The wearable market is filling up fast, but mainly with two types of kit: the smartwatch, that connects to a mobile and acts as a notification window; and the sports fitness tracker bracelet or GPS watch. Neptune’s Pine does it all in one.
The Pine is currently on Kickstarter where it’s already smashed its Canadian $100,00 (£59,000) goal and is at Canadian $190,000 on its first day. The reason for such popularity? Nothing like it exists on the market right now. The Pine is essentially a complete smartphone shrunk down on to a wrist strap.
The Neptune Pine doesn’t need a smartphone to run, just a micro-SIM and you can make calls and download data directly to it using its quad-band 3G or Wi-Fi connectivity. The 2.4-inch display at 320 x 240 QVGA resolution is large enough, says Pine, to use a full keyboard on the screen.
Pine is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.2GHz dual-core capable of running most apps and even multitasking. And it will come with 16 or 32GB storage options. Pine also comes with a front VGA camera and rear 5-megapixel camera capable of 720p video - both have LED flashlights.
Rather than limiting itself to your wrist, the Pine can be removed from the wrist strap easily for taking pictures or to be attached to a mount for shooting video. Its sports friendly abilities go further as it’s packing GPS, a digital compass, accelerometer, gyroscope and Bluetooth 4.0 so you can use it with heart rate monitors, cadence sensors, headphones and the like. Plus it should be IP67 water-resistant.
Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean is the operating system of choice meaning it should run most current apps while also being Google voice control friendly. We predict this being useful with that frustratingly small keyboard.
So the thing you’ve been thinking throughout this article: is the battery life going to be terrible? Apparently not. Neptune claims the Pine’s 810mAh lithium polymer battery will deliver 120 hours of standby time, 8 hours talk, 10 hours of music and 7 hours of browsing over Wi-Fi. It’s not as good as some phones, sure, but that sounds like it could give a full day on a charge comfortably.
And the cost? If you chip in now on Kickstarter it's going for CAD$230 (£136).