The latest wearable device is not coming from a tech company but rather from the award-winning musician and tech entrepreneur Will.i.am.
During the Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference on Wednesday afternoon in San Francisco, Will.i.am launched Puls; a massive app-infused watch that he hopes will be successful enough to bring him some tech-industry credibility.
"This is not a watch," Will.i.am stressed during the event. "It's a new type of communication on your wrist," he said.
The smartwatch-type device is designed to be worn throughout the day and can do everything a phone can, and more. The device will run at least a dozen apps managing everything from Twitter to phone calls to fitness and maps.
The standalone wearable looks more like a cuff than a watch although it performs many of the same functions as one and is about two inches wide. Like other smartwatches, Puls doesn’t depend on a cellphone. It connects to a cellular network by itself to make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, look at photos, find location on a map, check email, check in on social networking services, search contacts, calculator, and is also capable of playing music. Puls will also come equipped with a voice activated digital assistant named Aneeda instead of Siri.
The device features a curved screen with 1GB of memory, 16GB of onboard storage and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor running an Android-based OS. It also includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, GPS, a pedometer and accelerometer with the battery wrapped around the band. It will run on a 3G cellular network provided exclusively through AT&T.
According to Will.i.am, the device will be ready for sale during the holiday season of 2014 through various channels such as online sites, fashion stores and physical AT&T stores. It will be available in black, white, pink, and blue along with a solid-gold Puls and also one with gold and diamonds. While Will.i.am did not reveal the exact cost of the device but said it would cost less than a smartphone by a big margin.
Will.i.am's gadget marks the entrance of yet another smartwatch in the wearable sector hoping to compete with the likes of Google and Apple, both who have entered the wearable space with a lot more engineering horsepower. While Apple is expected to launch its Apple Watch early next year, Google has teamed up with a number of companies like Fossil and LG to get its watch-sized Android Wear software on their timepieces.