One of the biggest limitations of a smartwatch is that it actually has to be tethered to a smartphone. For the most part, a lot of smartwatches making their way to market only display information when paired with a smartphone through Bluetooth. This makes sense, considering the device would need to have some type of internet connection to work on its own. It seems silly though, that there aren’t many devices without this dependency. Of course, now we have the Neptune Pine and Emopulse Smile, so it seems like manufacturers are starting to move in the right direction.
Meet the Orsto Plus+ smartwatch. It’s what Orsto claims to be a “first in the marketplace.” Why is that, you ask?
Well, the Orsto Plus+ smartwatch can both work independently and tether to a smartphone, allowing owners to choose which way they’d like to use the device.
Paul Gill, founder and chief engineer of the Orsto Plus+, believes that his smartwatch offers something very different than what’s currently on the market.
“Normally a smartwatch is just a Bluetooth device that needs to have a connection to a smartphone to work. The PLUS+ Watch has that option, however, it’s a standalone wrist-mounted smartphone as well. This is a huge leap forward in personal communication and computer miniaturization. It’s truly the next generation in wearable technology.”
To offer a little credence to his claims, the Orsto Plus+ can do pretty much anything that a smartphone can do, including making calls, sending texts and emails, and even browsing the web freely. In addition, users can view text content from books and online publications, use GPS navigation, play games and even use Android apps. The device does include Android 2.2, and is also equipped with a 2-inch LCD touchscreen display, after all.
As for specs, the watch will include the following:
- 740MHz dual-core processor
- GSM, GPRS, GPS
- WiFi (802.11 b/g/n)
- NFC, Bluetooth 2.0
- 5MP camera with video recording support
- Motion sensor
- Integrated speakers
- 800mAh lithium-ion battery
- Android 2.2
Of course, Orsto turned to the crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo to get this device up and running. To pledge in the US, you’ll need to pony up $99, which is a $100 discount off the intended MSRP price. If Orsto’s campaign raises extra funding, they will be upgrading the hardware and software of the device, by adding a 1.2GHz processor and Android 4.0.
The ultimate goal is $128,000 to launch this campaign, and currently backers have raised about $6,000 with 33 days left to meet the funding limit.
Personally, I think this thing looks a little extra geeky. Then again, I’m sure most smartwatches will look pretty geeky, especially once users start tapping, swiping and interacting with their wrists. What do you think?