HP and Movado are targeting the dumber end of the smartwatch spectrum with the Bold Motion watch.
The $695 smartwatch doesn’t have a screen, and doesn’t run third-party apps like an Apple Watch or Android Wear watch. It’s basically an analog clock with some LED lights and haptic feedback to indicate notifications, daily step progress, and calendar appointments.
According to The Verge, the Bold Motion’s lights and haptics can provide different patterns based on the type of notification, so users can at least gauge whether they need to take out their phones. As for fitness tracking, the watch will use an accelerometer to count steps. There’s no heart rate monitor, and no mention of sleep tracking. The watch pairs with an iPhone or Android phone over Bluetooth, and lasts for up to seven days on a charge.
The design of the Bold Motion aims for minimalism, with nothing but straight lines and circles to show the time and notifications. A stainless steel version will have light blue accents, while a black PVD version will have gray accents, both coming with a black silicone band. The release date is unclear, but HP is now letting people reserve a spot in line via email.
Why this matters: The analog smartwatch is not a new concept, but it’s becoming increasingly popular among traditional watch makers who don’t want to give up their distinct designs. Fossil announced an analog smartwatch last month (along with a full-blown Android Wear watch), and other luxury brands such as Frederique Constant, Alpina, and Mondaine have been working on similar projects.
For HP, the Movado watch is part of a renewed push to pack its own technology into fashion products and accessories. The company points to last year’s watch collaboration with Michael Bastian, and a Vivienne Tam-designed netbook from way back in 2008. It sounds like HP wants to do a lot more of these collaborations, providing the hardware modules, software, user interface, and cloud services to big brands that don’t want to sleep on the wearable tech invasion.