Gadget Watch: Long-battery watch talks to iPhone

Gadget Watch: Long-battery watch talks to iPhone

Credit: Getty Images

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 11: Bluetooth enabled watches that connect to your smartphone were on display from i'm watch of Italy at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center January 11, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The product will be available in teh second quarter of 2012. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 13 and features more than 3,100 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 140,000 attendees. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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KMOV.com

Posted on January 11, 2013 at 10:56 AM

 LAS VEGAS (AP) -- "Smart" watches that talk to cellphones have been around for some time, but they've been hampered by their high battery drain -- usually needing recharging every few days. At this week's International CES electronics trade show in Las Vegas, a startup launched a smart watch, the Cookoo, that runs for a year on a standard button cell.

   WHAT IT IS: The Cookoo is a somewhat beefy watch, most suited for the male wrist. It has analog hands to show the time, but the watch face can also display several digital indicators, prompted by Bluetooth signals from your smartphone. Aided by beeps and a vibration motor, it can tell you that someone is calling or that you missed a call. It can also alert you about new email or an appointment. The watch can also talk back to the phone, so you can use it as a remote release for the camera.

   HOW IT WORKS: A free app on your iPhone prompts it to send signals via the Bluetooth wireless technology to the watch. The reason the Cookoo can run for a year on a button cell is that it uses a new, low-energy flavor of Bluetooth, known as 4.0.

   THE CAVEATS: Only a few devices have the chips necessary for low-energy Bluetooth connections. The app is for Apple devices only, so the watch is limited to talking to the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5, the full-size iPad models released last year, the iPad Mini and the latest iPod Touch. Early reviewers on iTunes complain of the watch dropping the connection to the phone and running down the phone battery -- problems that might be fixed with a software update.

   PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: ConnecteDevice Ltd., which makes the Cookoo, sells it on its website for $130. AT&T's flagship store, in Chicago, is also carrying it for the same price.

   THE COMPETITION: CES also saw the launch of the Pebble, a programmable smart watch with a fully digital display. Users can send different "watch faces" to it and make it perform a wider range of tricks than the Cookoo can, but it needs to be recharged every week. Like the Cookoo, the Pebble raised the money to start production by selling units on group-fundraising site Kickstarter.
 

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