Developer seeks funding for Windows Phone 8-based watch

Several years ago, Microsoft partnered up with a number of watch makers to launch a series of "smart" watches that would deliver information like news, weather and more with the company's Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT). The information was delivered via FM radio signals in a number of cities, at the cost of $59 a year. However, the watches failed to catch on after their launch in 2004 and they were discontinued in 2008.

Now it looks like a team based in Moscow is trying to get a similar project off the ground, this time with Windows Phone 8. The Gnomio watch is currently asking for funding via the Indiegogo.com crowd sourcing website.

The watch itself is being made with Windows Embedded Compact 7 OS running things inside. However, it has been designed to connect to a Windows Phone 8 smartphone via Bluetooth and can also install Windows Phone apps via a "smartphone extending device." It is supposed to have an ARM-based processor inside with a clock speed of 270 MHz.

The device is also supposed to have 64 MB of RAM and eight GB of storage, with a 1.54 inch touch screen that has a resolution of 240x240. The team claims that they started development of Gnomio in March 2012, and that the hardware work is reportedly completed but software development is still proceeding. The team claims that if they received their funding they will begin shipment of the watches to their backers in April 2013.

The Gnomio project is now seeking $100,000 with 68 days to go in their campaign. As with all crowd sourced projects, there is no guarantee that the watch will be delivered even if the team reaches their goal.

Source: Indiegogo.com | Image via Gnomio

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16 Comments

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The information was delivered via FM radio signals in a number of cities, at the cost of $59 a year. However, the watches failed to catch on after their launch in 2004 and they were discontinued in 2008.

Shocking... Why would anyone in their right mind pay that kind of money for news and the local weather forecast?

.Neo said,

Shocking... Why would anyone in their right mind pay that kind of money for news and the local weather forecast?

I had one, and they did much more than just news and weather. For example, during that time we had lost power for nearly a week, and a family member was having a baby. I received Messenger messages through my watch telling me when she had the baby.

The first year of service was free, and when cell service costs more than that per month, it was not all that bad of a price. For me the real problem was the size of the watch, for someone that was not used to wearing a watch it was uncomfortable.

If anyone wants their "smart watch" concepts to take off, please make it look like a decent watch.
The problem with the Gnomio watch is that it looks like something you'd find as a cereal box prize.

The pebble is passable, but not great.

cyberdrone2000 said,
If anyone wants their "smart watch" concepts to take off, please make it look like a decent watch.
The problem with the Gnomio watch is that it looks like something you'd find as a cereal box prize.

The pebble is passable, but not great.


This.

Also I find it astounding Apple hasn't kept the iPod nano tiny and make it what it actually should have evolved into (and what they have started to lean towards a little last year when they gave the nano no hardware refresh, but did add clock faces to it).

GS:mac

Shadowzz said,
doesn't WP8 have minimum requirements a tiny watch never will hold on too?

Which is why you should read the article before commenting

Shadowzz said,
doesn't WP8 have minimum requirements a tiny watch never will hold on too?

This just communicates with a WP to get data and then display the information. It does not run WP8, as it runs off of Windows Embedded Compact and WP8 runs on the Windows kernel. This is much like the Sideshow devices for Vista that never really took off, but had a lot of potential.

Problem with these things is most likely the battery, especially with specs of that caliber. These watches have been done already - Pebble was slightly different in that it aimed to have reasonable battery life and its design was modified to become waterproof.