Sometimes, devices pop up that give us a glimpse into the future of a market.
In 2002, Nokia launched the 3510i, one of the first mobile phones with a colour display. In 2003, 80 per cent of all new, high-end mobiles had a colour display too. In 2016, Xiaomi announced the Mi MIX, a smartphone with an edge-to-edge display. This year, edge-to-edge displays on smartphones are the norm (examples being the Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6, Apple X to name but a few). The smartwatch market has not yet had as pivotal a product as these two examples, although one has just come close.
The LooK Smartwatch
The LooK smartwatch boasts processing power and internal storage that’s a generation ahead of the competition. It has a quad-core 1.3Ghz processor while Garmin, Android Wear smartwatches and the Apple Watch make do with a dual-core processor.
It has 1GB of RAM, while most of the high-end Android Wear smartwatches on the market have 768MB of RAM (an exception being the Fossil Q Founder). It also has 16GB of on-board storage, which is four-times the amount of most smartwatches on the market today.
Of course, none of these features are as exciting as the first colour screen in a mobile phone, nor are they as stunning as edge-to-edge displays. They are also predictable features (you can predict smartwatches will get faster and get more storage over time). But this is the first smartwatch to skip a generation with processor power, RAM and internal storage at the same time, paving the way for smartwatches of the future.
It’s decent-looking too. It’s made from stainless steel with a bezel that’s available in a variety of colours. The fully-round AMOLED display has a 400x400 resolution, and the screen is protected by a sapphire crystal (none of that cheap mineral crystal stuff). Interestingly, this is the first smartwatch with a fall detector (that senses if you fall) and a medication function, which reminds you when to take your medication – two features that will be potentially very useful for those with medical conditions.
Pricing and availability
The LooK smartwatch is currently a Kickstarter project with a $50,000 (CA) goal. At the time of writing, the amount raised is $33,809. You can back the project for as little as $10, but to get your hands on a LooK watch, you’ll need to pledge $189 or more.