24
Jun
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There's a new crowdfunded Bluetooth smartwatch on the... wait, come back here! It's true that this particular market niche has become somewhat overcrowded in the last few months, but the Meteor smartwatch by startup company Kreyos has a few features we haven't seen before. For one thing, it's detachable from its watchband, making it a bit more flexible when it comes to sporty activities. And for another, it works as a Bluetooth speakerphone and includes voice command, letting you live out your Dick Tracy fantasies.

The Meteor is targeted more towards fitness than notifications, with a built-in triple-axis gyrometer and accelerometer designed for tracking and quantifying various activities, including running, walking, swimming, golfing, and biking. In what might be the most infuriatingly smug marketing beat I've ever seen, the video shows a model doing yoga on a surfboard, which was clearly impossible before the smartwatch age. Like most of the competition, it uses a low-power black and white screen - this one is a backlit "memory LCD" from Sharp. Like the Pebble, it's a button-operated device, and the screen doesn't have touch input. Other bullet points include a vibrating alert, ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless, water and impact resistance, and a claimed 7-day battery life.

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What caught our attention is the inclusion of both a speaker and a microphone on the watch itself, enabling a speakerphone function and voice control. At the moment, Meteor's Indiegogo video and description list call commands, voice-to-text SMS replies, email and social posts, music commands, and Google Now-style alarm commands among the voice features. Meteor also supports movement gestures, allowing the user to tie certain wrist movements to watch functions.

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Meteor can be removed from its wristband and used alone, or snapped into place on a belt clip or lanyard, sold separately. (The WIMM One watch from a couple of years ago also had this capability, but nothing came out of it.) Throw in the standard SDK for watch applications and syncing with smartphone apps, and you've got a contender.

ks_accessory_beltclip ks_accessory_lanyard ending

Kreyos has set up the Indiegogo page as a "flexible funding" campaign, which means that backers will be charged (and sent their support rewards) whether or not the $100,000 goal is met. But with nearly half of the funds raised and 46 days left to go, it looks like that won't be a problem. The cheapest remaining funding level that includes a Meteor watch is $100 (the watch has an estimated MSRP of $169), and if the Pebble and AGENT campaigns are anything to go by, that will disappear quickly.

Kreyos estimates the shipping date for backers at November of this year, but those crowdfunded dates have a nasty habit of becoming a moving target.

Source: Indiegogo - Kreyos Meteor Smartwatch

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Nick Schiwy

    the only remaining problem being that the watch is ugly... I guess if it's meant for exercise more than fashion it is okay but I doubt most people will want to spend $100-170 on a watch and then only use it when they're jogging...

  • JPB

    Sigh. Yet another smartwatch too ugly for women to wear with business attire. When will any of these designers stop ignoring 50% of the marketplace? Please! Take my money! But give me a watch I might actually want to wear!

    • Steve Freeman

      I think it'll be a while before they start making these devices more "attractive". I personally don't thing it's ugly, but hey, I'm a guy, what do I know?

    • Mike Reid

      Eventually. In pink of course...

  • Steve Freeman

    "The Meteor is targeted more towards fitness than notifications, with a built-in triple-axis gyrometer and accelerometer designed for tracking and quantifying various activities, including running, walking, swimming, golfing, and biking."

    And yet, still no built-in heart-rate monitor.

    • Sean

      "An all-in-one device, the Kreyor Meteor replaced activity trackers, sensors, heart--rate monitors, and cycling computers..."

      http://kreyosimages.s3.amazonaws.com/ks_bluetooth_ant.jpg

      • Steve Freeman

        OK, so it sounds like even they don't know what this thing does. Because a little further down the same page you took that SS from, in the "Getting fit the Kreyos Way" image, it says: "Simple connect any ANT+ or Bluetooth-enabled sensors, including heartbeat monitors".

        • Kreyos

          Hey Steve,

          its not like this, we understand what these things does. There is a reason why we added ANT+. HR sensors are widely used in the market already, so we wanted to make sure people do not have to buy a new BT HR sensor inorder to use it with the watch.

      • Kreyos

        Hey Sean,

        you are right, this is confusing users, we will fix that. Thanks for your feedback.

    • GuestChris

      Since you can attach the main watch part to different things (necklace, wristband, etc.), maybe a wristband will come out that the watch can attach to...

      • Steve Freeman

        Maybe. But if I'm going to pay that much money for a smartphone, especially one they're touting as being for fitness-minded applications, it needs to include it. Otherwise I'll just get a $20 heart-rate monitor watch and call it a day (like the one I ordered from 1SaleADay yesterday).

  • kim schulz

    Did you notice around 3:12 that the scrolling "high-tech" code that runs across one of the screens is actually a movie being played. The guy touches the mouse and the mediaplayer controls are shown at the bottom of the screen :-D

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Ha, nice spot. Though, I have to say, a lot of videos for these things are made by creative agencies, and they do what looks cool.

    • Kreyos

      Hey Kim,

      yes its done by a creative agency, as our emulator is still not ready, therefore the agency proposed this idea to make it look cool.

