch Watch
The rumors about a potential iWatch grow, in part fueled by new-hires at Apple. The latest hiring to fuel speculation is that of Jay Blahnik, one of the principal consultants for Nike's Fuelband.
Now of course, Blahnik's hiring could be for another secret project other than a watch and there' s a good chance - judging by Tim Cook's comments - that Apple is looking to get into health sensors and wearables beyond just watches, but there's a high likelihood if Apple is indeed developing a watch with health-centric features, Apple's hiring of Blahnik could have something to do with that.
OMATE Launches on Kickstarter
This week saw another smartwatch entrant throw its hat in the ring via Kickstarter in the OMATE TrueSmart.
The TrueSmart launched on its Kickstarter campaign on Wednesday, August 21st, and in less than 24 hours it had reached its target of $100,000. As of this writing, the OMATE TrueSmart Kickstarter had reached over $325,000 from 1,656 backers.
The OMATE TrueSmart has a number of innovative features such as putting the GPS and 3G radios into the wristband (which CEO Lauren Le Pen tells me is patent-pending), is highly ruggedized, it water resistant to up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. It also is a completely standalone watch with its fully integrated phone.
Smartwatch.FM interviewed Laurent Le Pen the day of the release and will be releasing the podcast today, so stay tuned.
LG Exec Admits to Working on a Smartwatch
Sure, LG was actually one of the first big CE/phone companies to release a smartwatch with the GD910, but that one has largely been a bust, something the company will readily admit to. But that early miss hasn't discouraged LG, who tipped its hand this this week about a smartwatch which it says will have a flexible display.
While many of the smartwatch announcements and products have been coming out of Silicon Valley and Asia, we'd yet to really hear of any smartwatch initiatives out of Switzerland, the country believed by many to be perhaps the watch-making capital of the world.
Well, Switzerland's conspicuous absence in the world of smartwatches is no more with the announcement of the Hyetis Crossbow. The Crossbow is a high-end watch with a high-end price tag of $1,200, but has many of the typical Swiss watch flourishes such as Titanium finish and automatic winding that perhaps (maybe, possibly?) explains the high price tag.
The Crossbow is expected to ship in December.
Smartwatch.FM will post a short but sweet recap of the major smartwatch news at the end of every week. Subscribe to Smartwatch.FM updates to get the latest news on the smartwatch market as well as to get notified of new Smartwatch.FM profiles, interviews and more.