Hyetis Crossbow – Feature-Packed Smartwatch with a 41-Megapixel Camera
While the smartwatch concept itself isn't a particularly new thing, lots of companies, including Apple, appear to be looking to reboot the concept for billing as the next digital hotness. While cheaper models will undoubtedly be more popular with the general public, nothing shows off the future potential of these “new” smartwatches as clearly as the upcoming super-expensive Hyetis Crossbow does.
A plethora of sensors, multiple wireless connectivity options and highly durable construction are just a few of the things that make the Crossbow capable of doing much more than just tell the time. Hyetis is looking to ship these things this year, too; these aren't just conceptual prototypes. Or are they? We'll get to that later.
First and foremost, the watch face itself is a colour high-resolution screen, making it exceedingly easy to swap faceplate styles, as well as display lots of information, including the weather, date, and a text message count. Next to the face up top is the aforementioned picture shooter, capable of taking 41-megapixel images. Helping it do that are Carl Zeiss lenses and a ring of LEDs that serve as the flash. One can capture photos and videos using this camera and then quickly move them to an attached smartphone.
Both the 41MP figure and the Carl Zeiss optics remind me of some certain Nokia smartphones, though Hyetis seemingly one-ups those phones with the presence of optical zoom capability, though of unknown power. “At this stage some technical features can vary on the production model,” says Hyetis. We'll have to wait and see.
Moving on, some of the built-in sensors made me do web searches to figure out their uses. You get an altimeter (measures height above ground), a thermometer, a hygrometer (measures level of humidity), a light meter, a GPS, an accelerometer and a high-def microphone. Additionally, there are “biometric sensor devices” built into the wristband. These can purportedly monitor your heartbeat, among other health-related parameters. Impressive. Futuristic.
Wireless connectivity includes WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC. Smartphones built by Apple or running Android or Windows Phone 8 can be connected to and controlled by the Crossbow. Providing power are two rechargeable batteries lurking inside the wristband, good for four days of non-intensive use, and the whole thing is encased in a mixture of titanium, ceramics and anti-glare coated, scratch-resistant sapphire glass.
Hyetis also specifies waterproofing down to 250 meters deep, though it doesn't say how long the device can withstand being dunked to that depth. Forever, maybe?
Amusingly enough, despite all of this advanced technology, mechanical clock hands adorn the Crossbow's screen-face, running on those familiar quartz crystals and a separate power source. This completes the aesthetic and means that if the main batteries die on you, you'll still know what time it is.
Until the watch battery dies, too, in which case I assume it's a user-replaceable coin-cell battery. To recharge the main batteries, Hyetis includes one of those nifty wireless-charging docks. Just drop the watch on it after a long day.
So how much does this wonderful little piece of technology cost? $1,200, before shipping and tax. It's up to you whether or not a Crossbow and its huge feature set will be worth the sizable dent it will make to your wallet. Or the sizable duration of curious looks you'll probably be getting from everyone while wearing and using it.
What might add to your decision-making debacle is the fact that Hyetis is putting out just 500 of the things to start. They will be all dressed up in “Dark Knight”-esque “Earlybirds Special Edition” colours, will include "some exclusive surprises" in the box, and will ship by December of this year. I also hear that Hyetis is planning to eventually allow customers to configure their dream watch online before buying, and even to start offering an “easy, competitive and quick” upgrade service that would keep your Crossbow's feature set up to date. Notice that description doesn't include the word, “cheap.”
Then we get to the fact that all of the images used in this article, and all of the images I could find of the Crossbow upon doing a web search, are computer-generated, 3D models. As cool as Hyetis wants to make you think its product is, and even though you might miss out on the "Earlybirds Special Edition," perhaps it might be better to see what the early adopters receive in December for their stack of cash before hitting the Checkout button for yourself. (Via Liliputing and +Mike Elgan)