May 22nd, 2013

After successful ventures like Pebble’s smart watch have proven that there is a market for advanced watches, more are sure to keep popping up by the day. The latest is AGENT, a smart watch which promises to be the smartest of them all. At first glance it doesn’t look like much: it’s a smart watch, it has a display, and it looks pretty spiffy. It’s what’s beneath the surface that is getting folks excited, though.

The AGENT smart watch’s biggest claim to fame will be its battery features, as the device has built-in Qi wireless charging components for use with any Qi-enabled charging pad (backers have the option of paying a bit more for a small one that comes with the watch). It’s a great solution for charging a device of this nature — simply come home, take it off, and plop it down on your dresser as you would any watch, with no wires to plug in.

Of course, the ability to charge the device wirelessly isn’t the only important factor. The smart watch comes with technology that allows users to scale back the watch’s capabilities in order to extend its battery life. At its most capable level, the watch can last up to 7 days on a single charge, but if you only need basic watch-face functionality you can get nearly a month’s worth of juice out of the thing.

Another reason AGENT is able to sustain battery life for long periods of time is the low rate of discharge in sleep mode. AGENT claims its watch only consumes 33μA while in sleep mode thanks to the capable-yet-efficient power of the watch’s ARM Cortex M4 chipset. Compare that to last year’s watches’ average discharge rate of 300μA and there’s reason to be excited.

The AGENT features two-way communication with smartphones (such as those running Android) via Bluetooth 4.0 LE. It can display incoming calls and notifications, and you can download more apps to extend functionality. Developers will be called upon to build said apps with a suite of tools the AGENT promises is intuitive to use. This will be possible with the .NET Micro Framework, where developers can build apps using C# in a controlled environment to ensure apps can’t go rogue in consuming resources. These apps can interface with apps written in other languages, such as Java (which Android apps are typically built with).

AGENT also features a number of light and motion sensors that will facilitate things like automatic backlight functionality to ensure you  get just enough backlight for whatever lighting situation you find yourself, or to enable motion-based apps like a pedometer.

agent smart watch

This little guy is already a success on Kickstarter, with over 1,400 backers pledging more than double the initial goal of $100. It sits at $253,000 as of the time of this writing, and the crazy part is that we’re only a day into the campaign. At this rate it appears it could challenge Pebble’s amazing success of $10 million in funding from more than 68,000 backers.

The cheapest available option for backing the project without an added Qi wireless charging pad is $149, which is said to be $100 less than what the watch will go for once it launches. For those who want the Qi pad, you’ll need to pledge at least $200 (again, $100 in savings compared to the normal price). The funding period ends June 20th so you’ll have plenty of time to decide whether or not you want this smart watch around your wrist once it’s scheduled to ship in December. Get over to Kickstarter now for more details, and be sure to throw down a pledge if you’re interested.

local_offer    AGENT