The smartwatch of the future is... screen-less?
Since the first sundials and water clocks, timepieces have always relied on visual cues to represent the passage of time. Save for the earliest mechanical clocks, which signaled time audibly by striking bells, this has remained a trait of time-keeping devices all the way up to the modern day. In fact, with the advent of smart wearables in recent years, we never would have thought a company would come up with a completely screen-less smartwatch. Well, they did.
No, we are not talking about those hybrid watches that throw in a couple of fitness tracking and notification capabilities in an otherwise traditional timepiece. We mean a solid, screen-less, dial-less, block of metal that lacks all properties required not only for visually representing the passage of time, but for any of the now commonplace features we've come to expect from modern-day wearable devices. Enter, the Moment smartwatch.
Moment is an interesting piece of tech. It has no screen, no numerals or hands, or even a dial. Instead, it relies on a single multi-color LED and an advanced haptic feedback engine comprised of four motors not only to tell you about incoming notifications, but to also give you directions when driving, serve as a compass when walking about, or even as your personal beat machine when playing an instrument or dancing. Oh yeah, and it also shows you — scratch that — lets you feel the passage of time as subtle vibrations rotating around your wrist. Using the aforementioned haptic feedback engine, Moment emulates the ticking of a clock on a tangible level as a constant stream of precisely punctuated vibrations makes its way around your wrist like the revolutions of a second-hand around the clock face.
U.S.-based Somatic Labs, the makers of Moment, are promising that their advanced haptic feedback system is so precise, that it can be used for navigation. According to Somatic Lab's website, the haptic motors will be able to convey the direction of upcoming turns as vibrational patterns on your wrist. We are not sure how this particular feature would pan out for drivers, but the example provided on the website claims bike riders will be covered.
Of course, Moment won't be able to display any notifications for obvious reasons, being more like a notification ticker in this respect, but it will be able let you feel caller IDs. That's right, the smartwatch will feature customizable caller IDs that will let you know who's calling through distinctive haptic feedback patterns. We are not sure if we will be able to easily distinguish between “George”, “Mary”, and “Mom” through these different feedback patterns, but who knows.
Either way, all of these are some pretty out-there concepts. We can't help but sort of like some of Somatic Labs' ideas for the Moment, not only for their utterly bizarre nature, but for the slim prospect of them actually working as promised in the end. It is highly unlikely that the Moment will ever enter the smart wearables mainstream, we don't think it was conceived with this in mind, but it still has the chance to create its own little and odd niche to occupy.
You can pre-order the Moment now for $179 instead of the $229 it will retail for in March of next year.