Why We'll Wear Watches AgainS

For most people, the only reason to wear a watch anymore is to tell other people that you are the kind of person that still wears a watch. (Or a terrorist.) But the Meta Watch isn't just a watch.

Ding. Text message. Dong. New email. Ding. An appointment. Dong. The weather sucks. Ding. Tweet. Normally, these things, or blind notifications of these things, would prompt you to pull your phone out of your pocket. If you were wearing a Meta Watch, though, you'd just casually peek at your wrist as your smartphone beams all of the most urgent updates, the stuff you really need to know, directly to it via Bluetooth. Live, glanceable info.

That's the basic kind of scenario you can imagine with Meta Watch, Fossil's connected watch platform. Right now, Fossil's just pushing it for app developers to make cool stuff—hopefully it'll be ready for regular people in a year or two, after there's tons of killer apps for it. Because of the ways apps can easily plug into Android's system-wide frameworks, there's crazy potential for the ways you can connect the watch to your phone or tablet. The dev kit is completely open source, so connections to your phone are just one possible direction. (Basically, consider any kind of info that'd be useful sitting on your wrist.)

Two basic hardware configs at the moment: A more classic-looking analog/digital combo with two OLED screens for displaying info, and a fully digital setup with an always-on reflective display tech that's a little more versatile in terms of what it can display. Both of them are loaded up with Bluetooth, an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and a rechargeable battery. Whether you're a dev or just a dork (like us), you can pre-order one now for $200, and it'll ship on June 30.

This smart chunk of time and data may not be the kind of thing everybody will want to strap to their wrist—but if there's anything that'll revive watches as more than fashion, Meta Watch, or something like it, might be it.

View gallery »

[Metawatch, TI]