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It's going to be David vs Goliath battle on the SmartWatch ground: Omate
Even though Omate might be a petite brand when compared against the big shot smartwatch makers of today, but watch which they have launched recently, TrueSmart "Smartwatch 2.0" looks promising to compete with the tech titans.
As claimed by the company, TrueSmart is touted to be the only smartwatch with a mind of its own. Since, other smartwatches from rival brands have compatibility issues. The TrueSmart works not only with Android but also syncs well with iOS, Windows Phone and other platforms. You can use the watch as a companion device as well as full fledged mobile phone ( yes, it supports 3G SIM + Wi-Fi).
Currently, the TrueSmart support Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. However, the makers behind Omate TrueSmart informed GizBot that soon they will come out with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update as well.
Meanwhile, the TrueSmart smartwatch is more than an accessory or companion device. The watch packs a 1.3GHZ dual core processor , making the watch perfect to handle apps. Interestingly, Omate TrueSmart is compatible with Google Play Store. So yes, browsing a web is now possible on a smartwatch plus you are free to download most of the apps available on Play Store.
The Kickstarter campaign for TrueSmart " SmartWatch 2.0" has seen a string of success. Initially, the startup required $100,000 of funding, thankfully Omate has successfully managed to get in $891,563 ( at the time of writing) of funding with strong 3,910 backers and 56 hours to go . The Kickstarter campaign closes on September 20. Click here to know more about Omate TrueSmart @Kickstarter
In an exclusive interview with Omate TrueSmart Co-Founder Nick N.M Yap, GizBot got to know about the thought process behind the revolutionary device - TrueSmart and company's future plans. Take a look at the Q/A below.
GizBot: What inspired Omate to do something in the field of "connected devices" and get into it?
Nick N.M Yap: Ever since we were kids, we've always been exposed to the coolness of Smartwatches.
Hence, over the years of developing mobile devices we saw electronics getting smaller and smaller. We knew we were up for the task because it is our core technological expertise. The idea and commitment to develop Omate and apply our expertise to a Smartwatch and other wearable devices came late 2011. Now, two years later we present our first, the TrueSmart, to the world.
GizBot: What's unique about TrueSmart?
Nick N.M Yap: TrueSmart is the World's first water-resistant Smartwatch that works as a companion to your smartphone as well as independently with its own SIM. It is also the first of its kind to feature Sapphire glass - used by many well knownluxury watchmakers - and 720p video recording.
At the same time, we are also working on something special for our fans,implementing some of the final clock face designs done by our social media fans onto the TrueSmart.
GizBot: How you differentiate the TrueSmart from other smartwatches available in the market? Are you confident enough to tackle players like Samsung? How much market share do you estimate to conquer?
Nick N.M Yap: We simply make a better watch, and keep making a better watch. We'll let the comparison chart do the talking. TrueSmart is a generation ahead. We are however aware that we are nowhere near the size of these competitors. It is going to be a battle of David vs. Goliath.
Omate certainly does not have the deep marketing pockets and media machines that these Goliaths have. In the history of technology, too often we have seen better products lose to lesser products with better marketing. We must not let that happen. So we would do what we do best, respond faster to user needs which enables us to create better products that are spot on with user needs and consistently move faster by upgrading our products with user feedback (see how the TrueSmart has improved over the Kickstarter campaign), and to foster an open platform.
GizBot: TrueSmart five features which make it unique.
Nick N.M Yap: Well, you can swim and jog with the TrueSmart and still be reachable. Go to the beach and not worry about sand and sea water (Sapphire glass and water resistant).
TrueSmart is a dual core processor on your wrist, running an open Android platform with full access to hundreds and thousands of apps. It's like having a computer on your wrist and all its possibilities.
Also, TrueSmart is BOTH a companion AND standalone Smartwatch. You don't have to choose between the two - it's both. Use it with or without your smartphone. It's maximum flexibility wrapping itself around your life.
TrueSmart is open standards and works with all your Bluetooth and Wifi connected devices - smartphones, tablets and more. Even your bluetooth speakers at home.
All the above amazing unique features packed into a design that looks and feels like a true watch. A standard watch size of 45x45x14mm, slightly larger than the dress watch, smaller than the sports watch. Comfortable to sleep, shower and swim in, suitable for active wear and office wear.
GizBot: The OmateTrueSmart might not be able support Google Play due to compatibility issues. Is it true?
