A fossil is the preserved remains of organisms from our remote past. Today the word is often used as a metaphor for something that is out-of-date or antiquated. For instance, many people think wristwatches are slowly becoming fossils based on our cellphones' ability to provide us with the time of day. Ironically the Fossil Watch Company wants to change all that, making their watches relevant once again in the 21st Century.
Just when you thought that mobile displays couldn't get any smaller, wristwatch and apparel maker Fossil is developing a new watch capable of of interfacing with Twitter, geolocation, location-based social services and other social networking platforms.
Does this mean a return to wearing a watch to check for the time versus digging into one's pocket for a smartphone?
It appears so, as some types of social networking notifications would be much better suited and accessible with a quick glance at one's wrist. For instance if you could set your smartphone to trigger your watch every you received a Twitter DM, you could act on messages quicker that might be more important to you - versus reviewing your smartphones' read-out hours later.
In a ReadWriteWeb report, Google transit geek Joe Hughes notes a similar process with his Sony Ericsson MBW-150 bluetooth watch that shows the upcoming San Francisco bus arrival times for one of his nearby stops. "The code to fetch the arrival times is running on my Droid phone, and communicating with the watch using Marcel Dopita's OpenWatch software for the Android platform," says Hughes.
With 'geofencing' as the latest technology enhancement for location-based social networks, users entering or exiting a 'geofence' can receive a specific notification on one's cellphone. These notifications can do a number of things like automatically checking users of Foursquare into a certain venue when that user enters an establishment. And with the Fossil phone interface, these notifications can appear on your wristwatch, again - by-passing the need to refer to one's mobile phone.
Bill Geiser, vice president of the Innovation Tearm at Fossil says that his work on developing Fossil's programmable watch will be an anolog display with a little bit of digital space for display read-outs. So for those that say the dayBill Geisers of the wristwatch is fast becoming a part of our nostalgic past, Geiser asserts that the "rumors of its death has been greatly exaggerated."
The next Fossil programmable watch is still in development but will be available as a developers' preview before it hits the mass market. Wouldn't Dick Tracy be proud?