» The middle ground

Writing for Worn & Wound, Zach Weiss describes the Manufacturer Modules Technologies platform, a way for traditional watch makers to integrate a smart module that works with an app into their watches.

In fact, it isn’t really a “smartwatch” in the Apple and Android watches sense of the word, so much as a watch with an integrated health tracker and on-dial analog display, much like the Withings Activité. No alerts when you’re getting a call, no downloadable dials, just a classic analog watch that happens to have MotionX technology and a sub-dial that indicates “progress”, allowing it to closely monitor movement/goals.

It’s an interesting response to what’s going on and I think it’s one that will certainly appeal to people who want features but don’t want their watch to scream “I HAVE A SMARTWATCH!” The watches themselves aren’t cheap — starting at $500 — but they have classic good looks, the smart module is supposedly upgradeable (I find it hard to trust those promises, though) and the battery is meant to last 2.5  years.

I think the next few years will demonstrate that there are applications for watch feedback beyond “DUDE, YOU GOT A TEXT. HEY, LOOK, FACEBOOK STUFF. ZOMG, DID YOU SEE THIS ON TWITTER? YOU GOT ENDORSED FOR MEGADOUCHERY ON LINKEDIN. BRO, YOU GONNA REPLY TO THAT TEXT OR WHAT?” I don’t think smartwatches will be broadly adopted for at least several years, but in the long run this feels like a transition move to me.

(Via Ryan Bateman)