Casio is showing off a prototype Bluetooth Low Energy watch at CES, hoping that it is battery life that's stopped us rushing out to buy wrist-mounted Bluetooth kit. The watch, which still lacks a model number, uses Bluetooth Low Energy to communicate with a mobile phone so it can buzz when the phone rings. Not only that, but it …
It's worth pointing out that many phones can sync up their time automatically; I know my Android phone does. Then again, my watch (Casio Waveceptor) automatically syncs up over radio signals every night, so...
LF radio watch sync not available everywhere
Why would anyone want a watch that doesn't tell the right time and requires human intervention to reset it regularly, if there was technology available at a reasonable price to ensure the watch does what it is supposed to do?
As John says, many mobile phones now obtain the time automatically from the base station, so passing it on via Bluetooth to the watch makes sense.
I would buy a watch that does low frequency radio sync (often called "atomic") if there was a transmitter in Australia, but there isn't, and there are many other places in the world that are too
Now that I live in a soup of mobile phone signals that continually broadcast the correct time, it's annoying my watch can't get to them.
Bottom line: I would buy a watch like this.
So I can sync time? WTF?! ... is that it basically?! ... other than killing its battery life when its made to buzz ... and why do I need the watch to buzz when the phone does that already?! ... I don't see a compelling reason to want it.
Plus its an ugly looking thing. Looks like a cheap 1980's LCD watch. For a moment I was thinking isn't it a bit early for April the 1st stories?!
at the moment
It can also display who is calling how many emails are unread if you have any text msg's etc etc
i wouldnt be suprised if you would be able to answer calls via your watch.
So rather than trying to stab the bluetooth device in your ear whilst ramming it painfully down your ear canal you can just press a button on the side of your watch after deciding if you would like to talk to said person.
As a watch it's pointless, and ugly, and as a buzzer for the phone it's not really a compelling product.
But if you could display messages from the phone on the watch and you might have something. Make the thing display the title of the upcoming Calendar event, or show recently recieved SMS message so I don't have to dragged my phone out of the pocket when sat on a bus crammed into a seat next to that fat bloke who wont let your arms move properlyand it might have a use.
Even then, it's all a bit one way, the form factor wouldn't work for inputting text, so you couldn't reply to an SMS or Twitter message which means if you want any significant interactivity you still need to pull the phone from your pocket.
I suppose you might be able to get away with a few buttons to answer Yes No questions (like mark this SMS as read? Yes/No).
I will talk to you again next time you get a phone buzz while your phone is on silent/no-vibrate and you are demonstrating supreme attentiveness in a "no phones/no laptops" meeting.
Ditto for crowded trains, public transport and even one of those terminally boring functions which require donning the "penguin disguise". There are plenty of situations where taking the phone out of the pocket to see who is bothering you is "bad tone". Ditto for alarms, messages, etc - you name it. Input is not of interest here. If you consider replying to be so important you will simply get the phone out.
The watch is interesting purely as a display device and there are plenty of us which would not mind having one. In fact, I do not see their problem as far power is concerned. I have given up wearing a watch 10+ years ago and one of the very few things that will make me reconsider is exactly this - the watch becoming a secondary phone display. I will happily recharge it every few days if it does the job.
If this thing makes it to mass production and is sufficiently well integrated to the more popular phones it is definitely making my next Xmas list.
No Emmett Brown
I have genuine question RE: "There are plenty of situations where taking the phone out of the pocket to see who is bothering you is "bad tone"" followed by "I have given up wearing a watch 10+ years ago..."
How do you tell the time in these 'situations'. Surely not by pulling out your phone in said 'bad tone'.
..the technology that is, not the wristwatch.
It does neglect to state that a dualmode Bluetooth/BLE phone is required to communicate with the watch, but the ability to communicate at speeds higher than that of bonded ISDN isn't bad.
I do wonder how long continuous operation would be with a watch battery, but it's still impressive.
Brought to you by the people who still think that digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
What is the point????
