While big players like Google, Apple and Samsung are all getting in on the wearable scene, we’ve not seen much in the way of traditional watch makers – the original wearable developers – getting in on the action. However that looks likely to end, as watch maker Timex has announced that it is going to be releasing a cloud powered smartwatch called the Ironman One GPS+.
Unlike most smartwatches, the Ironman is designed to be its own standalone device, connecting wirelessly to data networks without the need for a smartphone or application to go through. It also features a touch screen display thanks to Qualcomm’s Mirasol technology that is designed to work well in sunlight. Unlike many smartwatches, it doesn’t shut down regularly to save battery.
It also features GPS, email messaging and up to 4GB of storage space for music and other audio which can be accessed via a provided bluetooth headset.
If you want to go diving with it too, that’s doable as the Timex watch is water resistant to as deep as 50 metres, giving it much more pressure resistance than your average smartwatch. It also performs many of the functions of your average activity tracker, recording data on speed, distance travelled and calories burned, all of which can be viewed in real time or correlated later for more in-depth results.
While the little device is powerful in its own right, its ability to harness cloud computing allows it to perform much more advanced functions, much more quickly than your average smartwatch – as long as it’s connected.
“Wearables, including smartwatches, is an emerging category that holds significant promise for Qualcomm,” said Derek Aberle, President of Qualcomm (via BusinessCloud). “The watch combines the human wrist ergonomics expertise of Timex with proven Qualcomm technologies and will provide fitness enthusiasts with a truly unparalleled design and connected experience.”
The Ironman is set to release in the US and Canada first, with a one year contract to AT&T. The intial price tag is expected to be $400 (£238).
This might be the best time for a company like Timex to get on the scene as well, as with both Google and Apple rumoured to be working on high-end, potentially revolutionary wearables for release later this year or early next, beating them to the punch might be the best way to secure a section of the market before the true giants in mobile technology take a big bite out of it.