Crowfunded smartwatch ‘Omate’ hits 100K investment goal in a day

Alan O'Doherty
August 22, 2013

Omate, a smartwatch concept seeking funding on the website Kickstarter has reached its goal of $100,000 in a single day.

The New York based company began seeking investors yesterday and has already exceeded its original goal reaching $164,000 at last count. The Omate Truesmart comes amid a raft of new wrist-mounted devices, including high profile being rumours around Apple and Samsung.

Even though it’s entering a likely soon-to-be crowded smartwatch market the Omate sets itself apart from much of the competition with features like full independent 2G and 3G connectivity for calls and data (many other devices must be tethered to a smartphone) and a rugged waterproof design that means it’s suitable for daily use without having to part with it regardless of the conditions. The creators are making big claims, billing the device as the world’s smallest wearable smartphone.

While it can function independently the watch can also be used as a companion device for a regular smartphone, connecting via on board bluetooth and wifi. The device will run a fairly up-to-date version of Android (4.2.2) with a modified interface allowing up to four icons to sit simultaneously on the 1.54 inch screen.

The device is also billed as including a 5 megapixel camera, though the word is that Skype video calling won’t be supported. The rest of its specs square up pretty well compared to other mid range smartphones on the market too; the device comes with 512mb of RAM, a dual core 1.3GHz processor and 4GB of internal storage with the potential to expand up to 32GB with an expandable SD card slot. The weakness of this otherwise pretty impressive device might be its battery – Tech Crunch reports that it will only include a fairly puny 600 mAh cell.

Early investors were able to snag one for $179 but the price has now risen to $189 for pledges, with an expected retail value of around $200 ( £130).

Wearable devices seem to be the next battle ground for tech companies with most firms opting for wrist mounted devices while Google have bucked the trend with the Glass head mounted computer. Perhaps the biggest debate though will be over whether consumers will opt for standalone devices or whether tethered smartwatches will take the lion’s share of the market.

Do you think smartwatches have a big future or is wearable technology just another gimmick? Let us know in the comments.

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