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Kairos T-band, your old watch can be smart too
The folks behind the hugely popular Kairos smartwatch are at it again, this time around, they want to turn your normal mechanical watch into a smartwatch by way of the T-band. T-Band is a smart strap, ready to upgrade your favorite watch.
As with the initial smartwatch offering, Kairos Watches has taken to Indigogo as means for you early adopters to get in on the action.
There are three flavors of T-band in the pipeline, the T-band ND (no display), T-band HD (hidden display) and the T-band OD (PMOLED display.)
The T-band ND starts you off with a LED notification light and vibrations to notify you of your incoming messages and calls. All your required fitness and health sensors are included, including heart rate sensor and their new GSR (galvanic skin sensor) which measures skin temperature and sweat. Battery life is expected to be about a week.
The T-band OD is as close to a normal smartwatch as you’ll find. A full color 170dpi curved touch panel PMOLED display measures in at 11mm x 25mm. Powered by the ARM Cortex M4, performance and battery life should find a decent balance. The OD model also comes with a mic, which they say is for speech-to-text functionality. Battery life expectations are not listed, we hope that is not a bad sign.
The T-band HD is perhaps the most unique of the three available designs, and meets in the middle of the ND and OD. The T-band HD is exactly what its name implies, offering what appears to be a normal watch band, at least until a notification comes in. The display of the HD is hidden behind a thin membrane, only becoming visible when lit up. Sadly, despite the discreet and rather cool design, the display is a simple LED panel, and the smarts are a little limited as well, being able only to display English alphanumeric characters. Battery life is expected to be about 2-3 days.
The T-bands are all built of rubber, place the display or notification lights below the watch head on the inner side of your wrist and have a clamp design clasp that sits on the outside of your wrist. The heart rate sensor is located on the inside, pressing against the inside of your wrist, where your first aid training suggest to go looking for a pulse. Despite the Kairos watch itself offering up Android Wear for an OS, the T-band ill run Kairos’ own software.
Connectivity of the T-band watch bands is handled through Bluetooth, allowing most smartphones of any make and OS to connect.
Finally, although the T-band should work with any watch that you own, including a smartwatch – for that dual display experience – it was specifically designed to go with Kairos’ own watch. This becomes extremely evident in the T-band Indiegogo campaign, as the first couple hundred dollars will get you into the T-bands, but the next more-than-a-few hundred will get you into a bundle with one of two Kairos watches. In fact, a $399 or $949 pledge returns a watch only, no T-band smart band included.
Prices start from $129 for the early bird T-band ND (MSRP $199), $159 for the early bird T-band HD (MSRP $249) up to $179 for the early bird T-band OD (MSRP $299.) Watches, and bundles with watches, start at $399, with $1148 scoring you the best that Kairos has to offer.
Head on over to the Kairos T-band Indiegogo page before the end of December 31st, 2014 to place your order. Estimated delivery will be the middle of 2015.
What do you think, with all of the available smartwatches out there, are these Kairos T-band offerings what you’ve been looking for?