Over the past couple of decades, it’s become clear from the likes of Dr Dre, P Diddy and various contemporaries of theirs, that while music is a big money maker, investment is the way you make yourself super rich. That’s why Black Eyed Peas member Will.i.am has been so dogged in his pursuit of technological invesments, like the Puls “smart cuff,” which didn’t exactly set the world on fire. However now he’s back, with a brand new wearable called the Gucci smartband and it doesn’t seem all that different on the surface.
While smartwatches are simultaneously useful and useless, because of their ability to hook up to the smartphone you’re always carrying around with you anyway, the Gucci Smartband dispenses with that connectivity and instead acts as your smartphone replacement. It has the ability to take calls, texts and emails and can perform many other tasks that your phone can, such as play music, bring up your calendar and can even perform a number of basic fitness functions like tracking location, distance travelled, calories burned, steps taken etc.
Will.i.am’s development company, i.am+ also claims that it has a sophisticated personal assistant, though we’ll have to wait and see it in action before we can give a true verdict of how good it actually is, as other developers with a lot more experience put years of work into their own digital assistants and they are only now becoming viable.
Of course coming from Gucci though, i.am’s new smartband has a real fashion focus and comes with a very fetching black exterior and gold tinted indicators on the touch sensitive display.
“In developing together a device that is both fashionable and technologically advanced, we will create something that is unique in the marketplace. From the very start, I coined the term ‘fashionology,’ a merging of the worlds of fashion and technology, which is exactly what this collaboration with Gucci represents,” Will.i.am said of the product’s launch.
No pricing information has yet been announced for the Gucci smartband, but it is expected to be expensive, to appeal to the premium, fashion focused customers that Gucci usually appeals to.
The fact that this watch will likely be expensive is going to be a problem, simply because its cost will come partly from its need for powerful internal hardware. While most smartwatches only need to connect to a smartphone in order to have maximum function, this one can’t, which means it will need expensive internals, or will not be very useful. In turn, that probably means its battery life won’t be that great.
Although I’m sure Will.i.am’s Gucci watch will appeal to some, it seems unlikely to be a heavy hitter in the wearable market which is already quite saturated with far more experienced technological professionals.