updated 01/10/2013 2:45PM
Martian Watches invade Las Vegas
Just as watches are starting to go out of style, an O.C.-based company is bringing them back and giving them an impressive update. Martian Watches is a new company in Irvine that this week unveiled its voice-controlled watches at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The watches are designed to not only tell the time –– each watch features an analog clock face –– but also act as a hands-free extension to a user’s smartphone. The Bluetooth-enabled watches feature a number of built-in enhancements, such as a strong wireless microphone and speaker. Once the gadget is paired with the user’s smartphone, it can be used to send and receive text messages, set calendar notifications, control music and search the Internet, all using voice commands.
Jeffrey Hsieh, CEO of Martian Watches describing the gadgets as a “hands-free gateway to the world,” that allow users to “make and receive calls and do anything else that their smartphone can execute with a voice command.” “Imagine the convenience and safety of having a text read aloud to you without using a headset, and of sending a response using just voice commands.”
The “Martian Voice Command Watch” was developed through the crowd source funding website KickStarter. A small digital display and LED light on the watch face will alert the user of incoming texts of up to 40 characters or caller ID. Voice commands can be used to send voice-to-text messages, place calls or execute other commands. The watches are compatible with both the Apple iOS and Android platforms.
The watches have a range of other abilities, too. If a call comes in that the user can’t answer, shaking the wrist will send the call straight to voicemail. The watch will also notify the user if he or she moves too far from the smartphone with an “out of range” alert.
The watches come in three distinct styles ranging from $249 to $299 and can be pre-ordered at the Martian Watches online store. Pre-orders are expected to ship in February or March.
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