Smartwatches may be to the time-and-date mechanical timepiece what the smartphone is to the landline candlestick job, but not everyone likes digital watches, much less smart ones. In June, Kairos rolled out its smart/mechanical hybrid, which is one option, but what if you like the watch you already have? The Kairos Tband is trying to square that circle by moving the "smart" from the watch to the band.
The Tband comes in three different models with different levels of functionality. Each was originally designed to be used with Kairos' smart mechanical watches, but different adapters are available to fit them to different makes and models of wristwatches. Each band includes a rigid electronics section containing a 9-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, optical sensor, a lithium polymer rechargeable battery, and a Pogo pin USB charging port. There's also a clamp instead of clasp to secure it, so it fits more like a bangle than a conventional band.
The Tband models include:
This is a simple device aimed at providing a maximum battery life of seven days. Designed for basic notifications for text messages or incoming calls, it uses vibrations and a multi-color LED indicator. Functions also include fitness tracking and a Galvanic Skin Sensor (GSR) to detect skin temperature and sweat.
With three days of battery life, the Tband HD has more functions, but remains discrete. There's a simple LED panel that is installed under a thin membrane that hides it when not active. The simple alphanumeric display provides basic information.
The Tband OD has a full-color, curved OLED display with a 11 x 25 mm area and 170 dpi resolution. The touch screen display is made of hardened mineral glass with a special anti-scratch coating, and is backed by an ARM Cortex-M4 processor and an onboard microphone for speech-to-text.
Depending on the model chosen, the Tband has a wide range of functions. All can link to social media apps, provide fitness monitoring, and have multi-language support. The OD can link to a smartphone, tablet, or PC, can remotely control a digital camera, control a media playlist, send preset messages, and, with optional modules, remotely "start, control, and monitor" a car.
The Kairos Tband is currently available for pre-order and is the focus of an Indiegogo campaign running through December 31 with pledges starting at US$129. If all goes to plan, deliveries are due to begin in April 2015.
The video below introduces the Kairos Tband.