Smart watches are becoming increasingly popular and the latest rumours suggest Apple is working on an "iWatch" device that will connect to your smartphone. Little known company ConnecteDevice already has such a product available called the Cookoo watch and you can purchase it right now.
The Cookoo smart watch is the brainchild of former Microsoft product developer Peter Hauser. The product began as a Kickstarter project almost a year ago. Demand for the device was high, as over 2500 donations raised a whopping US$305,000, more than double Hauser's initial goal of US$150,000.
The Cookoo smart watch differs to many other smart watch devices we've seen for a few reasons. Firstly, it looks much like an ordinary watch as it has a round, analogue face with standard hour, minute and seconds handles. Secondly, the company claims the Cookoo watch doesn't need to be recharged. It runs on a standard CR2032 Lithium battery (the same used in most typical, battery operated watches) and should last about a year before needing replacing. Finally, the Cookoo watch is water resistant and the company claims you can even take it swimming with you.
The Cookoo smart watch connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0. It's initially limited to a range of Apple devices including the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad mini, iPad (4th & 3rd generation) and iPod touch (5th generation) running either iOS 6 or iOS 5. ConnecteDevice says it is working on Android compatibility, but hasn't provided a time frame as to when the watch will work with multiple smartphone platforms.
The Cookoo watch works by using a combination of icons displayed on the watch face along with a beep and/or a vibration for alerts. The watch will display notifications for any incoming calls, missed calls, Facebook messages and wall posts, calendar reminders and low battery. It will also alert you when you wander too far from your iPhone or iPad, which is handy if you have a tendency to lose or misplace your phone.
The Cookoo watch does seem a little limited compared to more advanced smart watches. There's no alerts for incoming text messages or emails, for example, and the alerts themselves are very basic. The watch doesn't have the ability to display any text, so there's no way to see any caller ID information on an incoming call, for example. It's all very basic stuff.
There are a couple of advanced features. A 'command' button on the right side of the watch can be programmed to check into locations on Facebook and users can also program the button to act as a shutter for the iPhone's camera. Both of these features and more can be configured using the dedicated Cookoo iOS app.
ConnecteDevice were keen to point out to us that the upcoming availability of an API for third party developers should see more features and capabilities added to the Cookoo watch over time.
Australian online store Kogan is currently selling the Cookoo watch for A$119 at the time of writing, with black, blue, pink and white models available.
We'll be publishing a full review of the Cookoo watch in the coming weeks.
Are you interested in smart watches? Do you like the idea of the Cookoo watch or do you think it is too limited? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!