Surprisingly, a few companies have made runs at this solution but failed. Like the start-up Modillian, many conceived ideas that never took flight.
The concept is simple, genius, in fact. People love their watches, especially family heirlooms. Some of those same people want smart technology. Not everybody loves fitness wearables.
The simple solution? Create a wearables device that works with existing technology.
While there are a few solutions out there, devices that clip on to watch bands or stick to the bottom of the face, we’re going to cover just the bands.
Available in display ($299) and no-display ($199) versions, the Kairos is Android and iOS compatible. It will send you notifications, push alerts, but also track your fitness data.
The data it tracks includes steps, activity, calories burned and sleep. Like many fitness trackers on the market, it will push to your favorite third-party fitness applications.
The display version is a PLOLED color display. It rocks Bluetooth 4.0, has a mic, and is waterproof. You can even use the T-band as a remote control for your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to do things like control your music or remote start your car.
It’s not just a fitness wearable, but lifestyle too. Not bad for a watch band.
The bad news? T-band is not available yet for purchase. Their site claims it will sell summer of 2016, but…
As their site says, “wearable technology meets the art of fine watch making.”
Montblanc is more famously known for their executive pens. Similar to the Karios T-band, the strap is interchangeable, which offers activity tracking, notifications, remote controls and find me functionality.
Notifications come in the way of vibrations so users can spend less time looking at their smartphone. There’s a display with limited functionality, but enough to determine if notifications warrant further investigation.
The tracker tracks goals, steps taken, calories, and distance covered. It tracks progress for up to one month at a time.
The remote functions will activate the camera, music functions, and locate for either the watch or phone. One charge will last up to five days, and it works with Android or iOS.
This strap is a more executive version of the Kairos. The Montblanc site mentions nothing of waterproofing.
Montblanc may have the corner on executive branding, but the uBirds design is slim.
It looks like a standard dumb band. The technology is carefully tucked inside. For fitness, the Unique band measures steps, speed and calories burned.
It logs your activity just like the other two. It also brags the same remote features, the notifications and such. You can use it with Android or iOS.
What Unique does that the other two do not, is allow users to upload passes and security keys, so entry is a swipe of the hand.
On straight features, the Unique has the other two beat, but like the Kairos band you cannot yet buy Unique. It’s still in beta.
From the Maintool group, the Classi is also in beta.
Whereas the other bands connect more like a traditional strap, the Classi is a complete band you could wear without the watch face. It would look silly, but you could do it.
The Classi strap is leather, like the Unique strap, hiding all the technology inside. Unlike the Unique strap, this one is waterproof.
It does all the same things otherwise, without the security-access feature. Sadly, you cannot buy this one yet either.
Considering that only one of the four bands is actually something you can purchase right now if you have to have one, you’re buying the Montblanc.
On the bright side, it’s not a bad option. The Montblanc brand carries a tradition of excellence you can expect.
If you have to have waterproof, then you are waiting to find out from Kairos, but if you want the band with the most features, the Unique waiting list has your name on it.
Well, not yet, but it should. Otherwise, you can just wait for the new Apple Watch like the rest of us.