Senior-focused smartwatch has GPS-enabled safety net, baked-in 3G
Omate's new smartwatch – the Wherecom S3 – is built specifically for seniors. With a simple UI alongside built-in GPS and 3G, the idea is to allow the user to leave their phone at home, providing them with a safety net in the form of an SOS button, and allowing loved ones to locate them if needed.
The S3 has a lot in common with Omate's more mainstream Truesmart+. Aside from having almost identical looks, both devices are designed to work without being tethered to a smartphone, with baked-in 3G connectivity.
The idea of wearables for seniors is certainly compelling from the point of view of loved ones being able to keep in touch with, and keep an eye on, their elderly relatives. On the other hand, smartwatches are currently a niche product, and we could see it being a challenge teaching some seniors to use the wearable properly.
That said, Omate has made an effort to keep things simple with the S3. Unlike the Truesmart+, which does its best to squeeze a full Android experience onto your wrist, the new device only presents the essential features to the user. The skinned version of Android puts key apps like contacts, medication reminders and the dialer in a single row, with simple visuals.
There's also built-in GPS on the device, allowing family members to locate the wearer whenever desired. A push of the SOS button on the side of the watch will also instantly forward the user's location to selected contacts, via either Wi-Fi or the baked-in 3G.
The S3 is powered by a dual core MediaTek processor clocked at 1 GHz, paired with 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage. The display measures 1.54 inches, with a resolution of 320 x 320. Aside from the built-in 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, there's a pedometer included, and Omate states that the 600 mAh battery on board should keep the watch running for three days on a single charge.
The Omate Wherecom S3 will launch in September in Europe for an unlocked price of €149 (about US$170). There are currently no details just yet on a US release, though there is a version of the 3G antenna that's set up for US carrier frequencies, so it's likely we'll see it hit the States at some point.
Product page: Wherecom S3