Pop star-cum-tech nerd Will.i.am unveiled his own take on the smartwatch at the Salesforce Dreamforce conference in San Francisco yesterday. Now, UK network operator O2 has announced that it will exclusively carry the device in the UK.
The ‘Puls’ (pronounced “pulse”) is a hybrid, voice-controlled Android device that sits somewhere between a standalone smartwatch and fitness wearable. Think of it as a cross between the Samsung Gear S and Gear Fit. Basically, that means that the Puls not only carries Android Wear apps – it comes pre-loaded with Twitter and Facebook – but it can also make calls without the need for smartphone tethering. The modern design is not too aggressive, enough to make it them good smart watches for kids. The features can also be tweaked to perform the basic functions enough for the needs of kids. Truly, smartwatches are slowly catching up with the smartphone market.
Will.i.am is calling the device a “cuff” not a smartwatch. Among the other hype surrounding the wearable is the fact that it took two years to develop using a team of 35 engineers. And there we were thinking Mr i.am was slaving over it himself in his top secret tech lab.
Jokes aside, the device certainly boasts impressive specs for a smartwatch – sorry “cuff”. It will be released under the i.am+ brand and comes with 1GB RAM, 16GB storage, GSM 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a built-in pedometer and accelerometer.
Taking a page out of Apple’s book, the Puls smartwatch will also come in a number of variations all of which boast four kilowatts of DAF (Dope as Fuckness) – Will’s words not ours. The standard range comes in several colours; black, white, blue and pink. There’s also a super high-end version that comes in gold and gold with diamonds. We’re guessing the premium variant boasts 100 kilowatts of LAF (Lavish as Fuck) instead.
It’s voice control hub is called Aneeda (as in; “I need a Puls like I need a bullet to the head”) and is powered by the company behind Siri; Nuance.
In terms of unique features, the Puls smartwatch has a music app integrated into its OS, which allows you to tell Aneeda where to place songs. The fitness feature will track your workouts. In the future, i.am+ aims to update the function to allow it to connect and share fitness info between Puls devices. Additionally, the Puls comes with an emotion detector powered by an app called Vibe and a mapping system courtesy of ESRI. It also comes pre-loaded with Humin contacts app, which will allow users to easily transfer details with other Puls owners by knocking cuffs together.
The Puls is due in 2015. No pricing has yet been revealed.
Speaking of the device, Nina Bibby – Marketing and Consumer Director at O2 – said: “We’re¦excited to be giving O2 customers the opportunity to exclusively get their hands on the Puls in the UK.”
“By combining cutting edge technology with music and fashion, the Puls has the power to revolutionise wearable technology.”