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Best Buy to sell MetaWatch iPhone-compatible smart watches Nov. 3

post #1 of 19
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Best Buy is stepping up its presence in the emerging smart watch market, as it was announced this week that the retailer will begin carrying MetaWatch wrist-worn accessories, in addition to products from Pebble, Samsung, Nike, Fitbit and a growing number of others.

MetaWatch


Best Buy retail stores and its online shop will begin carrying MetaWatch products Nov. 3, according to The Dallas Morning News. The Texas-based company offers the sporty Strata, which retails for $179, as well as the leather-banded Frame model for $229.

The Best Buy launch comes as MetaWatch is also planning to add a new National Football League live score widget, giving users instant updates on their favorite teams. MetaWatch CEO Bill Geiser has informed users via his official Twitter account that support for more sports will follow.

The distribution deal with Best Buy catches MetaWatch up with rival Pebble, which began offering its own smart watch through the store earlier this year. Customers can currently purchase the Pebble from the retailer in black or red color options for $149.99.

The deals with both companies show that Best Buy is interested in getting in on the ground floor of the emerging wearable computing market, sparked by Pebble when the company's blockbuster Kickstarter campaign raised over $10 million. Soon after, MetaWatch ran its own campaign on the crowd funding site, and brought in $300,000 of its own.

Pebble


Throughout 2013, rumors have persisted that Apple is looking into building its own smart watch, dubbed the "iWatch," which would focus on health and biometric feedback, in addition to providing users with notifications and information conveniently on their wrists. With niche players like Pebble and MetaWatch gaining traction, major companies like Sony and Samsung have attempted to make a splash with their own offerings, most notably Samsung's recently launched Galaxy Gear.

Nike this week also announced their own updated Fuelband SE model, set to launch in November, while the new Fitbit Force also promises to add iPhone notifications with a small LED display. Adidas also announced on Wednesday that the fitness company plans to throw its hat into the ring with a new $399 smart watch aimed at runners due to launch Nov. 1.


Nike's new Fuelband SE. Image via The Verge


As for the already-available MetaWatch, AppleInsider took a first look last year and found it to be a decent start for the product. In particular, the ability to glance at multiple "widgets" on the wrist simultaneously was viewed as convenient, though the device's display was found to have poor viewing angles.

Since then, functionality for iPhone-connected devices has only improved with Apple's release of iOS 7 last month. With iOS 7, Apple has given platforms like MetaWatch the ability to display any notifications from any applications on separate screens. The latest version of MetaWatch's iOS app gives users the ability to disable wrist notifications on an app-by-app basis.
post #2 of 19
This is the best looking one.

post #3 of 19

There's a smart watch market?

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post #4 of 19
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Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

There's a smart watch market?

it's nascent but it's growing. Here is one from Adidas that does the heart rate monitoring that people want: http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/16/4845078/adidas-unveils-fitness-smartwatch-with-gps-tracking-heart-rate-monitoring
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post


it's nascent but it's growing. Here is one from Adidas that does the heart rate monitoring that people want: http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/16/4845078/adidas-unveils-fitness-smartwatch-with-gps-tracking-heart-rate-monitoring

 

How is a heart rate monitor a smart watch?

 

I think there is a nascent heath monitoring market, but it is very, very small and specialized. Once these devices become more "general purpose" health monitors and gain greater utility, there will be a real market.

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post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

How is a heart rate monitor a smart watch?

I think there is a nascent heath monitoring market, but it is very, very small and specialized. Once these devices become more "general purpose" health monitors and gain greater utility, there will be a real market.

I define a smart watch as any electronic device that does much more than tell the time and is worn on the wrist where one currently would wear a regular watch.

How is that feature (which people seem to want in these devices) not smarter than a regular watch?
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post


I define a smart watch as any electronic device that does much more than tell the time and is worn on the wrist where one currently would wear a regular watch.

How is that feature (which people seem to want in these devices) not smarter than a regular watch?

 

I'd have to see sales figures by category to prove that this is anything but a tiny part of the fitness market, rather than a general movement toward multi-function worn sensors.

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post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I'd have to see sales figures by category to prove that this is anything but a tiny part of the fitness market, rather than a general movement toward multi-function worn sensors.

I'm not sure how you define a general movement but the number of devices coming to market would seem to indicate growth and interest. It's still a very young market and even though I pre-ordered the FitBit Force I don't think this market will really take off until Apple gets involved. And I don't see that happening until they can feel they can add some real benefit.

If this happens will you say the smart watch category is growing or will you say it's not really a smart watch if it relies on another device like an iPhone to crunch all the heavy numbers? To me, Adidas's new product fails because it's trying to be a completely independent product with its own GPS chip. This means it's larger and more expensive while at the same time not giving a decent battery life, which then means its only good for fitness and not to be worn nearly constantly like the FitBit Force.
post #9 of 19
I am sorry these watched do not look much better than the digital watches of the 1980's. For those too young to understand, consider yourself lucky you did not have to wear one. These failed, why because they lack any sense of style and the batteries would not last. My current watch the batteries last a good 3 yrs and I have a self winding one which I never have to worry about it being without power.



And you can not compare a watch to a sports bio-metric monitor, different products for different things. Even for bio-metric monitor it is a small population of people using them thus the reason Apple let Nike and other handle this space.

Also, Best Buy is not what I would call a bellwether company when predicting the future of consumers buying habits of next great technologies. Just because they're loading the store front with watches is no indication of things to come.
Edited by Maestro64 - 10/17/13 at 6:46am
post #10 of 19
Why does this remind me of the calculator watches from the 80s? We'll have to wait and see what Apple does, but I can't imaging myself wearing something like this instead of my nice, classy watch. Having electronics constantly attached to you also doesn't sound like freedom and progress to me. Outside of athletics and health, none of the proposed uses for a smart watch appeal to me.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

And you can not compare a watch to a sports bio-metric monitor, different products for different things. Even for bio-metric monitor it is a small population of people using them thus the reason Apple let Nike and other handle this space.

