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Visiting Wimm's headquarters (makers of fine geeky watches and wearable computing platform)

Wimm makes a new wearable computing platform.

Why would ANYONE in Silicon Valley want to try to build a new watch when the business challenges are so deep? I get an answer. They see a paradigm shift coming for wearable computing.

Its first product is a watch, which they are selling to developers so they can build micro apps for its small screen. I have one and it's quite compelling and here I sit down with some of its executives to get a closer look. Learn more at http://www.wimm.com/
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22 comments
 
I'm not sure the first big wearable device will be a watch--shades of Dick Tracy!--but I do know we're going to see a wearable device go huge sometime soon.
 
+Steven Vaughan-Nichols, if I want a wearable device, all I need to do is rig up something I can use to strap my iPod Touch to my forearm while protecting its screen. :)
 
Cool gadgets, but I stopped wearing a watch two years ago. I think that just one device should do everything: make calls, get emails, tell the time and browse the web and that's currently my smartphone. If I can do that on my watch I would consider it, but the fact that I need both is a no flyer for me.
 
It's so funny, up until very recently I have looked at this as a laughable "emerging trend". Wearable computing?!..... HA!

BUT, that being said, I haven't been able to help but think as I am running between meetings, "It would be nice to see meeting/light weight email content via my wrist!" The thought came from either the need for reaffirming what I already knew about a greater topic or arming my self with knowledge, at a glance, to be prepared for a presentation or event. And boom! Now this! I think there is a space for it in the market. A small space, but a space none the less. As much as the tablet's place is still being defined, I think wearable computing is looking for a place (much closer to inception than implementation right now). How and where that function is served is still up for debate.
 
I watched both previews you posted earlier and went from "fad' to intrigued as well. As a current (corporate) iPhone user, I would love to see notifications over bluetooth, solar charging (built into the LCD?) to extend obvious battery life/size balance limitations and bluetooth MP3 functionality. With android on your wrist, the possibilities are endless :D

I also see wearable computing as one of the next big things to drop in personal computing. Just give me a pair of integrated HD headphones and we have ourselves a serious device. Haptic gloves anyone? :D :D
 
I'm holding out for a Dick Tracy two-way radio.
 
+Joe Barbagallo I've always thought: "If Apple would just add a calendar app to the iPod touch....". I still use a dumb phone because I don't like carrying a brick in my pocket. But I would love to be able to develop custom apps for the iPod touch, which I already wear as a watch.
 
I think there's a space for wearable more specific niche things where the info is easily and quickly accessible. Exercise watches are a good example. On the iPhone, you have to fumble around between apps, but if for example you're a Quantified Self person obsessed with monitoring your heart rate and vitals or otherwise having info available to you superfast, wearables are nice. For now us hacker types will have fun making our own.
 
Now this is interesting technology!! Love to see more! :)
 
It is worth noting that for a while Microsoft had a smart watches project called 'SPOT' that went nowhere after being mocked for a while. But as with all things, good ideas can be wrecked w/ bad implementations.
 
Maybe, and just maybe, Nokia has something in store in the watch section, too.
 
I love the emerging field of wearables and where it will lead (see my latest blog post). This Wimm product reflects us being in sort of a half-way point to that killer product though. More niche for now. People wont ditch their current mobile devices entirely. An added form-factor to fit as a watch wrist is nice, but not that much of a leap from just taking out my smartphone.. with stocks, alerts, all available at a very high level. When chips / sensors are more invisibly integrated into everyday fashion, combined with wearables in the form of glasses (HUD) is when we will likely see the dynamic shift away from the current smartphone form factor for things like instant feedback loops, etc. In the meantime, this devices seems to be a sign of a transitional hardware state as we seek to merge even more with our personal data instantly. It's an exciting area that is fun to follow. I wish the Wimm team luck. Always root for the underdogs!
 
I just downloaded the SDK and tried it out. The emulator restarted itself 3 times just while I was swiping through the carousel... I think I'll wait before I try making any apps on it. Looks neat though, can't wait till it's more stable.
 
No Microphone???? That's a bummer! I would want a SIRI interface with my watch. I've been giving this a lot of thought and my main use case is to use it as a personal journal to record thoughts and reminders. I'm not sure why they're scared to replace the phone. I would want this to be my "first screen" and interface it with dumb screens/terminals and speakers, especially in my car. If Apple is not currently building this, someone f**ked up at Apple.
 
+S Charlesworth Heh when was the last time Microsoft managed to make anything new that wasn't a huge flop? (the Xbox and new versions of windows don't count as the Xbox is from the gaming division which everyone knows somehow escapes the flailing mess that is the rest of the company and new versions of windows aren't actually new). Anyway I agree it hardly means the product itself was bad (though it was) if the guys who fail all the time fail again.

The WiMM is rather a different device to all the smart watches I've seen. It is quite happily useful in of itself. The processor is powerful and it runs real apps locally not just being a screen for something else (unlike every other "smart watch" ever). It also has it's own sensors magnetometer, accelerometer and diverse network interfaces with Bluetooth and WIFI.

Having it on your wrist is so non invasive to your life it is brilliant. For example I'm using the stock weather forecast watchface at the moment and it is brilliant having that piece of information with you all the time. I don't need to pull out my phone or start a computer I just know what the weather is.
 
I'm still not giving up my Casio calculator watch that I've been rocking since 8th grade algebra.
 
Yikes. I want to wish them well. I could see something useful in the healthcare industry. Patient gets a 'compute' band that stores a variety of information collected from checkin until they leave. Heart monitoring, etc is all logged on the band.
 
+Colin Gonsalves Agree with your thought. Voice controlled "Siri like" interface to get information would be really nice to have on a watch. Especially useful while driving or walking.
 
I can't really buy a watch even it's a micro-computer, cos, the display is simply too small. Up till now, I can't see a wearable computer with bigger display wrapping on my wrist, which I can usually see in a movie. I think this is perfect, if it could monitor my pulse at the same time. Well, basically, real cool :)
 
I have a wimm one and LOVE it! It has a few kinks to be worked out (it is, after all, a developer unit) but it is so nice to have caller ID, SMS, and calendar notifications on my wrist. I never miss texts or calls when I can't feel my phone (or can't reach it, i.e. driving, meetings, etc.) The smartphone is still the center but having "appendages" to it are what make it really cool. I like that data is all stored there (on the phone) with different ways to access it (watches, heart rate monitors, whatever else we can come up with). The wimm's future versatility will be great as well (other accessories beyond watch straps).
 
We've hit the point where we can pack more capabilities into a small device than can be easily used through its tiny interface. I don't see the significant utility/convenience of having an inferior tiny device (watch) a foot away from a slightly larger superior device (phone). It's nothing but redundant. Microsoft/Timex DataLink had as much utility in the mid 90's--your guy in this video says it would be nice to see the next three things he needs to do on his watch for "productivity" gains--as this, with the one exception of remote video camera control. It's really cool, but it's also (still) a "solution" without a problem.
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