back to article HP uncloaks wristwatch 'aggregation point'

In possibly the vaguest demo in recorded history, HP has revealed a futuristic connectivity device designed to be the centerpiece of your personal connectivity. And, bless my soul, this magical and revolutionary device appears to be an analog wristwatch. But not just any ol' analog writwatch, mind you. This one, as cursorily …


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  1. Jaap stoel

    Not sure what to say about this...

    But I could understand a portable device that could provide all your mobile devices, laptop, phone, tablet with wireless internet. Just get 1 mobile subscription and every wireless device you own can profit from it. What I'd be worried about though would be the power supply. I don't think that's going to run all day on a single charge.

  2. SkippyBing Silver badge


    Can't I use my phone, I mean it has a much bigger display than my watch, big enough in fact that I can type things into it to control my 'personal connectivity'.

    Unless he wants me to look like Leila from Futurama, pervert....

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      RE: Errr...

      Agreed, if there is going to be a central device it looks like the smartphone is the right format - large enough screen to read real information, with enough battery life, and with the capabilities to do the job. What I think we'll end up with is wrist-computers, bigger than watches. And if you really want a laugh, I know a sysadmin that uses a bluetooth headset and wears his HTC in a waterproof wriststrap-cum-holster he bought off the Web, designed for motorcycles couriers so they can strap their radio or smartphone to their upper arm whilst riding their bikes. Admittedly, he is a fair bit chunkier than the average sysadmin so it doesn't look too rediculous. He even tried hooking it up to a pair of HUD-glasses but he kept walking into stuff!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      No you cannot

      You are attending a meeting where the chair has decided that he wants the entire audience to demonstrate their subordination, attentiveness, obedience and unconditional readiness to do his bidding regardless of its merit. He also thinks that you are not an adult professional and cannot be left to decide for yourself what calls are that important that they have to be taken right there and then. On the carpet you naughty toddler. Obey. Be micromanaged. Or naught step for you.

      Yeah, take that call on the phone some other time. In cases like this this and the equivalent Sony gadget which works with Android phones are priceless.

      In any case the Fossil is not surprising. I bet this dates from Palm days. It will not be the first Palm-related fossil watch. Hopefully this one will be better than its predecessor.

    3. heng

      A phone is not the pinnacle of device tech.

      No, because sometimes a phone is too big. The point is that you "need a presence" even when you can't necessarily carry a phone. Everything is an interface trade-off. What HP have noticed, and something I've been advocating for years, is that by separating the interface from the functionality, which is then made as small and ubiquitous as possible, interesting things become possible.

      HP have been making some really interesting noises recently and I applaud their innovative push.

      1. Jerome 0

        Can't carry a phone?

        Perhaps I lead a sheltered life, but I haven't come across many circumstances where I "can't necessarily carry a phone".

        I can't take one into the shower, I suppose... do I "need a presence" in the shower?

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          the MetaWatches of Presence

          Yes, heng's claim that "you need a presence" in situations where "a phone is too big" is pretty mysterious. My phone is maybe three times the volume and mass of my wristwatch. And when I'm naked I have better things to do than check my email. (That may not be true for fans of HP's and Fossil's cheap commodity offerings, I suppose.)

          I think heng is suffering from an attachment to the metaphysics of presence. Where's Derrida when you need him? (OK, dead, but surely he left a trace.)

          This looks to me like a pointless gadget Fossil cooked up to get some press, and HP latched on to because they used some HP tech in it. It certainly doesn't look as interesting (or fun) as the TI Chronos EZ430 dev kit, featured on these pages some time back. (I got one of those recently and I'm looking forward to playing with it just as soon as I can find the time.) And even the EZ430 probably isn't terribly *useful*, for most people - just entertaining.

  3. Denarius Silver badge

    HP invents a small router and modem that tells time ?

    about as vague as most of the HP senior managements pronouncements, except for the compulsary ethics courses the coal face have to do every year. More often if the senior management get caught doing something they should not, again.

    Given the nature of distributed devices, why is an aggregation point needed ?

    Another solution looking for a problem, or PHB looking for an empire ?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    HP has always

    combined some brilliant invention with lousy marketing. When I worked there as standing joke was around HP's 'sushi' marketing drive - come and get it, cold dead fish! It seems that little has changed, one of the problems being the marketeers who don't understand the technologies, and the technical leadership of bozos such as Shane Robison who have some strange impression they know something.

    Course, I have not the faintest idea what this is either.....

  5. Robert E A Harvey

    Brain waves

    It's yer identity on yer wrist. As long as you throw away every computer in the world and replace them with HP watch-aware terminals, just sitting at a terminal will log you in and the watch will manage all your passwords and identity stuff.


    If only it could intercept your brainwaves and be an I/O device as well...

  6. JaitcH

    Wrist watches vulnerable to damage and too small to have adequate power or range

    What a waste of a development.

    You lose it to charge it, which is likely often, and it is vulnerable to damage and theft - even though it looks clunky.

    Using a handset makes so much more sense on so many levels. Besides, wristwatches seem to be passée unless you wear a 'chronometer'.

    1. Havin_it

      Not necessarily

      Plenty of existing watches are powered by regular bodily movement; I'm sure the form-factor could support a 3G wifi router, groupware server and streaming media centre with realtime video chat.

      You'd just need to remember to oscillate your wrist vigorously every couple of minutes, which shouldn't be an issue for anyone who actually wants one of the things.

      Icon: I'm now blind

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        So I guess its true what they say...

        BTW... I'm standing over here....

  7. Charles Osborne

    Carly's dumbth seems to have rubbed off.

    Let me grab my HP-01 from my pocket -- At least it showed some class.