Nick N.M Yap: That's not true. OmateTrueSmart is perfectly compatible with Google Play App store. And more than 95% of the apps tested are working perfectly with no re-work needed. The other 5% only needed small cosmetic adjustments by the app developers.
What's on hand is that we are still in negotiations with Google to make TrueSmart the first Google certified Smartwatch. Currently there is no classification for smartwatch and the typical screen resolutions, making it hard to pass any standard requirements.We hope our case made Google aware of this, for our sake and for future Android Smartwatch development in general.
GizBot: The final version of TrueSmart to have Custom Android UI or standard Android UI? Are you working on Android 4.3 Jelly update in the future?
Nick N.M Yap: We will be shipping a unique TrueSmart UI. Underlying that UI, is a full version Android 4.2.2 beefed up with TrueSmart custom extras like gesture controls. Once the current work on Android 4.2.2 is complete, we will start work on an update to Android 4.3.
TrueSmart supports OTA (Over-The-Air) update, so updating the system would be a breeze.
GizBot: When will it receive the update, TrueSmart firmware?
Nick N.M Yap: That schedule still needs to be confirmed. The current priority is to get all TrueSmart ready and shipping in what could be the fastest on-time delivery of a Kickstarter project.
GizBot: Plans for Indian market? From where Indian users can buy TrueSmart and at what price?
Nick N.M Yap:Yes, definitely! We welcome the Indian users! Eventually TrueSmart will be available in retail through distribution, however we cannot confirm when that will be.GizBot: What devices are compatible with OmateTrueSmart? Also mention other platforms apart from Android.
Nick N.M Yap: All mobile phones and tablets are compatible with the TrueSmart - this includes Android, iOS, Windows Phone and more. TrueSmart functions as a bluetooth accessory that works with all phones and tablets without requiring any extra installation. With sync apps more functions will be accessible.
TrueSmart also functions like a smartphone to connect other accessories such as Google GLASS, Bluetooth Headsets, Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitors etc. And of course, it'sWifi Hotspot function can be used to provide Internet access to all Wi-fi devices including Laptops, Linux, and projects like Raspberry Pi and Arduino.
GizBot: What kind of relationship do you have with developers?
Nick N.M Yap: We've been very blessed with fantastic responses from the Developers community. The first pioneering batch of 1000 units shipping in October, reserved specially for Developers were snapped up within a week of release. We had to introduce a 2nd batch for Developers in November. Currently more than 1500 Developers have pledged for the TrueSmart.
GizBot: Are smartphone makers showing interest in TrueSmart Compatibility? Can you name them?
Nick N.M Yap: We have received several requests but can't drop any names here. As said in question
9, TrueSmart works with all phones instead of being tailored only to work with specific brands or models.
GizBot: Is it possible for a user to download third-party virtual keyboards from Play Store? The final version of TrueSmart to have standard Google keyboard or it will support customized keyboard.
Nick N.M Yap: Absolutely. TrueSmart will ship with the standard Android Keyboard (you can have all Android supported languages). In addition, TrueSmart will also ship with Fleksy keyboard.
In the invisible mode, your app has the full screen instead of being half covered by the keyboard. You see more of your app, more of your content, more of your messages - the entire screen. A semi-invisible (transparency) mode will be also available so you can see both keyboard and app. In addition to being very useful for a smartwatch, typing on an invisible keyboard is definitely a wow factor + new technology to show friends!
GizBot: With TrueSmart confirmed, what's next for Omate?
Nick N.M Yap: Omate is positioned as a wearable technology company. The TrueSmart is chosen as the first product to launch because Smartwatch has the strongest user demand among all wearable products. The miniaturized technology developed by Omate can certainly power many more different wearable products. Eventually you should see these wearables working together and that's when technology fades into the background and your life becomes the foreground again. We certainly have plans to bring these wearable products to market.
You'll hear from Omate again soon.
GizBot: Do you think Android as a platform is already saturated?
Nick N.M Yap: Android is a platform that enables different devices to be developed quickly and be able to connect openly. For certain product categories, it could be saturated. For Smartwatch products, we're surprised TrueSmart is the first running a full and proper Android 4.2 and above system. For Smartwatch there's definitely lots of room for more.
We think the successful launch of TrueSmart will open up the market for more too, and also inspire more companies to go into Android-based Smartwatches (rather than proprietary systems). As for wearable and further innovative products, that's certainly a whole new horizon to explore with Android and be assured Omate is boldly going forward exploring this new horizon.