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I recently had an idea for what some might call a smart watch, but significantly more restrained than the phone-on-your-wrist that most try to be.
- No android or ios or any other big system, just a very simple firmware.
- It would have an e-ink display and show just time, weather, and a notification counter.
- It would be solar powered so hopefully no need to ever charge it "manually".
- Because of this simplicity it would be a more agreeable form factor than some of the thicker options out there currently, not to mention quite a bit cheaper
- It would use one of the various low power communication systems available for devices like this rather than bluetooth. I realize that phones generally not having such a thing built in would be a problem in practice but I'm just brainstorming here
I believe the purpose of a watch, smart or traditional, is to provide access to basic, commonly used information as quickly and effortlessly as possible. You could simply check your phone directly, but perhaps saving those few seconds is a convenience worth having. I think too many of them try to do too much however, and lure you into trying things like reading, typing, etc. that because they are so awkward on such a tiny device, end up taking longer than it would to just use your phone for in the first place, and this is what I've attempted to eliminate here. By doing so, it frees up resources that can improve the device in other ways, such as size, cost, and battery life.
What do you think? Would there be any market for such a thing? Does such a thing perhaps already exist unbeknownst to me? I feel like it would actually do well, provided that hitch about communication with the phone could be resolved.
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These devices did/do exist. Garmin has a solar smartwatch that is only slightly stripped down for 56 day rated batterylife, with a lower power mode that is "unlimited", likewise some early devices went that way instead.
I don't actually think it's all that popular of an option, but certainly there is a niche for it.