While the smartwatch
concept itself isn't a particularly new thing, lots of companies,
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
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
The Crossbow and some smartphones
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.
the 41MP figure and the Carl Zeiss optics remind me of some certain
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.
With the high-def screen comes backlighting, naturally
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.
A side-view glamour shot
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
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?
Staring you straight in the eye
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.
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.
This is the "Earlybirds Special Edition" described below. Spiffy, right?
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.
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,
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
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