Another smartwatch entrant is coming soon and it looks like it will be one of the few watches not packing Android Wear. Hewlett-Packard is teaming up with Gilt, a designer label discount site, and U.S. fashion designer Michael Bastian to create a smartwatch slated for release this fall.
The trio are working on an unnamed luxury smartwatch that will be compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones, as first reported by Fashionista and Hypebeast. Like other smartwatches, the HP wrist wear will show email and text notifications, music player controls, weather, stocks, and news updates.
Since it works with Android and iOS handsets, however, the software onboard is unlikely to be Android Wear, which is compatible only with Android devices.
There's no word on pricing for the smartwatch, but early images suggest this watch will be far more attractive than the plain black squares we've seen recently from LG and Samsung, as is more suitable for the luxury watch crowd.
FASHIONISTA. Drawings of the Michael Bastian-designed HP smartwatch.
Similar to the Moto 360, the Bastian-HP-Gilt watch will be round with an overall design meant to imitate the dashboard of a luxury vehicle. The watch will feature a 44mm stainless steel case, inlaid button controls, lighted chronograph, and interchangeable watch bands, according to Hypebeast.
The upcoming luxury smartwatch will be the first of its kind, but it's still part of a recent smartwatch explosion that includes Android Wear devices, Samsung's Gear line, and Sony's long-running smartwatches.
A smartwatch with an attractive design will be key if smartwatches are to ever gain popularity beyond the gadget lust set, however. And the new HP-Bastian watch just might be the first watch to do that.
But with HP appearing to go it alone for the device's software, it's not clear how useful or worthwhile this watch will be. Despite their ho-hum looks, the Android Wear smartwatches from LG and Samsung are very useful since they tap seamlessly into the Google ecosystem. HP's software solution will need to be both sleek and functional to justify why anyone would want to buy a luxury smartwatch — regardless of how good it looks.
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