TECH SPOT: The I’m Watch

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A phone, MP3 player and watch all in one? Yes, you read that right.

Is it a phone? Is it an iPod? No, it’s the I’m Watch – a combination of all three. As smart phones take over the mobile market, one Italian watch company has been tirelessly miniaturising to bring its own answer to on-the-move technology in the form of a watch.

Modern day living is all about being connected. No matter where we are in the world we demand constant access to the internet, emails, phone calls, photos and social networking sites. Hence the meteoric rise of the smart phone.

Retailers bought in more than 440.5 million smart phones worldwide in the third quarter of 2011, according to research and advisory firm Gartner, with sales up 42% on the same period in 2010. This growth suggests that retailers are expecting demand for the phones to continue to rise in 2012.

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Watches have always been closely aligned to gadgets, with the same sort of shoppers hungry for the latest Apple device also on the hunt for a watch with superfluous bells and whistles. But what would the market hold for a company that could combine gadgets such as smart phones and timepieces?

This is exactly the thought that ran through the heads of I’m Watch founders Massimiliano Bertolini and Manuel Zanella, two entrepreneurs in their 30s from Vicenza, Italy. They have created the world’s first smart watch that uses the Android operating system found in smart phones created by brands such as HTC and business favourite BlackBerry.

The I’m Watch can do everything that a smart phone can: it can receive and make phone calls and text messages, support emails, give weather updates, allow users to log into social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, be used to download and listen to music, hold and display photos, check the stock markets and millions more possibilities determined by which apps are downloaded to the watch.

The team at I’m Watch has miniaturised every single component used to create the operating system to make it small enough to be contained in a 40mm by 55mm watch with a depth of 9mm and weight of just 70g.

The watch could be dismissed as just a cheap gadget, but the I’m Watch brand has taken into consideration the desires of watch shoppers to try and make this much more than just a gimmick. The company has a wide variety of models that share the same technology but boast different finishes, ranging from the basic I’mColor designs priced at £250 to the I’mJewel titanium versions at £500, scaling up to gold and diamond versions peaking at £12,800.

In a world where being mobile reigns, the I’m Watch could be the perfect blend of technology and wrist candy, making the I’m Watch collection an interesting prospect for forward-thinking watch retailers.

The Stats
Size: 55mm by 40mm by 9mm
Memory: 4GB flash drive,
64MB RAM
Display: 1.54inch colour display with 240×240 pixel resolution
Wireless technology: Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Standby battery: Up to 48 hours
Supports: music, photos, social networking sites, emails, phone calls, texts, calendar, social networking, apps
RRP: £250 to £12,800

 

This article is taken from the January issue of WatchPro. To read the issue in full online via our digital editions, click here.

 

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