I’m Watch is a smartphone-compatible wristwatch, designed to work with Android-based cell phones – although it’s reportedly also compatible with iOS devices. It is being developed by an Italian producer, and is currently available for pre-order. Initially the price tag was very high, but it is now being offered in a cheaper, colored version called I’m Color. The watch is scheduled to be released this October.

A few years ago LG swept us off our tech feet by introducing a phone watch in the vein of Dick Tracy.  While it was far from a revolutionary idea, it garned and endless array of press.  But eventually it faded into obscurity since the cost was prohibitive and the smartphone market has since been dominated by the Android and iOS operating systems.  Now a new contender has emerged called the I’m Watch.  They say it will ship in January, but something seems a bit fishy.  It might just be the Apple like name as well as website, but since we can’t say for sure if it’s vaporware, and the video shows off what seems to be an actual working prototype we can only assume that it is in fact real.

First things first.  The I’m Watch does not sport its own data connection.  Nope, it will piggy back off your smartphone’s data package, and despite the I’m Watch’s OS being of the Android Ilk (it’s a custom version) it will work with the iPhone.  Much like today’s smartphones you’ll be able to swipe screen to screen on the 1.54-inch 240×240 display, which looks and perhaps even feels very much like today’s iPod Nano.  Memory caps at 4GB and RAM is just a mere 64mb.  However, since the I’m Watch plays complement to your smartphone, storage shouldn’t be an issue, though we’re a bit concerned about speed given the rather limited RAM.

 Calls can be received directly on the watch as well as emails, and you can also play back music via a Bluetooth headset or the 3.5mm headphone jack.  According to the I’m Watch’s maker, the battery is good up to 48 hours without Bluetooth (cut that in half with BT turned on) and 3 hours of talk time.  Keep in mind, though, that in order to tether to your phone’s data connection Bluetooth will have to be engaged.  Unfortunately, there is no WiFi connectivity.

Nonetheless, the I’m Watch looks very polished and let’s not overlook that it’s built in Italy, unlike many of today’s consumer electronic products which are built in a giant factory in China.  Pricing starts at about $350, though you can spend a fair bit more when you purchase one of their more opulent versions, such as a version that includes a music subscription, a titanium finish or gold.

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The watch features a 1.54-inch curved capacitive TFT LCD with 240 x 240 pixel resolution, a first of its kind according to the company. It’s powered by a Freescale IMX233 application processor with 64MB of RAM and 4GB of flash storage for your media. It also packs in Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR for smartphone tethering and a 450mAh Li-Po battery that lasts about three hours on speakerphone use or up to two days in standby. Naturally, it also includes a mic, speaker, and headphone jack. Note, the I’m Watch, like Sony Ericsson’s LiveView, does not include a cellular radio (or SIM slot). The company claims compatibility with iPhone 3GS (with iOS 4.3 or superior), iPhone 4 / 4S, “Android phones” (all of them?), and then Blackberry and Windows Phone 7 sometime in 2012.

Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, the prototype used for demonstration purposes suffers from some noticeable lag and failed touch registrations. Neither the industrial design nor the UI are as smooth and slick as the video renders make it appear. While we’re hoping for the best, we’re also keeping our wallets firmly in our trousers until we can get hands-on with a production device closer to the January 2012 launch date. Prices start at €299 for the base I’m Color model before topping out at €9,999 for a jewel encrusted version. The company is also planning an I’music subscription music service with on-demand access to “millions of songs,” custom radio stations, and personalized playlists. I’market is, as you’d expect, an app store for downloading apps suitable to the device’s tiny display. To call the undertaking “ambitious” would be a gross understatement.

The company plans to provide additional details at CES 2012. Until then, check out the prototype video below from our friend Charbax.

                      posted  by EESHWAR ( MGIT ece 2nd yr )

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