In concept, a device providing a stream of notifications that doesn’t demand the same attention as repeatedly pulling out your phone is a good one. The biggest question, however, is whether that device currently exists or we’re still waiting for a better, slicker, version of the current concepts to arrive.
Instead of a screen as a blank canvas, the Cookoo watch takes the approach of adding phone notifications to a dumb watch. There are the obvious drawbacks of not having a dedicated screen, but there’s also the huge benefit of not needing to charge your watch each night. The Cookoo runs on a standard watch battery and can get over a year of life before having to change it.
Martian Watches cost about the same as Samsung’s Gear, but they aim for a higher end, premium look. For people who want their watches to look like, you know, watches, the Martian does all that while still providing notifications. Interestingly, Martian also wants users to be able to talk via the watch, somewhat diminishing the discreet look and feel.
The im Watch smartwatch really jumped on the rumors of Apple getting into the smartwatch game, even going as far as mimicking the interface to match the iPhone. If Apple had done a watch a year ago, it probably would have looked similar to this. Covering all the basics like notifications and camera triggering, the watch does also allows making and receiving phone calls. As the public gets familiar with the smart watch concept there will be a lot of Dick Tracy references, and the im Watch seems ready for the comparison.
Android users considering Samsung’s Gear should also be giving Sony’s Smartwatch 2 a look. For $199, the device is said to perform better than the Gear even though neither one has yet to fully capture the hearts and minds of consumers.
Part watch, part car accessory, this Nissan-made connected device capable of providing alerts and collecting other info. Once you get into the mindset of having a device that isn’t your phone being used to connect, control, and notify you, a wristband that has intimate knowledge of your car isn’t such a crazy idea after all.
Looking for something different? Scentee plugs into your phone’s headphone jack and sprays a scent for each notification. Like the smell of bacon? You’re really going to love it if you get into a heated texting conversation. Scentee also lights up if the aroma gets too thick.
Cubit is a hybrid notification device, ultimately a multi-purpose keychain attachment which provides information about missed call, texts, email, and more, but also acts like Tile, alerting you when keys or other valuables left behind.
Bonus: Probably the most influential trailblazer in the smart watch space, Pebble is already well known by anyone looking at smart watches. But with the recent addition of new software updates, the watch now receives more notifications on iOS and becomes even more useful.
[Image: Flickr user Kārlis Dambrāns]