WiMe (Wirelss Me), a Taiwan-based smartwatch manufacturer, is seeking funding to bring you its latest offering: the NanoSmart smartwatch. Different from recent smartwatch offerings, such as the wildly popular Pebble, that function primarily as an extension to the user’s wirelessly connected smartphone, the NanoSmart is an independent mini-GSM phone, bluetooth headset dialer, and smartwatch all rolled into one.
WiMe began its NanoSmart financing campaign on crowd funding platform Indiegogo on March 8, 2013, setting a relatively reasonable goal of $30,000. Unfortunately, with just under two weeks to go, only 10% of that goal has been achieved. Has the smartwatch market already become saturated following release of the similarly funded Pebble e-paper smartwatch? We doubt it. More likely, a lackluster and unprofessional marketing campaign simply failed to reach its target market, resulting in disappointing subscriber funding. The lesson to be learned: if you chose to attempt crowd source funding, spend a little more up front to secure a top notch advertising firm … if you have a quality product, you will likely reap the rewards on the back-end.
The WiMe NanoSmart, available in six colors, is detachable from its band, giving it an appearance similar to the last generation Apple iPod Nano/watch band combinations. I found this feature to be utilitarian on the iPod Nano, allowing the device to easily conform to usage beyond its intended role as a smartwatch. The display is a generous 240×240 pixel high resolution touch screen LCD. With many smartwatch developers currently opting for monochrome e-paper displays to curb battery drain, it is nice to see a bright high resolution screen on a newcomer. I think that we are beyond the era in which black and white is truly an acceptable solution for interactive connected devices.
Tech specs for the NanoSmart consist of an integrated GSM mobile phone, bluetooth 2.1, 4GB of internal storage for data and music, and an internal microphone for voice recording. Power is provided by a rechargeable battery, claiming an acceptable 70 hours of standby and 3 hours of talk time. A completely recharge can be achieved in 60 minutes.
Although intended to function as a stand-alone device, the NanoSmart can also retrieve user data such as contact information and calendars from both iOS and Android based smartphones. While still in prototype form, the apps appear fairly sophisticated and the graphical user interface is visually pleasing and uncluttered. The smartwatch also possesses an “anti-lost alarm” that provides an audible indicator when the watch travels 30′ away from a connected smartphone.
A lot of smartwatches are in the pipeline at present, emerging to make 2013 the year of the smartwatch. Many are turning to Kickstarter or Indiegogo to achieve their financing needs, some will be successful and some will fail without ever making it off of the drawing board. The WiMe NanoSmart is already a working product, with manufacturing and distribution infrastructure in place and operational. Attempting to enter the market at an affordable $79, the smartwatch seems reasonably priced for the features and quality provided. However, it is getting down to crunch time on Indiegogo for this one, and we hope that the WiMe NanoSmart can find a way to achieve its funding goal.
WiMe NanoSmart Smartwatch: [Company Website]