MetaWatch Strata, another smart watch looking for Kickstarter funding

The MetaWatch Strata is currently looking for funding via the hugely popular Kickstarter program. The Project looks similar to the Pebble watch that took Kickstarter by storm earlier in the year and offers some very nice integration with your iPhone 4S.

Strata, is a smart sportwatch designed to complement your smartphone and give you Hands Freedom. With a Bluetooth 4.0 connection to your iPhone 4S or Android smartphone, you can check messages, see who’s calling, control music, view weather, and more, all from your wrist.“Hands Freedom” is how we describe the broad range of benefits MetaWatch Strata provides. A vibrating alert and a simple glance reveals everything you need to decide whether to act on a notification now or later. This saves time, conserves phone battery, and eliminates much of the ‘friction’ that comes with using smartphones.

The idea of a smart watch certainly seems to be one that captures the imagination. The previously mentioned Pebble attracted massive attention when it appeared on Kickstarter amassing over $10 million in pledges. The Pebble still hasn’t been released as of yet and suffered another delay this week; it was previously slated for a September launch but not any longer and no further dates have been announced.

If you prefer the look of MetaWatch Strata, you can become an early adopter with a pledge of $159 or more to secure one should they make it into production. The watch currently has over $84,000 of pledges and it needs to hit over $100,000 to gain enough to be funded. As with all of these Kickstarter projects, just because a particular item reaches its funding total doesn’t guarantee it will be made. I guess the saying goes; you pays your money and takes your choice!

I never wear a watch and always rely on my iPhone to tell me the time and all the other useful information that I need so wouldn't have any use for a smart watch. Could you see a usage case for this type of smart watch or is is strictly for the geeks amongst us?

Source: Kickstarter

UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

  • I don't wear watches either, the price is too high for me since I don't use them. They'd have to be at a $49 price point. Apple could have sold me a nano if they had added this functionality.
  • If there *is* a usage case, and if this type of smart watch does take off, it just might get Sherlocked in a year or two. The current iPod nano is pretty close to smart watch-hood. Or, if the iPod nano evolves into a larger form factor as has been rumored, Apple could release an all-new smart watch. They could call it something other than "iPod."
  • I *do* wear watches, but only "traditional" watches; ie: they just tells the time. It's not digital,, there's no calculator, etc. And I wear watches for style/fashion. But back around 1999, back before my iPhone 4, iPhone 3G, Palm Treo 700p, and Sony Clie, I used to wear the Matsucom "OnHand PC" (known as the "Ruputer" in Asia and Europe) - touted to be "the world's smallest PDA" at the time. It was a useful (albeit, ugly as hell and bigger than a G-Shock Watch) device but in the end the OnHand PC (and later on, the Fossil PDA Watch) could never compete with the coming age of Smartphones. This MetaWatch Strata is clearly more of a supplement to your smartphone rather than a replacement - and I have to admit, it's MUCH more asthetically pleasing than my old OnHand PC Watch (though still too large for a watch). But just speaking for myself, I'd have no use for it. It would just be another device I have to carry. It implements some nice features's just not that hard for me to pull my iPhone out of my pocket and check all my notifications. I personally don't need another onbody device to sync with my phone - that and I want my wristwatches to look "professional" (silver, non-digital, etc.). IMO, wearable technology still has a long way to go before we fully embrace a smartwatch or Google Glasses.
  • I find Smartwatches to be very useful tools for those of us who rely on our phones for everything. I know I constantly have to check my phone because I get constant text messages and phone calls, not to mention all the mentions I get from twitter. It can be really time consuming, but more than that, it can be really distracting. I think the Smartwatch is the next evolution of watch making. We all have Smartphones, but we all hate having to check it every time it beeps or rings. Smartwatches will change the way we interact with our smartphones. Now, as for the Peeble and Metawatch, they are both great starts. However, they are nowhere near where the technology needs to be for it to be widely accepted. The truth is most people just don't wear watches. I have been wearing a watch since I was a kid, but since I've gotten my Smartphone, I've been wearing it less and less. They are heavy, bulky and most importantly, they're another thing we need to bring with us. With all of the stuff we already need to have access to (phone, keys, cash, ID, credit cards) a watch just doesn't fit into that mold anymore. The Smartphone has made the watch antiquated and practically useless. In order for Smartwatches to catch on they need to be smaller and lighter, and they need to add real value to consumers. For athletes, the Metawatch is probably the best thing ever. It’s big, rugged, and it keeps you from checking your Smartphone. But for the typical consumer, it would need to be smaller for it to gain appeal. As for the Peeble, I think it has a lot of potential, it’s smaller than the Metawatch but because of the recent delays in shipment, there is a loss of trust in the brand. Moreover, the shape of the Peeble isn’t as practical as it should be. I think these two watches are the start of something revolutionary. The watch has fallen out of the mainstream and been replaced by the Smartphone, and for good reason. The Smartwatch has the chance of changing that and making the watch relevant again. I look forward to see what other companies come up with. As of now, I have not bought in to either the Metawatch or the Peeble. I think the technology needs to improve and needs to be proven further until I make that sort of investment. Until then, I’ll be keeping my eye on both of them to see what they do next.
  • If the watch had GPS and a heart rate monitor for running then it would be perfect!
  • Since it is a companion device to your iPhone, it doesn't need its own GPS. Heart rate monitor would be cool, but most likely that would be best implemented as a separate standalone Bluetooth device (like a chest strap), with the info relayed to the watch via software.
  • Its pretty cool I think I would invest in that sometime when the price goes down...a lot