MOTA Smartwatch has become the first wrist-bound wearable tech to be offered on Groupon. At a discounted price of only $49.99, the lackluster device is one of the cheapest smart watches we have seen so far … and we use the term “smartwatch” loosely. This may account for the early Groupon blow-out. In addition, as the name is confusingly similar to well-known smartwatch brand META, the looming trademark battle may too be cause for the fire-sale.
Little is known about the MOTA Smartwatch specs. It has a cheap monochrome display, antiquated Bluetooth 2.0, a built-in microphone and speaker, and a cheap plastic band. The MOTA claims to be complatible with “all bluetooth enabled mobile phones” including the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy. However, there do not appear to be any apps to support connectivity or configuration. Charging takes 2 to 3 hours via an included USB cable, but neither stand-by nor actual use time are listed. Generally, if the specifications are not provided, there is a reason … and that appears to be the case here as well.
The MOTA Smartwatch is currently available through their website for $79.99 and via a just-launched Groupon campaign for $49.99. This is the first time that a smartwatch manufacturer has pitched their wares via Groupon and will likely be mimicked by competitors in the near future. In addition to being able to unload inventory quickly, Groupon basically provides free advertising and gets your product name in front of a lot of consumers with very little effort. I’m Watch attempted a similar advertising coup on Indiegogo after their smartwatch had already been shipping for over a year, but was quickly shut down. Groupon is a better vehicle for such distribution and was actually a wise move by MOTA.
The MOTA Smartwatch is also likely to encounter some legal resistance from the makers of the META Smartwatch. While the term MOTA has a valid federal trademark registration, it only applies to “Reseller services, namely, distributorships in the field of automation components.” META’s trademark covers “Watches; namely, watches with wireless communication capabilities.” If I were META’s intellectual property counsel, I would fire off a Cease and Desist letter to MOTA today before they they get too entrenched.
What can we say about the MOTA Smartwatch? Not much. It is ugly, what little specifications have been provided are underwhelming to say the least, and it is on Groupon right now for only $49 … we’re not sure whether to count that last detail as a positive or a negative. Caveat emptor!