Thursday, February 26, 2015

Swiss watches are getting smart without sacrificing style

Alpina's horological watch tracks your movements and sleep. Josh Miller/CNET

SAN FRANCISCO -- At an event Thursday evening, Swiss watchmakers Frederique Constant, Mondaine and Alpina and motion-tracking software company Fullpower announced the MMT Horological smartwatch platform, which hopes to bridge the gap between old-school traditional quartz watches and the smartwatches of the future.

For the new platform, which includes sensors, software and a cloud storage backup, the three luxury watch brands unveiled three new watches, each with different styles and finishes, that keep track of your movement and sleep, just like a fitness tracker does, using similar sensors.

The watches aren't anything like the typical smartwatches we're seeing today. All have traditional designs with a regular watch face (no LEDs here) and subtle smart features. For instance, the Frederique Constant model tracks your sleep or movement with a small analog dial inside the traditional watch face. It also uses your phone's time and date to keep the watch set correctly. The Alpina and Mondaine watches have similar features, with a slightly different designs.

Frederique Constant's new "smart" watch. Josh Miller/CNET

Like other smartwatches, these new watches connect to your phone, either Android or iOS, with an app and Bluetooth. Inside they have modular components, so that they can be updated when needed. Those components include micro-motors, gears, and motion sensors.

These new watches also all have two-plus years battery life, much higher than other smartwatches, like the Motorola Moto 360 or LG G Watch R. However, these watches are lacking the screens to show your notifications or incoming calls, which saves battery life significantly.

These new watches are also significantly more expensive than the current smartwatches on the market. They'll start around start around $500 and go up from there, to more than $1,000.

The first watches that run on the MMT platform will be available starting in May 2015. The big selling point for these new watches is that you get the styling of a traditional watch, with some of the advanced features that you'll find in a modern smartwatch.

from CNET

No comments:

Post a Comment