In an Infinitely Improbable universe
...this sort of thing was bound to happen. Let's hope that the user's left arm doesn't drift off into the sunset or his best friend turn into a penguin.
"And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches."
Reminds me of TBBT
Where Howard comes up with the idea of adding bluetooth to a flower barrette.
As Sheldon confirms, "Penny, everything is better with bluetooth"
"a solution in search of a problem"
Doesn't that describe most of Casio's "its not just a watch, its a watch and a xxxx" products where xxxx can be anything from TV, camera, heart monitor, calculator, digital address book, memo recorder, phone ....
I mean watches are just meant to tell the time, just like phones are for making calls -;)
Could this be rigged so if your bluetooth device drops out of range your watch buzzes? Perhaps would be a useful anti-theft feature, although you'd have to be quick to see which of the people walking away from you in the crowd is the perp'...
I quite like the idea of this technology, although I can't really think of a good use for it. If it's cheap enough I'd probably buy into it anyway.
On a completely different topic, I've always thought the killer app for digital watches would be, well, clock face skins. Casio could sell them for download and the kids could collect them ;)
"Could this be rigged so if your bluetooth device drops out of range your watch buzzes?"
A reverse feature that buzzes when you come in to close range of the phone so you can find where you put it down - find the lost phone feature just by wandering around the house/office. My daughter SO needs that facility...
Actually yes, since this is one of the upcoming Bluetooth Low Energy profiles.
Wrong way round
They should of made it so the Jesus phone can sync to the watch so it gets date and times right!
If the watch had an integrated speaker and microphone. You could answer a call and talk to your wrist, it'd be like being in a sci fi film... Although everyone around you could over hear your conversation and it would cain the battery life... And the bandwidth might not be up to it.
But those things aside, it's a brilliant idea.
Two year battery life...?
To give an indication of retrograde performance, I have a Casio digital watch that I bought almost 30 years ago that still works and has alarms, stopwatches and all manner of 'cool' gear. I get six years from each battery, despite the harsh handling I have dished out to it over the years. Somthing tells me they need to go back in time to go forward with the product, otherwise it looks very much like a disposable toy!?
Lock my PC when I walk away, unlock it when I return...
That's what it's useful for, although I already have several lanyards, so would rather something that clipped onto one of those...
does that already.
I use it to unload pictures from my N73 to my Acer netbook running Ubuntu.
Something like it was the original reason for VNC. The idea was that the user's session would follow them to whichever workstation they were near. Wasn't Bluetooth but some sort of contactless ID card but the general idea is the same.
I found Sony's take on this far more interesting, though reviews say it's flaky. I think there's a use case here that people aren't considering - ditch a phone, and use a tablet+BT wristwatch combination.
Old hat, from 1979!
Arthur C Clarke came up with the idea of a buzzing watch to notify one of messages, in his 1979 book The Fountains of Paradise.
A good idea though, especially if you could ditch the buzzer from the phone and have a more distributed system - earpiece, terminal and wrist-buzzer all working together. and worn somewhere.
For a second I thought you were talking about the design
which I would certainly date no later than 1981
Why not the whole phone?
A slightly geeky friend has had a wristwatch phone for some time (at least a year). It's a bit chunky, but no worse than some oversized normal watches, and he claims that the battery life is on a par with a normal phone. I'm surprised they're not mainstream already.
But why, oh why, won't Casio make more totally digital watches with stainless steel body?
If it is analogue it may have a steel body (and wrist band), if it is fully digital it will have rubber/plastic bands that fail under 2 years. I found only 2 models ever that were fully digital with steel cases, and one of them belonged to my father, being a model built over 40 years ago.
I'll wait until they build a complete cell phone with 2-year batteries, either rechargeable or not.
They could recharge on human heat, jeans friction, vibration, whatever... Forget color screens, MP3 songs, FM listening, browsing, just a phone... that works 2 years unplugged... and that makes phone calls. Is that so much to ask?
Feel free to vote me down now and not thinking outside the box.
Casio's new watch
Spock...Spock...? I can't hear ya...