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Withings Activite Smartwatch Looks Like Swiss Luxury Watch

Jun 24 2014, 4:16am CDT | by , in News | Technology News

Withings Activite Smartwatch Looks Like Swiss Luxury Watch
 
 

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Withings Activite Smartwatch Looks Like Swiss Luxury Watch

A popular quote by one of the pioneers in the wearable space (and #4 on my Top 10 Healthcare Quotes for 2013) is this one:

“If we’re going to get people to wear sensors, they either have to be gorgeous or invisible.” Sonny Vu – Founder/CEO of Misfit Wearables [Rock Health Innovation Summit here]

Much of what we’ve seen so far in the category of “wearable” tech, especially for the wrist, has been clunky, oversized and loaded with tech challenges. Some required daily charging. Most had batteries that weren’t replaceable and still others had limited style or use outside of the sports or fitness crowd.

Still others were hasty attempts at staking a fast claim in the consumer wearable space. In effect ‒ very few to write about with any real fashion sense or style. The lone exception, of course, were some of the truly stunning design mock-ups of the yet-to-be-seen iWatch by Apple. Easy to do when it’s a game of Fantasy Watch Design.

Late today, Withings shared their vision for a wrist wearable and guess what? It actually looks like a stylish watch ‒ no whiff of tech.

The specs are pretty impressive as well ‒ although it’s hardly designed for the triathlon set.

Named Activité ‒ there are two models ‒ black and silver (seen above). It’s Swiss made and is water-resistant (to 5 ATM). Like many consumer watches, it never needs winding or charging, and works with a standard CR2025 button-cell battery (about $2.50 online for a twinpack). Also according to the website (here), the Activité ships with a “French calf leather” and separate plastic strap which can be switched using quick-release spring bars.

The specs are impressive for a first version ‒ although the price (available in August for $390) puts it well outside of the $100 or $200 that has been a popular price point so far.

The core design includes a stainless steel case (316L), a crystal made of sapphire glass that is “tap-able” to move between modes and functions. The built-in accelerometer tracks walking, running, and also monitors sleep (time to fall to sleep and length of light/deep sleep). Using bluetooth low energy (BLE), the watch is designed to work with iOS and Withings Health Mate application.

“At Withings, our mission is to inspire health and with the Activité we have created a universally appealing tracker that promotes the benefits of healthier lifestyles in a chicly design watch people are eager to wear. The Activité is forged with the quintessential ‘French Touch’ ‒ the art of mixing design and style, inspirations and eras, traditions and innovations to create a 21st century timepiece that connects us to the time and universe around us as well as our bodies natural rhythms.” Cedric Hutchings ‒ CEO of Withings (press release here)

Surprisingly, there is no reference or indication of an Android version ‒ but it’s hard to imagine one wouldn’t be in the works. The key benchmark ‒ a stylish wrist wearable ‒ has definitely been raised.

This is a really exciting time in fashion, which until recently has not been on speaking terms with technology. We are now seeing these worlds coming together in highly creative ways and the Withings Acitivé is at the forefront of that charge. It’s unlike any smart watch Ive seen, a true style accessory and one of the most wearable wearables out there.  Nina Garcia ‒ Creative Director of Marie Claire Magazine and Project Runway Judge at New York unveiling (press release here)

We have yet to see a final Apple version, of course, and it too will no doubt be high on design and style aesthetics, but the Activité is a great example of the road ahead in the wearable category. It’s definitely not invisible ‒ but it’s among the first I’ve seen where it’s not an obvious piece of technology.

 

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