The Agent smartwatch is the latest proposed wearable computing device to seek initial capitalization from the public on Kickstarter. A collaboration of talent from Secret Labs and House of Horology, the Agent claims to be, “The next generation smartwatch with brand-new technology.” And, in some aspects, it is.
The Agent smartwatch’s self-proclaimed statuts as a generational leap forward is based upon its battery management capabilities. Agent claims that its watch combines precision power metering through a combination of sophisticated hardware and powerful software designed to extend battery life. If this is true, while not necessarily commanding the moniker of “next generation”, it could provide relief for the nagging constant recharging requirement of most currently shipping smart watches. The new ARM Cortex-M4 processor employed by Agent is said to consume just 1/10 as much power in sleep mode as last year’s model. Since a smartwatch typically spends the bulk of its time in sleep mode, this adds up to a huge power savings for the casual user.
We both love and hate the Agent smartwatch specs. The dual core ARM Cortex-M4 processor is cutting edge and more than powerful enough to smoothly crunch through today’s most demanding smartwatch apps. A great choice. Conversely, the display, in our opinion, is a less than stellar. The 1.28″ Sharp Memory Display does provide for fast animations, acceptable readability outdoors, and it just barely sips from the battery. However … it is MONOCHROME. Several currently selling popular smartwatches, such as the Pebble and the Cookoo, also ship with monochrome displays. Nonetheless, we feel that using such dated technology on conceptually futuristic devices is simply unnecessary given the current state of technology. If you manufacture a cutting edge electronic device and it has a display, that display should be bright, should have incredibly high PPI (pixels per inch), and IT SHOULD BE IN COLOR. To do otherwise is to strip your product of any potential WOW factor and certainly should preclude usage of the term “next generation”.
On thing the Agent smartwatch provides that is “next generation” is the wireless charging system. A very nice touch, the Qi (pronounced “chee”) wireless charging system allows the user to simply set the watch on the charging pad, from time to time,to top off the Agent’s battery. We believe that, before long, all smart watches will employ this no wires, no hassle next generation charging method. However, for now, the Agent is the only smartwatch to employ such futuristic technology.
The Agent smartwatch is selling for a reasonable preorder price of $149 on Kickstarter right now and is expected to ship in December of this year. If the current crushing of its crowd funding goal is indicative of its future success, this may be a popular product for some time to come … at least until heavy hitters Apple and Google release something truly next generation.
Agent Smartwatch: [Company Website]
Jon is the Editor-In-Chief at Wear Guide and writes about wearable technology On Your Arm. Jon has a M.S. in Computer Science, won several intercollegiate events as a member of the UCLA Cycling Team, and is currently active on the USA Triathlon circuit which provides him the opportunity to field-test wearables under grueling conditions. Jon also writes for our sister publication Electric.guide.
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