Monday, June 16, 2014

Low-Tech Device Maker Timex Challenges Google and Apple with “Smartest Watch”

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Not long ago, software developers, hardware manufacturers and Internet pioneers began a battle of supremacy for “smart devices,” portable mini-computers designed to enhance and streamline the lifestyles of consumers. Now, these same technology leaders are duking it out over new lines of products that shrink the same core features into wearable accessories. Google launched Glass, a virtual-reality device that resembles eyeglasses and makes the functionality of an Android smartphone accessible through a display built into clear lenses. Samsung countered with a smartwatch. Now Google and Apple have announced plans to distribute their own unique smartwatches. But an unexpected challenger entered the technological fray Monday in the form of a struggling, low-tech Dutch company called Timex, which promises consumers “the smartest watch on the market,” in both digital and analog formats.

Google’s highly anticipated smartwatch capitalizes on its Android OS and Google Now, an intelligent personal assistance program. The device can generate calendar alerts, display weather, show reminders, post map directions and travel times, host chats through Hangouts, pop up exercise data and allow users to access email.

Apple’s hotly rumored smartwatch also showcases key apps within the company’s mobile ecosystem through a slim device worn on the wrist. Apple users will be able to purchase and play music, track their workouts, take pictures and check messages.

“The prototypes for these devices are astounding,” said Meyrian Dofskelge, a business analyst who specializes in consumer electronics. “They’re stylish, intuitive and loaded with features you wouldn’t expect on so small a platform. In fact, they seem to do everything but tell time. No matter how many screens I flipped through, no matter where I looked, I couldn’t find a clock. I had to fish my phone out of my back pocket whenever I needed to check the time. And that’s where I think these Dutch guys have a real competitive opportunity.”

Representatives for Timex said they have perfected a way to build miniature, wearable clocks. These timepieces strap onto the user’s wrist and always display the current hour, minute and even second. It might seem revolutionary, but developers at Timex claim they have been refining this technology since 1854.

“In early iterations, the watches fit in a user’s pocket -- much like today’s smartphones -- and were secured in place by a chain, or fob as they called it,” explained Timex spokesperson Adelbert Haak. “Today, our products are typically worn around the wrist. But the big differentiator between a smartwatch and our ‘smartest watch’ is that a Timex tells time. Accurately, effortlessly, instantly. Tests have also shown that our product’s battery life far surpasses anything Google, Samsung or Apple have put on the market. Plus, because we also offer analog versions, users can manually power the watches by simply winding them up each day. No batteries, no environmental impacts whatsoever. And in that regard, Timex watches are more eco-friendly than our competitors’ devices.”

As far as cost, Timex trumps its hi-tech rivals handily. Devices start as low as thirty dollars. “Those prices are infinitely more affordable than other smartwatches, and our devices do what they promise,” Haak added.

2014. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. See disclaimers.

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