This is why I hate it when people talk about the iWatch. I haven't worn a watch in many years because they are totally redundant in a world with smartphones, wall clocks and clocks on computer screens.

 

If Apple comes out with (primarily) a watch that has a few extra features, I'm not buying. I would however, wear a wrist-worn device that has multiple biometric sensors and the ability to notify me discretely of email, texts and calls. I would be OK if could also display the time.

 

So, if companies are running to get in the "watch" part of the smart watch business, then good luck, because watches today are mostly fashion accessories and nothing I've seen so far is fashionable at all.

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by nunyabinez View Post

This is why I hate it when people talk about the iWatch. I haven't worn a watch in many years because they are totally redundant in a world with smartphones, wall clocks and clocks on computer screens.

If Apple comes out with (primarily) a watch that has a few extra features, I'm not buying. I would however, wear a wrist-worn device that has multiple biometric sensors and the ability to notify me discretely of email, texts and calls. I would be OK if could also display the time.

So, if companies are running to get in the "watch" part of the smart watch business, then good luck, because watches today are mostly fashion accessories and nothing I've seen so far is fashionable at all.

I am all for a new name for wrist-worn devices or wearable computers in general, but I think you are being too pedantic about the word watch. It's about what it does not what's called, right?

When Apple introduced the iPhone the phone aspect had been deprecated to just a single app but they still used it in the name. It's also considered a smartphone despite being grouped with devices that are quite dumb in comparison.
post #13 of 19

I'm pretty sure I am never going to wear another wrist watch.

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post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by nunyabinez View Post
 

This is why I hate it when people talk about the iWatch. I haven't worn a watch in many years because they are totally redundant in a world with smartphones, wall clocks and clocks on computer screens.

 

If Apple comes out with (primarily) a watch that has a few extra features, I'm not buying. I would however, wear a wrist-worn device that has multiple biometric sensors and the ability to notify me discretely of email, texts and calls. I would be OK if could also display the time.

 

So, if companies are running to get in the "watch" part of the smart watch business, then good luck, because watches today are mostly fashion accessories and nothing I've seen so far is fashionable at all.

 

I couldn't agree more.  The ONLY reason I would wear a watch at this point is for fashion reasons.  And I'm sorry, but all of these things are hideous.

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick29 View Post

Why does this remind me of the calculator watches from the 80s? We'll have to wait and see what Apple does, but I can't imaging myself wearing something like this instead of my nice, classy watch. Having electronics constantly attached to you also doesn't sound like freedom and progress to me. Outside of athletics and health, none of the proposed uses for a smart watch appeal to me.

It's ugly and I don't want to wear a watch.

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post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post


I am all for a new name for wrist-worn devices or wearable computers in general, but I think you are being too pedantic about the word watch. It's about what it does not what's called, right?

You are of course right on this. However, I saw an interview with Jony Ive where he talked about how they were careful when designing products not to give them names that had the potential to skew their thinking. When people hear that Apple is working on an iWatch, they automatically assume things about what it will and won't do. 

 

I'm sure that they aren't calling it that at Apple, and there is plenty of evidence that they will include things like biometric sensors, but usually discussions online devolve quickly into thinking about it as a mainly a watch, which is what I'm not thrilled with.

 

For example, people claiming that the new retail VP was hired from Burberry because she launched a line of watches, which of course is a ridiculous assertion. 

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by nunyabinez View Post
 

watches today are mostly fashion accessories and nothing I've seen so far is fashionable at all.

 

Most of them remind me of the earliest attempts (by Casio et al) at "digital watches"… blocky, not very handsome designs, with monochrome LCD displays.

 

There are a few 'fashionable' watches out there, but they aren't really very "smart".

 

I take "smart" in this case to mean "integrated", not only with your biometric readings but also the devices that can process and make good use of that (and other) data.

 

It isn't really a "watch" so much as a wearable data collection/processing/display/integration device. What should we call it? If it also tells time, then "smart watch" works well enough. 

 

Funny thing is, my smart PHONE already takes care of most of those things, except the biometric data collection. I'm not sure I need a more full-featured device than that outside the phone.

 

Waiting for Apple to pave the way, and show us what we haven't already thought of (or put it together in a way that just makes sense). 

 

We could be waiting a very long time though. I'm not convinced yet that Apple is producing one. I think iWatch is either a red-herring, or something altogether different. 

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by nunyabinez View Post

You are of course right on this. However, I saw an interview with Jony Ive where he talked about how they were careful when designing products not to give them names that had the potential to skew their thinking. When people hear that Apple is working on an iWatch, they automatically assume things about what it will and won't do. 

I'm sure that they aren't calling it that at Apple, and there is plenty of evidence that they will include things like biometric sensors, but usually discussions online devolve quickly into thinking about it as a mainly a watch, which is what I'm not thrilled with.

For example, people claiming that the new retail VP was hired from Burberry because she launched a line of watches, which of course is a ridiculous assertion. 

I don't think Apple is great at naming products but I can't argue with their results.

IMO…
  • The iPhone is so much more than the phone app (as previously stated).
  • All that 'i' names that cover both HW, apps, and services are just too inconsistent and overdone.
  • Find My iPhone handles every Mac and iOS-based system (except the Apple TV) so it's a less than ideal choice.
post #19 of 19

The Strata is listed for $149 on the MetaWatch website, and the Susan Kare Limited Edition models are $299. This is something I'll have to really consider. The screen and graphics are pretty 1980s, as someone said, but the overall package is a deal with good functionality. 

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