Can an Attractive Dumb Watch Be Upgraded Into a Smart Watch?

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
May 13 2014 7:09 PM

Can an Attractive Dumb Watch Be Upgraded Into a Smart Watch?

smartwatch
Pretty subtle, right?

Photo from Modillian.

Smartwatches are all the rage, but there are problems with them—especially the fact that they have to be a certain size to cram in computing power, a battery, and sensors. Even Pebble's new designs didn't completely change the feeling that smartwatches look like, well, smartwatches.

But people who want to wear watches with a more classic aesthetic may still be able to get some smarts on their wrists. Modillian is a replacement watchband that has a Bluetooth dongle on the buckle to add some smart functions. As A Blog to Watch reports, the device doesn't have a screen for reading texts and emails, or a camera, but it pairs with Android devices and vibrates when you get a phone call, text, or email (iOS support is on its way too). It may not control the music you're listening to, but it keeps you from missing communications.

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Modillian is launching an Indiegogo campaign on June 10. The target price is $200, which is not exactly cheap for bare-bones functionality, but at least the project provides a new take on popularizing smart watches. The technology should improve eventually, and if your beloved dumb watch can inconspicuously become a smart watch, you may be tempted.

watchbanduse
Almost a normal watchband.

Photo from Modillian.

watchbanduse2
Modillian bands will be made from different materials.

Photo from Modillian.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.

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