A gadget that claims to give smart functionality to any simple wristwatch could shake up the smartwatch market.
For just £66, people can smarten up their watches by attaching a Chronos pad to the underside of their wrist wear. Developed by a San Francisco start-up, the coin sized, circular device acts as a great compromise for people who aren’t quite ready to ditch the traditional analogue or digital watch, but still want some of the functionality.
Once the disc is synched to your phone and sandwiched between your wrist and the watch back, you can get light-up and vibrational notifications straight to your wrist, and even activate some simple controls, such as pausing music, with a tap.
The LED indicators, combined with different forms of vibration, can be set so that you know exactly what notification the Chronos is relaying to you from your pocketed phone. For example, a red LED flash with two burst of vibration could be used to indicate a partner has contacted you, while a blue flash with a single vibration could be used for a Facebook notification.
The device does, of course, have the drawbacks of not having a screen, or touch input other than a tap. It also doesn’t have a microphone or voice commands, as other smartwatches do. This isn’t too bad though, as the target market will likely be less willing to use voice commands on their watch.
The idea of turning a normal watch smart is clever. It gives a middle ground for people who aren’t ready to commit fully to a wrist worn screen. The connective app is available on Apple phones running iOS 8.0+ and will be available for Android soon, according to the website, and the product is set to begin shipping in Spring of 2016.