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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Gooseberry Wants To Make Your Watch Smart!

With their new Smart Buckle.
Courtesy of Gooseberry
Having tried a few smart or connected watches, I generally return to my favorite mechanical (or in the case of the Gavox Aurora, even quartz) watches before too long.  More often than not, I tend to come to the same compromise - connected watch on my right wrist, preferred "real" watch on my left.  The connected watches thus far have failed to live up to both the hype, and then the adjusted expectation level.  In some instances the functions do not work as promised, in others the watch breaks down quite shortly after purchase, becoming a somewhat frustratingly expensive paper weight.  The frustration level for the customer I suspect only increases when it seems that the brand is more intent on spending money on brand ambassadors and events and not worry too much about after sales support.  Because if we're honest, if it doesn't work as advertised, as the customer you are more apt to abandon the whole idea and stop wearing the now apparently "not-so-smart" watch.


MMT offered up the E-Strap this past year, but if I am being completely honest, it is still a limiting solution as it requires you to purchase the entire strap.  So this begs the question, what do you do when the strap is worn out, or if you would prefer to switch straps?  More to the point (and I will gladly accept being corrected if I have gotten the wrong end of the stick) my understanding is that the MMT Smart Strap is strictly a "B to B" solution, meaning that as a consumer, you can't go out and buy one for yourself.  You buy it from the watch brand as an OEM item.  Which means, you guessed it, you're going to be dipping pretty deeply into your pocket for it, and as it is an OEM item, it is going to be as challenging as getting any other OEM item in the post sales environment.  Meaning you will wait months, and frequently not be able to get it in a reasonable amount of time, and it is going to be expensive.

So let's get down to brass tacks -


Courtesy of Gooseberry

As a reminder, this solution as proposed is a buckle with the smart technology component built into it.


Courtesy of Gooseberry

It offers what is pretty much the expected level of features currently found in the majority of connected watches -


Courtesy of Gooseberry

My understanding is that additional features will be forthcoming as they are created and stabilized to ensure their functionality, so I will be curious to see how this develops over time.


Courtesy of Gooseberry

The buckle itself is rechargeable and is reported to last on average 7 days presuming a usage level of 8 to 10 hours.   The good news?  Only 60 minutes (1 hour) to recharge.

You can order the new Smart Buckle through Gooseberry's Kickstarter and save a good margin on the $99 US retail price point.

I have not personally used one, but I can say that if it does perform as advertised, it could be a very interesting step in the evolution of the connected watch.  

I will keep you posted - stay tuned!

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