They call it a mechanical smart watch hybrid, and it is like nothing we’ve seen in recent smartwatches. Kairos Watches has taken a decidedly gorgeous leather banded mechanical watch and overlaid a 1.4-inch PMOLED full color display at 40 percent transparency. The result is a great looking time piece that pops up messages from your Bluetooth connected Android phone.
Instead of pushing a full blown display like other smartwatch offerings, the mechanical watch performs the task of telling the time, and the digital display only lights up for the ‘smart’ functions. Since the ARM Cortex M4 powered display is not always lit up, the 180mAh battery is expected to get you 5-7 days on a charge, depending on your use.
[quote qtext=”We have set our specs to Arm Cortex M4 with 512MB memory in anticipation to handling Android Wear OS.” qperson=”Sam Yang – Kairos Watches” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]
At the moment, the Kairos watch runs their own SmartOS, but the team sounds committed to implementing Android Wear as soon as possible. A three-axis accelerometer and Bluetooth 4.0 allow for functionality that includes notifications from your phone, push-alerts from connected websites like Twitter and Whatsapp, the ability to remote control aspects of your connected phone, fitness tracking, an advanced chronograph with GPS enhancements and more.
Future builds of the Kairos smartwatch will include Intel chipsets, Android Wear OS and versions of the same watches with a different take on the display. At 60 percent transparency, the alternative display would have static icons, numbers and text, we are not sure what they plan to do with these static features, but if it is as elegant as the images we’re seeing now, we’ll be happy to take a look. There is little need to hold out for their upcoming technologies, as Kairos can install future upgraded parts into your watch, for a small fee.
Sam Yang, a serial entrepreneur behind Kairos Watches, assures me that they have exhausted their testing with Google’s Android Wear test beta SDK, and are ready to take it to the next level. However, due to the transparency of their displays, they may have to do some additional custom work to get Android Wear fully operational when the full version of the OS becomes available for developers, possibly at Google I/O in June.
The future of Android Wear powered smartwatches by Kairos is not now, unfortunately, but you can still pre-order one of several models of the Kairos Watch from their website today. Early bird pricing runs until July 1st and will let you snag a model ranging from $499 to $2149, with delivery starting at the end of the year and running into spring of 2015.
Their site adds a lengthy disclaimer, noting that what we are seeing in the imagery is for visualization purposes. It references the specific display types of TOLED Dot Matrix and TOLED ICON at 40% and 60% transparencies. Keep in mind that the video shows off the digital display at 100% transparency. Be sure to check out their site for full details before placing your order.
What do you think, has the Moto 360 been dethroned as the best looking round-face smartwatch soon to hit the market?