The #wearabletech clones are coming!
As reported in TechinAsia.com, the controversial Jawbone UP clone, Codoon, is now shipping. TechinAsia has side-by-side pictures showing just how close a copy it is. And as I discovered recently when visiting the Chinese tech capital Shenzhen, there are many more on the way.
Here’s the Codoon … look familiar?
Clearly making a smart wristband has certain design constraints: it must fit on the wrist. Here on #WearableWednesday at the #WearableTechCon in Los Angeles there’s been a lot of discussion about “form factor” (or just shape, in non-tech speak) of devices:
- Does it have a clasp?
- Does it encase the wrist completely?
- How big should it be? (Some of the smart watches are still pretty bulky)
Since there are physical limitations, then what you put inside the device is more important than ever – and will help early leaders like Jawbone to protect their position … because although a clone might look nice, nobody is going to pay $100 for a “high tech bracelet” that actually doesn’t work.
Choosing the right components that go inside the device was the focus of a panel I chaired this morning at the WearableTech Expo in Hollywood – with lively contributions from Hamid Farzaneh from Sensoplex, Jeff Torrance from Smart Bluetooth firm CSR and Sujata Neidig from Freescale Semiconductor.
The panel agreed that if you get it wrong at the design stage – for example, by trying to make the Swiss Army knife of the smart wristbands – and pack in too many different functions, then you’ll fail: as physics will take over, both in terms of bulkiness and size.
And as a delegate helpfully shared, since improved battery tech is “at least 18 months away”, device manufacturers can differentiate themselves by being more efficient with the power that wristbands draw.
That’s going to address one of my major gripes about the Fitbit Flex – that a five-day (maximum) charge often runs out at the most inconvenient time. And still no immediate sign of wireless charging technology reaching maturity.
To be continued …