Friday, January 10, 2014, 11:46 am PT (02:46 pm ET)
First look: MetaWatch's premium Meta smart watch for iPhoneOne of the companies that helped coin the term "smart watch," MetaWatch, is looking to take the category high-end by introducing a new line of Meta products designed by former Vertu designer Frank Nuovo.
A glut of smart watches have hit the scene after seeing Pebble's success and rumors of an Apple "iWatch" started circulating. The problem with many of the devices already on the market is that they are built with cheap materials and don't necessarily have the design flair indicative of a quality product.
MetaWatch wants to change that with its new Meta lineup, slated to hit shelves this spring. Designed by Nuovo, the pieces will come in a variety of materials, including the aluminum and leather version on display at CES. And like most other smart watch options, they connect with Apple's iPhone lineup when the Meta launches later this year.
"We have a clear vision about what we want to do and what we don't want to do," MetaWatch CEO Bill Geiser told AppleInsider at this week's Consumer Electronics Show. "We don't want to build a phone on your wrist; we want to build a social solution."
Geiser went on to say that he wants to use adapt technology to better suit the needs of customers, not create more confusion by adding complexity to existing devices.
"It's not appropriate for me to ask my customer to change their behavior," Geiser said. "We don't want more technology in our life, we want it to work for us, to free up our time. I want to spend more time with people than with my phone."
To that end, the new Meta smart watches will eschew the old top light and screen from current generation models in favor of a high-contrast backlit unit.
The user interface will also be improved to take advantage of sensor technology from partner Memsic, which is providing magnetometer and accelerometer hardware for the upcoming products. In addition, MetaWatch ported Memsic's SDK stack to the new Meta series, meaning customers will be able to use the watch for more motion-oriented applications.
Current generation MetaWatch products are available at Best Buy and range from $130 to $180. Pricing for the new, premium Meta watches has not yet been announced.
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