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May 31, 2011

New Cool Gadget Find of Today: Wrist watches making a comeback?

I have a great time piece by Fossil that I have had for quite a few years. Actually since I finished high school as that was a graduation present to myself. And until a couple of years ago I would not have gone anywhere without it. However, I have not worn the watch in quite awhile since, like most folks these days, I always have the phone with me to tell me the time. This new watch/gadget might be changing that.
Fossil is looking to make wrist watches relevant once again with their new model Metawatch, that will be available in stores in July 2011.
There are two models, one analog/digital with two 16x80 white OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays and digital with 96x96 reflective/always on display technology. The analog watch has two hands, and the 2 screens appear above and below that can show updates and information. The digital watch has a reflective LCD face that can display just about anything, but only in black and white.
The Metawatches use Bluetooth technology to sync with the phone and are able to display email notifications, Twitter/Facebook updates, and other short messages. They also have a rechargeable battery.

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Metawatch press release:

Meta WatchTM offers developers freedom to start their own wrist revolution

Richardson, TX, May 3, 2011 - Meta WatchTM is proud to announce a wearable development system that enables rapid development of 'connected-watch' applications. With Meta Watch, developers can quickly and easily extend the interfaces of devices and applications to the wrist. The Meta Watch platforms utilize embedded Bluetooth® technology to connect to smartphones, tablets and other electronics devices. The Meta Watch SDK/API makes it easy for the watch to display information from mobile applications or Internet services. For complete information, visit www.metawatch.org.

Meta Watch platforms are available in analog digital or digital versions, and include: a 3 ATM water resistant stainless steel case; leather strap; mineral glass crystal; vibrating motor; three-axis accelerometer, and ambient light sensor. Optimized for low-power operation, both watch platforms are based on the MSP430TM ultra-low-power microcontroller and CC2560 Bluetooth host controller interface solution from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI).

"Meta Watch makes our everyday mobile experience much better by enabling us to view important mobile notifications at the right time with virtually no effort", said Bill Geiser, Vice President Watch Technology, Fossil. "Of course, you can get this information today, but it requires many different steps. Meta Watch simply makes it more convenient and, in the process, it opens the door to new partnerships like we have with TI and a growing network of development partners."

"TI welcomes the opportunity to work with the Meta Watch team on creating a new channel for the community, and to helping developers push the watch's capabilities to the next level," said Eran Sandhaus, Director of marketing, wireless connectivity solutions, TI. "TI's MSP430 ultra-low-power microcontroller and CC2560 Bluetooth host controller interface provide a solid foundation for the next- generation, connected devices based on the Meta Watch's sleek form factor. We look forward to seeing the Meta Watch community flourish with ideas for wearable technology that will spark new consumer experiences for years to come."

Why good to have on a trip:
- easily view messages, emails and notifications without taking out the phone
- safety, no need to display your expensive phone/gadget
- a reason to keep wearing a wrist watch

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