San Diego-based Kempler & Strauss this morning rolled out an incredible $199 wristwatch cell phone called the W PhoneWatch. The gadget sports a calendar, address book, a calculator, stopwatch, a vibration mode for silent alarms, a no-stylus touch screen, microSD slot and the ability to both take and play pictures and videos.
[ See also: What kind of digital nomad are you? ]
The watch features an LCD micro-touch touchscreen with a resolution of 128 x 128 and 260,000 colors. It weighs only 2.5 ounces and is the smallest phone watch you can buy, according to the company. The watch takes pictures at VGA resolution (640 x 480). The video camera feature captures MPEG 4 (AVI) format at 128 x 104. The watch will play MPEG4, MP3, WMA, WAV and AMR files.
The W comes with a wide range of PIM apps.
The W PhoneWatch electronics are quad-band, so it will work on nearly every carrier network. You can charge it via USB or by using the included battery charger. You get 150 minutes talk time, up to 150 minutes of music playback, and up to 100 hours of standby time, according to a company press release. The W PhoneWatch is available today. The company also announced a Communicator Bluetooth headset that works with it. The headset has media controls, so you can control, say, music with "play," "pause" and "next" controls. When the Communicator gets out of range of the PhoneWatch, the watch vibrates, which prevents you from losing or forgetting the headset. The Communicator is optional. The W PhoneWatch works with any standard Bluetooth headset, according to the company.
A touch screen means you don't need a tiny stylus.
Awesome, right? So here's the question. Would you buy one? And if not, why not? At $199, the watch is on the low end of what many pay for ordinary wristwatches that do very little. It's best used as a pre-paid phone, so you can buy a couple hours of talk time, and just use it as a back-up phone if you want. After all, many of us have cell phones with battery issues. (The iPhone comes to mind.) By adding a few hours of pre-paid talk time -- set it and forget it -- you end up with a backup cell phone on your wrist.
You can even change the watch face to suit any occasion.
By using the free Google Voice service, you can connect both numbers to your single number. So if something happens to your main phone, you have a backup that rings when people call your regular number. But even if you never need the cell phone, it's still an awesome watch that doubles as data storage, a media player, digital camera, calendar reminder -- the works. Oh, and it also tells the time. (You can even pick your own watch face....) I don't see any downside to this product. But I see a massive upside. What do you think? Are YOU interested in location independent, digital nomad living? Please add this blog to your RSS reader and follow me on Twitter!