A very interesting Kickstarter has launched recently, and before we get started — yes, it’s another smart watch. This category is starting to get a bit crowded, we know, but each new watch always has enough uniqueness to offer that we feel the need to highlight almost all of them. The latest is HOT Watch, a device that will let you make calls with your hand. Yes, I said hand.
This e-paper smart watch includes patent-pending technology that allows you to speak to your friends and family by putting your hand up against your ear. The sends audio through a a directional speaker that is designed to let the audio bounce off the palm of your hand up to your ear. The watch’s built-in microphone will take on the task of sending your voice to the caller on the other end.
The above illustration depicts sound being generated by a directional speaker that resides at the bottom of the wrist. It is then projected to the palm, which reflects and amplifies it to the user’s ear for a private, crystal-clear phone call. The microphone is located on the same module, opposite of the speaker, for echo-free, clear sound. Essentially your hand/palm acts like a phone receiver.
We’re not sure well it works, but our interests are immediately piqued. Another big element of the HOT Watch is its sizable suite of gesture-based controls – dubbed HOT Gestures — thanks to the accelerometer inside. Twisting your wrist to dismiss calls, tapping your hand against your leg to place a call to your favorite person, waving to end a call, moving your hand to your ear while a call is incoming to answer, and an automatic text message to certain people if you fall, and activating the backlight by looking at the watch are just a few of the gesture-based controls available to you.
HOT Gestures are also implemented at the touch-screen level to give you quick and easy access to several areas of the watch. Make an “A” on the screen to open up the apps section. Draw a “C” for clock and alarm settings. An “S” helps you launch SMS, Facebook, Twitter and other messaging apps. “D” will take you to the dialer. Another cool feature is the watch’s ability to detect when you’ve left your phone behind. It will vibrate and beep to let you know you need to go back for your phone before you get too far (something a clumsy person like myself can definitely appreciate).
This watch’s big “thing” is about making it easy to use, and if it’s as intuitive and easy as the Kickstarter video makes it look we can safely say that it has a big chance of succeeding in that are. The HOT Watch will come with an emulator-supported SDK for developers to make third-party apps with. Here are just a few of the other features you can expect HOT Watch to have:
- Water-resistant design
- Bluetooth 4.0 Dual mode
- Energy Efficient Cortex M3 processor
- Secondary DSP processor for Bluetooth, Call control and Audio Enhancements
- Vibration motor with tactile touch function
- Built-in LED Flashlight (ONLY in Curve)
There will also be a utility app for Android (and iOS) that will give you access to the watch’s full suite of features. It works in basic capacity with devices based on other operating systems, but you won’t get the whole kit and kaboodle without an Android or iOS device.
So will this thing be a reality? Well, yes — it has already reached its funding goal on Kickstarter. The company asked for just $150,000 to be able to design final prototypes of the four models (Edge, Classic, Basic, and Curve), as well as to deliver the final product to anyone who cares to buy one. It’s sitting at just over double that goal, with $301,000 pledged as of the time of this writing. Considering the project’s funding period doesn’t end until the end of August, we’d say there will be a whole lot of money behind this thing by the end of it all.
Check the video out above, and see if it’s enough to get you to pledge at least $119 to own one. They’re scheduled to ship this December, so the wait won’t be long to see this thing of beauty sitting neatly on your wrist.