Olio aims for a more luxurious (and more expensive) brand of smartwatch, with the Model One
It looks like Pebble wasn't the only company to come up with a past/future based smartwatch UI. San Francisco-based startup Olio has its own take on time-based wearable software, with its sharp-looking new Olio Model One.
Similar to Pebble Time, the Olio Model One is compatible with both iPhones and Android handsets, and runs its own time-based proprietary software: instead of just mirroring smartphone notifications, it organizes your day via past and future (or "earlier" and "later") alerts. The earlier stream contains your typical phone alerts, showing you anything you might have missed during your day. The later portion tries to help you plot out the rest of your day, offering suggestions to help you stay organized (things like muting calls as a meeting begins).
The company says that the watch will learn your preferences and become more useful over time, and also has its own context-based virtual assistant.
On the hardware end, the Model One appears to have a high-end aesthetic, with a stainless steel body and 1.3-in, 216 PPI IPS display. The screen has a cut-off point at the top, a bit like an upside down Moto 360 (only with an even more pronounced cut-off, or inverted flat tire effect).
Though the watch doesn't have a traditional IP Code (water and dust resistance) rating, Olio says the watch is "is significantly more water resistant than the consumer electronics IPX7 and IPX8 standards can test," and that it's been tested in water chambers with pressure ranging from 50-100 m.
Another similarity to the Moto 360 is that the Olio watch has a wireless charging coil on its backside. The company estimates "multiple days" of battery life.
If this sounds like the wearable you've been waiting for, then know that the Olio Model One won't come cheap, ringing up for US$595 for the silver-colored Steel collection (jumping up to $645 with a link chain) and $745 for the Black Collection ($795 with link chain). That's a hefty sum compared to most consumer smartwatches we've seen, but at least early-bird buyers will be in exclusive company: the watch's initial run will be limited to 500 total pieces.
Olio appears to be gunning for a higher-end brand of smartwatch: more premium than the $200-350 fare associated with Android Wear and Samsung Gear watches, but without shooting through the stratosphere into Rolex (or 18k gold Apple Watch) territory.
Proprietary software is always a hit-or-miss proposition, though, so we'll be interested to get some hands-on time with Olio's OS. It's also worth noting that we've seen some more luxurious Android Wear watches of late, like the LG Watch Urbane and Huawei Watch (though pricing is still a mystery for those two).
Those first 500 Model One watches are available for pre-order today, and Olio expects this batch to ship this (Northern) summer. You can get a closer look at the watch, and a glimpse of its UI, in the launch video below.
Product page: Olio