HP is working on its own smartwatch with an emphasis on style by Michael Bastian


The time of the smartwatch may finally be here, thanks in big part to Android Wear. If current trends continue, the smartwatch looks like it could soon be the mobile accessory to have, and perhaps it won’t be quite as surprising to see people talking to their wrists in the near future.

However, a major problem with most smartwatches so far is that they look, well, like smartwatches. Even though the Pebble and LG G Watch do look simple and clean for what they are, there is little chance that someone will mistake the new devices for an actual watch. It seems to me that smartwatches may very well be the Casio Databank of this decade, no doubt useful but something most people would feel at least a bit self conscious wearing.

This may be fine for many people, and I personally don’t mind wearing my Pebble most places, but there are also those who are much more conscious of appearance. This much is evident simply in looking at how much greater the demand is for Motorola’s Moto 360 Android wear device, which actually has a chance to pass itself off as a regular watch.

Perhaps anticipating this demand, HP has revealed that they have partnered with Glit, a designer fashion retailer, to create a fashion-oriented smartwatch that will be compatible with both iOS and Android. Now, don’t get your hopes up too much, as this watch won’t run Android Wear. In fact, it won’t even have a touchscreen. What it will have is design by Michael Bastian, which is said to include a stainless steel case and leather bands combined beautifully, and based on the design of luxury automobiles.

HP, who is in charge of the smartwatch’s function, says that the watch will support basic notifications for texts, emails, and calls, as well as some device controls including music. As a cross platform device, however, some functionality may be limited.

Because we have no idea what the software on this watch will be like, I don’t have high hopes that the HP smartwatch will be the solution to all smartwatch problems. In addition, though it is reportedly arriving this fall, there are no detailed specifications or a price for the watch at this point.

Even so, I can say that I am quite happy to see a smartwatch with more of a focus on external design, though it may come at a cost. I wouldn’t object to the next generation of Android Wear watches building on the ideas here, because I doubt I will be able to afford this smartwatch even if it does turn out to be great.

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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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