Huddled in the corner at this year’s DoCoMo booth at “Wireless Japan” exhibition was a prototype for the “future of cellular phones” or as we would like to call it a possible “watch interface of the future”.
Named the “UniButton”, the watch works by detecting vibrations in your body. The prototype on display could switch the light on and off by snapping the fingers.
While this prototype wristwatch cell phone has been announced for quite a while now, this is the first picture that we at Wrist have seen. Developed by Japanese telecom NTT DoCoMo, it uses bones as an extension of the phone. When someone calls, the phone sends vibrations through the bones in the user’s hand. The user then sticks his finger into his ear to listen to the conversation.
While the cell phone’s most overlooked killer app has been the little time display on the top corner of your screen (Think of all the people you know who don’t use their watch anymore to tell the time), its set to make another leap with applications like Fluid Time.
Fluid Time allows people to use their cell phone to negotiate their time, like for example, deciding how to share a washer or getting to a bus stop on time.
The system is still in the development phase with the current prototype exploring how the value of location based services can be increased when they are connected to people and information.
We think this is what the Microsoft wristwatch should’ve been, not the wrist ticker tape that it is.
While the previous RFID watch doesn’t really do what we talked about in an earlier post, this one does.
CPS (Cambridge Positioning Systems Ltd) and Xion announced plans to collaborate on the development of a new wristwatch-based child safety communicator and locator, so its pretty far from the prototype stage right now.
Named the Sentinel Watch, it will be based on a tri-band GSM engine and consistently deliver 100m accuracy in urban, suburban and rural areas.
In addition the Watch can be tracked and located indoors and metal framed buildings.
Other features include:
- parent/child communication via SMS/MMS
- a warning for parents if the child moves outside a designated or defined area
- a panic button which sends an immediate alert message to the parent
- security clasp and security strap the alert the parent when the watch is removed without authorisation
Sorry, we don’t have a picture, but during this year’s Embedded Systems Expo and Conference held at Tokyo Big Sight, Professor Ken Sakamura of the University of Tokyo unveiled the “UC-Watch,” a radio frequency identification (RFID) reader developed by the YRP Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory that Sakamura directs.
The UC-Watch features a function to read data based on “ucode,” an RFID numbering system that the Ubiquitous ID Center standardized. Scanned data is transmitted through weak radio waves.
The watch has a screen of 120 x 160 dots. The time and date each are displayed as a clock function, and background images and menus can be changed. It weighs around 100g without batteries. The company is working on reducing the weight.
Movement: Mechanical Self Winding Movement – Automatic DeWitt caliber DW30, with 21 jewels and a 42 hour power reserve. Water Resistant: 30 meters Make: Swiss made Case: 43mm X 14mm Dial: Sapphire Crystal
“De Witt’s new “Emotion” collection has bold luxury written all over it.”
If you aren’t familiar with De Witt, It’s an old Swiss brand that has created a niche for itself in limited edition timepieces which they proudly say are all handmade and can only serviced by its creator.
With such attention to detail, its no surprise that the new addition (pictured above) to the Emotion collection, was created due to repeated requests from clients.
If you aren’t much of a watch person and if we were queer (Queer eye for the straight guy reference for those not in the know), we’d make you leave your trusty casio calculator at home and get you a pair of these cufflinks fitted with a clock and compass instead, so you could still look classly in your dinner jacket without sporting a classy Patek or Affluence watch.
The cufflinks will set you back for around 50 dollars and are available in non reflective gold, blue rim and brushed chrome. You can also get one with a thermometer.
ps. We’ll start covering watches again. Soon. We Promise.
Next time your need to impress at work is drowned by an army of co-workers sporting power ties, you could get yourself the new Twin double d.d.m tie by Ermenegildo Zegna. The Twin conceals a handmade double tie and lets you switch ties whenever you feel like refreshing your look.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that we prefer the switch tie over a shiny wristwatch, but it certainly compliments.
Name:Amun Designer: Peter Riering-Czekalla, Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts & Design, Contact : Germany +49.172.2873.335, (email)
Continuing on the Ambient Device bandwagon is Amun, a winner in the Student category at this year’s IDEA awards. The device is meant to increase awareness of energy consumption by giving the user a realtime view of the amount of energy consumed in the house via a digital display and a pulsing glow.
While we aren’t sure how the glow plays a role in this device, we still personally feel that this is a better application than the ones currently churned out by Ambient Devices, Inc. So if this isn’t version isn’t ambient, we wouldn’t surprised if it ever did become one in a future incarnation.
Name: AJ3136 Clock Radio Designer: Annemieke Fröger, Philips Design, The Netherlands Contact: +31.40.2759066 (email) Credit: Philips, China
This year’s IDEA awards features only one time related entry – A Philips Clock Radio that got a bronze in the consumer products category. According to the brief, the round device features include easy-to-hold-and-use interface that allows personalization of wake-up sounds, called the “Roll Me Over” function. The display rotates as the clock is rolled over thanks to a directional sensor.
Its interesting to note how the core watch industry generally seems to be isolated from the larger product design community, otherwise we would’ve probably seen more entries.
Name: Wavelength What is it: RFID Item and Child Management Designers: Elijah Wiegmann & Justin Johnsen, Pennsylvania, USA Status: Prototype Source:ID Fuel Bonfire #1 competition
There will always be room for improvement when it comes to travel accessories, so when ID Fuel held their first ever Bonfire design competition, it was no surprise that they received some really good entries like the “Wavelength” – A Radio Frequency ID (RFID) kit that would help you keep track of your luggage, wallet and even your children by either sliding in a RFID card into your wallet, dropping a RFID pebble in to your luggage, or making your child wear a cleverly disguised RFID watch.
The RFID watch would have a secure latch so that the child could not take off the watch on his or her own. All of the devices in the kit would be monitored through a base unit small enough to be carried in your pocket or on a clip. If any of your RFID devices were seperated by more than twelve feed, an alarm would notify the user.
While this is just a prototype, I don’t think it’ll take too long before you’ll see similar commercial devices in the market.