MetaWatch, the wearables business that was spun out of watch maker Fossil, has lingered at the periphery of the space for quite a while. Now, however, the outfit has teamed up with the legendary Nokia and Vertu designer Frank Nuovo, who has helped redesign both the branding and the hardware in preparation for a relaunch as the Meta. The hope is that, when this new unit launches in the spring, Meta will be able to jostle as an equal with the Galaxy Gears and Pebbles of this world.
Meta smartwatch hands-on
Aside from the name, the biggest innovation has been to shrink the slab-like hardware down to something a little more wrist-friendly. The bezel that surrounded the display has been split into four armatures that pivot -- which means that it'll now drape around your arm rather than jutting out and breaking the line of your sleeve. Considering that the team behind this started at Fossil, which offers a huge amount of interchangeable faces and straps, it's no surprise to see that Meta will be offered in a wide variety of materials and styles. There's a flat, shiny plastic model; a chunky (and weighty) stainless steel version; and an aluminum one, which is significantly lighter.
Technology-wise, you're going to be staring at a 126 x 126 LCD display from Sharp, controlled by a TI MSP 430 microcontroller with a whopping 64Kb RAM. The plan is, at least, that the MetaWatch SDK will be ported over to the new platform, and with it, Bluetooth 4.0 notifications will be pushed from your smartphone to your wrist. The battery will be always on, and will vibrate whenever it demands your attention, requiring a recharge once every seven days or so. Of course, there's no word (yet) on pricing, but we're more than a little curious about how this'll fare when we're able to get our hands on it.