Smartwatch Concepts: Where's the beef?

Watches
By Adam Zeis on 17 Jun 2014 03:00 pm
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It seems like every day a new smartwatch concept or prototype hits the web. We still see countless "renders" of the long-rumored Apple iWatch, and still haven't seen a full-on, totally working version of the Moto 360. Even smaller companies are pushing their concept designs, touting that the final product will function just as depicted. If that's the case, why not just wait it out and actually show us the final design? Why make broken promises and show off more than what may be included in a final version?

It's a really tough sell for me at this point to believe that any or all of these smartwatches will function as they are shown. I get that none of the iWatch concepts that we've seen actually came from Apple, but even so, some of them are an insane stretch for today's technology. Full wrap-around displays with touchscreens, gorgeous mechanical devices with digital screens on top — all things that may be possible, but would have plenty of sacrifices at the same time.

Devices like the Kairos come to mind when I ask, "where's the beef?" The concept in the video looks nothing short of amazing, yet I'm left asking if a final version of the device would look and function anything like that. The gorgeous mechanical watch has an OLED screen on top which displays notifications beautifully — or so the video claims. Inside is a 180mAh battery to power the device for what the company claims is 5-7 days. I find it extremely hard to believe that something of this caliber would work well at all, and that a small battery could keep it going for up to a week.

This all falls back to the Moto 360 as well. We've "seen" it in countless videos and images all over the place, and even seen an interview with the device's lead designer, though we haven't actually seen the watch itself doing anything that Motorola claims. We still don't know the full specs, battery size or any other details really. It looks great in all of the videos we've seen, but will it actual work the way Motorola claims, while lasting for more than a day on a single charge?

Android Wear will soon be all over in any number of smartwatches. Perhaps the first look we'll get it after Google I/O later this month, where it's rumored that all developers in attendance will go home with a new LG G Watch. This is again one device that we've yet to see in action. Videos, images and other media have shown us what LG claims the G Watch can do, but there's still no 100% real-deal yet.

I'm all for the latest and greatest tech, along with new technologies that we have yet to see in smartwatches (and other devices). I want to be wowed and see some amazing new things come to these devices, but what I don't want is for false claims to be made. An influx of Android Wear devices and other watches are on the way, so in just a few months we'll be able to see first hand if these devices can live up to the hype.

What do you think — will these concepts be all they seem to be? Or will they fall short? Sound off in the comments!

Reader comments

Smartwatch Concepts: Where's the beef?

9 Comments

I'd rather see renders for actual future products (eg: kairos) than iwatch "concepts" from people who don't work for apple. Those are the biggest waste of space of all...

Anticipation! At least they are not Kickstarter pipe-dreams. Maybe just pipe-dreams, which is okay since it doesn't cost us anything.

This isn't specific to watches though, it's spread across the whole mobile tech industry. I agree that it's awful hype-beasting but blogs like this and many others thrive on just those stories.

I doubt it, that archos render pre-dates the android wear announcement by a long time. In fact, considering that archos watch has still not been released makes me doubt it will be...

Or maybe they were awaiting Android Wear. Even if it don't make it to the shelf you have to admit it's scale is much more reasonable compared to the sideplate that is the 360 or the block that is the G watch!

You know, I was so excited to see the Moto 360, and many of the other smartwatch manufacturers claiming they are coming to market soon. I held off on Pebble Steel for the Moto, yet Where's the Beef is exactly correct.. not only will they do what the manufacturers say they will do, but when will the watches actually make it to market? These watches are not a necessity at this point in the game, simply a nice (perhaps) accessory to work in adjunct with the smartphone. My excitement for the Moto 360 is on the wane, Pebble seems to have straightened out many of the problems from its upgrading, but yet, Pebble and Samsung still seem to be the only players in the game (yeah, I know LG is coming soon). . Seems "Where's the Beef" is accurate on many levels. After returning 2 of the original Pebbles, and not really caring for the design of the Gear 2 ( Yes, I have a Note 3), I think I will take a break from hoping these watches show up and just not care about it for awhile..

So far only pebble has made good on its promises, and has turned out amazing for a brand new product.

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