  8. Tom 35 Silver badge

    Just like HP thought everyone would

    love a printer with an email address.

    This (what ever it is) should sell as well as this watch...

  9. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Like other readers,

    I thought that a wearable wi-fi hotspot is what it -was-, until you quoted him saying that the -next- one could be.

    I have a rechargeable Huawei E585 3G-to-wifi adapter, and while I would consider wearing it on my wrist, I assume I am very much in a minority. I've worn a Palm Zire. You need something like an athlete's elastic bandage as a wrist strap... and yes, battery life is an issue.

    As long as people worried about device radio emissions is also still an issue, you probably don't want to try to sell a device that is worn or carried on a body part that users wouldn't gladly let a doctor, in the worst case, to cut off. So, hand and wrist, no. It's probably completely safe, but who's going to believe you?

    Likewise when the idea was tried out of putting policemen's new digital radio transceivers in their pointy helmets. Not popular with the boys in blue. What was that one called, Trident or something...

  10. TheOtherHobbbes

    From metawatch

    to metamarketing, via metamanagement.

  11. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

    Interesting, but still some design flaws.

    First, I love the clarification. Its HP collaboration with Fossil and Fossil is trying to make itself relevant in today's society. Unless you are older, and you have a collection of nice, expensive watches, you probably use your cell phone to also tell time. (Its accurate and should sync with the local carrier's clocks automatically)

    Second, automatics, those watches that use the normal routine movements of your arm to power the watch, are not powerful enough to charge an electrical device.

    Looking at the concept, it kind of does make sense.

    You can provide a 'wi-fi' hot spot where the antenna is away from your head. If we see a convergence of data and voice, it would mean that you'll have more voip via the data channel. So yeah, a personal hot spot makes a lot of sense.

    Just one small problem. Think about the size of your battery and the form factor of the watch. Not to mention the issue of heat being generated from the radio and battery.

    For a concept I'd give it an 'A'. Implementation? I don't think it gets a passing mark.

    I rate this a 'go' because they are thinking about the future and are trying to make themselves relevant.

  12. BingBong

    Sounds more like ...

    Sony Ericsson Liveview

    an Android display widget in watch form .. much more sensible with the phone as the hub than the other way around.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, you know

    Plenty of SF goes on about this sort of thing. An outsized watch with a full screen and keyboard but that's allright because they're virtual. Or just the old Dick Tracy watch, or the KITT accessory. The chinese already make phones that look surprisingly much like watches. To use them as a phone you still need a bt headset, but hey, who doesn't have one of those in each ear all the time these days? Apparently not. What's cool on the silver screen doesn't automatically scale to the big blue room, apparently.

    Of course, the idea of "combining" all your data needs in a watch is utterly brilliant. I mean, take watch, stick in 16GB or whatever the largest size microsd you can get these days, add BT for the PAN sauce. Oh and fumble something with the display, maybe, or postpone that to release 2.0 for extra excitement. It's so brilliant I haven't worn a watch for, oh, maybe two decades now? Kudos for the foresight, hp. Sorry, that was mean. Anyway.

    They may be onto something, or maybe not. If they are they have some letting the vision crystalise into a sellable product to do, and maybe hold on the hp "must include printing somehow" sauce for the marketing for a bit. It was barely there but already distracted. Sometimes, what's cooking is less important than the annoyed question what clown is burning the burgers over there, anyway.

    It may be utterly brilliant, but if nobody understands it, well, then maybe it isn't, after all.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a load of...


  15. JassMan Silver badge

    Reminds me of the first didgital watch demo

    When the demonstrator was asked why he continued to carry a small suitcase at all times, he had to admit, "thats the battery - it needs to be plugged in 24/7 because its a bugger to reset the time"

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    neophate stage of the wireless cyberdeck?

    Hrm ... first stage of the wireless cyberdeck a la Cyberpunk and/or Shadowrun?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hiw long before

    It becomes a femtocell that links to Wi-Fi to provide additional cellular coverage.

  18. Leo Maxwell

    Who wears a watch these days anyway?

    I stopped wearing a watch about 3 years ago.

    The strap broke, and I was going to get it fixed, but then I realised that there are clocks everywhere, on my phone, my PC, in my car, on the wall in my kitchen, etc. etc.

    In fact, I am never without a way of telling the time, and yet I don't wear a watch.

  19. Your Retarded


    Did he climb on top of the watch during the presentation?

  20. Jedibeeftrix


    this came out 24 hours after i suggested Apple should do exactly the same thing with the ipad nano.

  21. TRT Silver badge


    Does it tell the time?

  22. David Lawrence

    I need one of them in my life....... a need a hole in the head. Data Aggregator? What on earth is that? What is the problem this is trying to solve? I think it's just a USB memory stick disguised as a watch, but sadly that has been invented before and didn't take off.

    Surely it cannot be a wifi hotspot/hub thing? If so, why do I need it considering I have wifi at home and a smartphone when I'm out and about?

    I think it's fast approaching April 1 and this is HP's idea of a joke.

  23. Stephen Channell
    Big Brother


    A watch can do soo much more than any other device because it is permanently in contact with your skin, and can be charged through the kinetic energy. When combined with the nano sensors/RFID package implanted in your wrist it will be theft proof and provide a huge range of joined-up mobile experiences from practical medical help for diabetic’s; stop you driving when drunk; alerting the police if you under stress in a public place late at night, controlling the travel or criminals; or just authorising payments.

    The real breakthrough will come with Web3.0 when avert engines wakeup to the marketing opportunity of targeted adverts with biometric feedback.. they’ll know things about you were not even aware off..

    Big Brother.. phah! Don’t do Evil, you’ll die trying..

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