Casio shows off Bluetooth Low Energy watch and says it’ll ship this year

casio-ble-watch

Owning a wrist watch used to be a necessity, then mobile phones came out and people kind of just forgot about them. Lately they’ve had somewhat of a comeback as a fashion accessory, but what’s it going to take for everyone to have a watch on their wrist again? Enter Casio, who at CES showed off a prototype of a watch that uses the new Bluetooth Low Energy profile to get up to 2 years of battery life using a standard watch battery. Casio has lead, both in terms of design and hardware advances, the watch scene since the 80s. Hell, even I’m sporting a Casio G-Shock that’s solar powered and syncs with an atomic clock several times a day. The watch, not mine, but the prototype at CES, measures 53.4 mm x 44.4 mm x 12.8 mm and has the ability to beep when a user receives a new email or text message, and it can even silence your mobile phone by simply tapping on the watch dial. My favorite feature is that it’ll get the correct time from your mobile phone, which itself gets the correct time from the cell tower it’s attached to.

Why hasn’t Casio launched this product yet? It’s a matter of support. There are no smartphones out on the market that have the new Bluetooth Low Energy profile, and that’s not going to change for at least a few months. There are barely any devices out that rock Bluetooth 3.0, the new technology that combines Bluetooth and WiFi to achieve higher transfer rates; Bluetooth Low Energy is a feature of Bluetooth 4.0. Curiously, I’ve got to wonder what happens if the iPhone 5 gets Bluetooth 4.0 and then at some point Apple launches their own lineup of wrist watches? They’ve got the designers, they’ve got the logistics in place, but do they have the guts to enter that product category?

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