New York-based Omate says its new wrist companion is a "true" smartwatch, letting you access a slew of information from your wrist, without needing a smartphone with you.
Now available for backing on Kickstarter, the Omate TrueSmart works independently from smartphones, enabling users to make voice calls, send text messages and access social media. It even features sports apps, tracking, SOS device, GPS navigation, gesture control, voice control, voice-to-text, weather and a music player.
Truly, the Omate TrueSmart doesn't sound any different from your typical Android device, as it is running on Android 4.2 with Omate's custom skin. You'll find a 1.54-inch TFT LG display with a 240 x 240 resolution on-board, offering multi-touch right on your wrist. There's 3G WCDMA (microSIM), 2G GSM, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, a 5-megapixel camera, microSIM card, 600mAh battery with "up to 100 hours standby time" and 4GB of memory with microSD expansion available. The company brags that the smartwatch is hackable, with plenty of Android customisation.
Given that you wear your watch daily, Omate has packed the TrueSmart with a waterproof coating, allowing you to dip your hands in water to wash the dishes. There are also buttons on the side of the TrueSmart if it has water on the screen. Capacitive touchscreens can't be controlled while wet.
The question is how it will perform. Given that Omate is seeking Kickstarter backing, the TrueSmart has only been built into a prototype - this is where the company wants your backing to come in. Omate said it has assembled a team of professionals internationally and experts in their own fields with the aim of creating the best wearable products with industry setting standards: "We have been working on designing smartwatches for over a year, trying different designs, testing different components."
Omate plans to deliver the TrueSmart in November 2013. An early bird special of $179 will get you one TrueSmart watch, and a $199 for the developer edition will buy a rooted version of the TrueSmart in October - before anyone else. It remains to be seen just how high in quality the TrueSmart will be since it hasn't been produced on a wide-scale yet, but we guess that's the risk you have to take with Kickstarter. Omate is hoping to garner $100,000 for production, with $80,000 already met at the time of writing.
The Pebble smartwatch is another product that was born on Kickstarter. It later came to retail stores like Best Buy, seeing huge success of raising $10,266,844 pledged by 68,928 people. Pebble has the honour of being Kickstarter's most highly crowd-funded project to date. It will be interesting to see how larger tech companies take on the watch startups in the battle of the smartwatches.