Casio prototype wristwatch works with cell phones

Casio says Bluetooth Low Power and a compatible app are needed to use watch to show emails and more on a handset

Most cell phone users have done it at least once: scramble to silence a ringing phone hidden deep in a jacket pocket or bag. Casio has developed a prototype system that can mute a phone with a couple of taps to a wristwatch.

The prototype watch works with handsets armed with Bluetooth Low Power technology and a compatible app and is slated to be commercialized at the end of the year. It's designed to alert a user to things like incoming email or calls to their cell phone.

If a phone is in a bag or pocket, the alerts would allow the watch wearer to find out who the call or message is from, without scrambling for the phone. Or, in the case of an incoming call, quiet the phone by tapping the watch twice. (See a video of the system in action on YouTube.)

Information flows both ways. With the push of a button, the watch can request the current time from the cell phone and update itself. This could be especially useful when traveling, because cell phones generally take local time from the mobile network, and automatically adjust to time zone changes.

The Casio prototype, which was demonstrated in Tokyo, can also help find a lost cell phone. Providing it's within the technology's range of several meters, the watch can make the phone sound an alarm so it's easier to find.

The system is based on Bluetooth Low Power, a new version of the wireless technology that uses much less power than current Bluetooth. Watches running the system that stay connected to a phone 12 hours a day and should be able to run 2 years before needing a battery replacement.

Casio plans to open the communications standard to application makers to encourage its adoption in smartphones and other devices.

It sees additional potential uses, such as using the watch display for information from a GPS device or sports heartbeat monitor.

A commercial watch featuring the technology should be available around the end of 2011 or in early 2012. That's about the same time as other Bluetooth Low Power devices should be hitting the market.

Casio's biggest challenge might be persuading people to put a watch back on their wrists. A recent U.K. poll found 1 in 7 people claim they no longer needed to wear a watch because they can get the time from a cell phone or other device.

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags CasioMobile handsetsconsumer electronicsPhones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?