Hybrid smartwatches sacrifice functionality over their touchscreen brethren in return for stonking battery life. They tell the time like a normal watch but collect data like the number of steps you take behind the scenes. This information is then accessed on your smartphone via a companion app. The relationship works well but you’re always left with the feeling the device on your wrist could do more.
Citizen think the same. Which is why they’ve just launched the Citizen Eco-Drive Riiiver, a hybrid ‘connected’ smartwatch that can do more. Riiiver (yes, three i’s, which stand for “imagine,” inspire” and “innovate,”) is an open IoT platform that connects people, things and services around the watch. The Riiver smartphone app connects to the Eco-Drive Riiiver and from there you can do all kinds of things.
For example you can order a taxi at the press of a button. Do this, and the Riiver smartphone app does the ordering for you. The time the taxi will arrive is then displayed using the watch hands. You can locate a nearby café at the press of a button with the hands relocating to point you in the right direction using GPS. Or, you can create your own features which Citizen are calling ‘iiideas’. A full list of features hasn’t been announced yet, but Citizen say it’ll launch with plenty.
In addition to these connected features, the Eco-Drive Riiiver keeps counts if your step, counts calories and handles push notifications. Uniquely, it uses solar power (as with every Eco-Drive) to power the battery. Which means you’ll never run out of power so long as you expose the smartwatch to a power source.
Pricing and availability
The Eco-Drive Riiiver is due for release Autumn 2019. You can sign up to register your interest on the Citizen website. The watch will retail for $420 in North American markets. It will launch in four colours, but the functionality of each model is the same. The model numbers are BZ7005-74E, BZ7005-74X, BZ7000-60L and BZ7007-61E. Make a note of these because Citizen like to use model numbers over brand names.