      The Kreyos Team

  • http://www.vinsonimages.com yamaha83

    ill stick with my Amiigo for tracking stuff! hoping it starts shipping soon!

  • AM SURE THEY’RE LYING

    I am CONVINCED this is a scam, I asked them Q's on their FB page and they deleted me off the thread and have blocked me. There is no website for this firm, the website link on Indie just goes to Indie. I found them on Behance and they're using pictures of Pebbles in their literature! The point Kim below makes, the coding looks like a video and to be honest, a start up like this would have loads of touches with the tech journo's and when you search Google you get NADA! And Steve, there's no HR monitor as it's not a real product!

    • Steve Freeman

      They also have conflicting facts on the indiegogo page. One image says it's an all-in-one device that replaces activity trackers, sensors, heart-rate monitors, and cycling computers. Then another image says you can connect any ANT+ or Bluetooth enabled sensors, including heartbeat monitors.

      • Kreyos

        Hey Steve,

        Thanks for your feedback, we're glad that you pointed this out. It really is confusing for our users, we will change it later on. Here is an attachement to what we think it is, but perhaps its so widely called HR monitors and sensors that its all mixed around these days. Nevertheless we are going to clarify those in our campaign to make sure everyone understands it.

        Cheers,
        The Kreyos Team

        • Steve Freeman

          So, it can monitor your heart rate, but only if you have a separate sensor?

          • Kreyos

            Hey Steve,

            that's right. We have pack too many stuff in the watch we don't have space for HR sensors already. Yes you will need a ANT+ or Bluetooth HR sensor to monitor HR. We have already added this clarification to the campaign itself. Thanks!

            The Kreyos Team

    • stephen

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tOvUA-efwPE

      there information is confusing i agree. However to clarify, the sensors they list in the specifications exist on the watch. It then can pull ant+ data from any compatible ant+ accessory. It does not have the heartrate monitor built in for example.

    • Kreyos

      Hi there,

      Yes we are well aware of your comment in Facebook. I apologize if we hide your comment, as what your saying is totally not true. But let me explain.

      Kreyos is a new startup, even though we are funded by angel investors at start, we still need to control our expense very strictly. So way before we EVEN have our logo, we used services like http://www.logodesignguru.com/ to begin our logo design, its not that expensive and you get a great deal of choices. Logo Design Guru is a platform whereby you place an amount and hundreds and thousands of designers submit their design, and you get to choose 1 FINAL choice that you prefer. Only 1 person gets paid. The result is, we didn't like any of the logo's that was done there, we cancelled the project and moved on.

      Many designers would then post their work on their own portfolio to increase their job scopes and so on. At that point of time we do not even have our watch design out yet, therefore, what the designers do was, they google whatever is available in the smartwatch at that point of time, to show us how the logo looks like on a smartwatch. I hope this clears things up with the Pebble image.

      The mouldings are something that we CANNOT fake, these mouldings cost us almost $150K USD in cost, there is no way we are raising 100K just to scam people when our investments into the product far exceeded it. Makes sense?

      Once again we apologize for not replying to you directly as we are swamp with questions and comments in the early stages of the launch. If you stil have any questions, I will be more than happy to answer you. Have a good day!

      The Kreyos Team

  • AM SURE THEY’RE LYING

    ...and even the literature on bahnce has vanised! I think you'll find theres a bigegr story in the fact these guys are gonna rip people off with the Indiegogo money!

    • Kreyos

      Hey there,

      answered this question above, do check and let me know if you have further questions. Thanks!

      The Kreyos Team

  • Chris

    Doing Yoga on a surf board in the water while controlling your phone with a smartwatch is cool and all, but where'd she keep her smartphone?

    • GigiAUT

      That's what I was thinking.....unless it's also Waterproof, but still...wtf?

      • valapsp

        That was siri taking therefore it's an iPhone and not waterproof :-)

    • tomn1ce

      The phone was on the boat that was filming... o_0
      I was thinking the same thing, I kept looking for the phone on the surfboard.

    • Kreyos

      Hey Chris,

      its Steve from the Kreyos team. If you watch the video again, you will see her towels, flip flops and also her iPhone on the platform. I know the shoot wasn't taken exactly well, our bad. Its connected via Bluetooth to the iPhone.We're on a tight budget and timeline therefore the video might not have been done in the most ideal way. Sorry for the confusion guys.

      The Kreyos Team

  • neonoafs

    Theres nothing more dumbest that answer call with watch, who the hell invented this?

    • Steve Freeman

      "Theres nothing more dumbest that answer call with watch".

      That's a fairly strong contender right there though.

  • GigiAUT

    Yeah...couple things. Number one: You still look like an idiot turning up to a business meeting wearing a pack of cigarettes on your wrist....especially if it's bright blue. Secondly, if it can do voice commands, why can't you answer a phone call with voice instead of having to push a button. I know, it's a big step ahead of pulling out your phone and answering while you're driving, but still. Thirdly: Why can't at least one of these "Manufacturers" cut out the shit with all the sensors and try to make something more compact with some reasonable functions instead of trying to cram everything into it?

