App-craze hits 'smart watches' as watches pack in more brains

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The Independent Tech

Applications are no longer just for smartphones and computers, a new breed of 'smart watches' are taking the app-craze hands free.

From designer wristbands that turn the latest iPod nano into a wristwatch to futuristic time pieces that can sync with your BlackBerry and update your Facebook page, watches are getting much, much smarter.

A Canadian company called inPulse is building a name in the smart watch marketplace with its "ambient information display" - a fancy name for its clever little watch that connects to your smartphone (or PC) and can be programmed to relay instant notifications and alerts.

Marketed as the "perfect hacker accessory," the inPulse watch is fully programmable and can be customized using the company's SDK. Developers can take full control over the device's 1.3" OLED display, vibrating motor, button, timers and alerts.

inPulse users can also download one of the many apps that have been built for the device including an iTunes controller, PowerPoint Controller, a create-your-own analog clock app, and the FBCheckin app that lets you check into Facebook Places without getting your phone out of your pocket.

The inPulse watch has been in development since 2009 but first appeared on the market in February 2011.

There are currently around 20-30 apps designed for the device said Eric Migicovsky, CEO of inPulse in an April 19 conversation with Relaxnews.

Around one third of them are developed in-house while the rest have been designed by wearers said Migicovsky.

inPulse is currently building its own app store so people without programming or coding experience can download both free and paid apps for the device. Migicovsky said he hopes to have the inPulse app store up and running by the end of the year.

iWatchz, one of the many wristwatch companies that popped up after Apple CEO Steve Jobs suggested the iPod nano could be worn as a watch, released two new models to its collection of iPod nano watch strap collections on April 18.

The iWatchz’s Carbon Collection ($49.95) is made of high-end black leather and anodized aluminum while the Timepiece collection ($89.95) is made of polished stainless-steel and dark brown leather. Both bands are available in Apple stores.

Back in 2009, LG released a high-tech phone watch called the LG GD910.

The device was the first touchscreen watch to support 3G connectivity and gave users the ability to make and receive calls, make video calls, send and receive SMS, and listen to MP3s all from its 1.43" tempered glass touchscreen. A limited number of LG GD910 devices were sold in Europe and Asia for €899 on a 12-month contract.

The inPulse watch is available in Metallic Silver for $149 or in Black Anodized for $199 from