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?

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.


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.

Almost a normal watchband.

Photo from Modillian.

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.



Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows


The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.


More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

We Could Fix Climate Change for Free. What Exactly Is Holding Us Back?

  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 6:09 PM Here's Who Voted to Fund Syrian Rebels and Get This ISIS Conflict Really Cooking
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Gentleman Scholar
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM Should Men Still Open Doors for Women? Or is it ungentlemanly to do so at all?  
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 5:56 PM Watch Louis C.K., Dave Chappelle, Bill Hicks, Mitch Hedberg, and More on New YouTube Channel
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 5:26 PM If Fixing Global Warming Is Free, What’s the Holdup?
  Health & Science
Sept. 17 2014 4:49 PM Schooling the Supreme Court on Rap Music Is it art or a true threat of violence?
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?