    • Kreyos

      Hey GigiAUT,

      yes it won't fit if you wear it to a business meeting. Black might be possible, but people wear different things for different occasions.

      Its not possible to answer the call with the voice, BUT you can answer/reject the call with a gesture control, in our Kreyos app you will be able to configure what action the watch performs.

      The Kreyos Team

  • valapsp

    Let me start off with the advantages over the agent smartwatch: speaker and microphone, less expensive, customizable gesture controls,ink display (if I'm not mistaken)
    Disadvantages: Bulkier and absolutely uglier, no wireless charging, Bluetooth 2.1 (agent has 4.0), no light sensor.

  • iandouglas

    The Kreyos Meteor looks like some nice competition compared to the Pebble I've been enjoying for the past 7 months. Still, the IndieGoGo campaign leaves a lot to be desired:

    - no mention of development platform; I assume it'll be C
    - you have to join a mailing list to eventually get development platform information; no thanks... if you want me to back this thing, you need to tell me that info up front
    - proprietary operating system; granted, you need a very tiny solution to fit in a smartwatch
    - it's almost 14mm thick; the Pebble is under 8.5mm, these guys are adding a quarter inch on top of that
    - waterproof AND have a microphone/speaker? I'm dubious. I'm guessing your first swim is the last time your mic will work.

    and last but not least:

    - proprietary charger; seriously guys, really? I have to take the watch face OUT of the band/lanyard/clip in order to charge the thing? How durable are the accessories to remove this thing several times a week to charge it if it gets used for all of the cool functions you claim it can do?

    I'd happily forego waterproofing in order to have a slightly-more-universal charger like microUSB. That just became a dealbreaker for me. Hopefully the rumored Google smartwatch will at least have Qi charging or microUSB, or kinetic charging so I have to be active to keep the watch working.

    Good luck to anyone who actually backed the project, but I'll stick with my Pebble for now.

    • Kreyos

      Hi Ian,

      1) Sorry about the not being clear in the development platform, yes you are right, its in C.

      2) Because its not all backers that support us on Indiegogo are developers, we added that to make sure we know who you guys are so that we can better cater our in-house dev team to work with potential developers in the future.

      3) OS - yes you are right, just to let you know the watch's OS is only 70KB, with drivers its around 100KB. Our MCU flash is only 256K in space, very limited space we have in the watch. The reason why we choose to write the OS from scratch, mainly because one of the reasons with existing OS our there, it drains the battery too much. Also we have a separate SPI 4MB Flash for collecting data from 3axis accelerometer gyrometer and also to store additional languages.

      4) Yes, we are thicker then Pebble, but theres only so much space to squeeze in the mics, speakers, gyrometer and etc. So its really up to the user which they prefer. We love Pebble too, don't get us wrong.

      5) Kreyos Meteor has been tested at 5m deep for 72 hours, we will have necessary certifications done. These are challenges that can be overcome with the right components, we have done it and tested it. As a matter of fact, one of the suppliers even went direct and contacted us on Indiegogo whether we are interested in the mic and speakers.

      6) We are looking at wireless charging, but we don't really have space anymore in the watch to squeeze that in anymore. Looking at wireless charging for the 2nd generation of Kreyos Meteor.

      7) We're not able to forego waterproofing, this again is a matter of personel preference.

      Hope I've answered all your questions.

      Cheers,

      The Kreyos Team

  • Amer Khaznadar

    From the description:
    "For media & press inquiries, please contact press@kreyos.com."
    So AP, how about getting us the scoop on this watch so we can tell for sure if this is a scam or just a team that need to work on their marketing skills?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I reached out to them, but they have provided quite a lot of evidence that there are prototypes already, so I'm not sure what else we can do at this point to figure out if it's going to turn out well in November.

      I did request to put us on a reviewers list as well.

      • Kreyos

        Thanks Artem for reaching out to us, we look feedbacks from you guys, its also the reason why we set a feedback forum at http://support.kreyos.com/forums/198604-general allowing our backers to give us ideas and vote on them too.

        We will be sending Artem a review unit before NOV so he could review it and update you guys. Thanks!

        The Kreyos Team

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I have received answers to some questions from their PR rep. I don't think they're scammers, and we're on the list for when they have review units.

      I've also advised him to come here and start answering people's questions and concerns.

  • Henry0011

    Check it out here before it is gone http://igg.me/at/kreyos/x/3747233 !!!!! Last 9 days to go!!!

  • Naz Fontanilla

    Can I use the Kreyos watch as a shutterbutton for my Android phone? This would be handy to take group pictures using a remote.

  • Aaron

    I like the colors, but I think the HOT watch is the way to go in the smart watch race with the private phone conversation feature.

  • junkmac18

    Man, another impressive watch I've seen is the HOT Smart Watch. It has a very reputable backing and very credible. Check out the review Mashable did at http://mashable.com/2013/08/08/hot-watch/

  • Colin

    When do you hope to start sending the watches out I can't wait to get my hands on what seems to be a brilliant product.