Apple skipped the iWatch at WWDC and Google Glass remains unavailable to regular consumers, bolstering the notion that we are probably a few years away from wearable technology breaking into mainstream society. Far away from Silicon Valley, however, a humble Chinese hardware company has already set release dates for its own wearable devices – the first truly revolutionary smartwatch and a companion smart ring.
GEAK, a subsidiary of Shanghai-based online game and book publisher Shanda Interactive, is responsible for creating the most advanced Android smartwatch to date. The GEAK Watch will feature a customizable 1.55 inch multi-touch display with a 240 x 240 resolution. The casing is only 8mm thick, with what appears to be an iPhone 4-like aluminum bezel and a rubber strap. It is rated IPX3, which makes it protected from spraying water but not submersible.
Underneath the screen is a 1GHz Ingenic JZ4774 processor coupled with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage space. Just to emphasize how far technology has come, Intel released the iconic 60 megahertz Pentium Processor in 1993. That’s 60MHz compared to the GEAK Watch’s 1000MHz (1GHz), which will run the Android 4.1 operating system. The watch’s battery is rated at 500mAh, but there is no information about how long it will last between charges.
The GEAK watch will pair with Android smartphones via Bluetooth 4.0, allowing the screen to display handy notifications when the handset is in your pocket, purse, or otherwise out of view. It will also include 802.11n WiFi, NFC support, GPS, a radio tuner, and voice-to-text input – allowing you to send a text message without even touching your phone.
There is even a 3.5mm audio jack for listening to streaming music. Sensors built into the GEAK Watch will be able to display weather updates on top of tracking a user’s heartbeat, sleeping patterns, and workout routines.
“These are impressive specs to say the least, and while they’re not quite up to par with modern smartphone speeds, it’s incredibly striking to [see] these kinds of specs in a small watch,” wrote SlashGear.
If you’re already interested in its smartwatch, maybe you should consider GEAK’s other piece of wearable tech, the smart ring. The ring will be able to unlock the user’s smartphone simply by holding it with the hand that is wearing the ring – no password necessary. It will also keep the phone’s display from going to sleep as long as it is being held.
The GEAK ring will also be able to store and share information. By touching the ring against another GEAK user’s phone, you will be able to transfer contact information, photos, and other data.
According to Engadget, the ring will only work with two GEAK-produced handsets, the quad-core Eye and Mars models. Other Android devices will be supported from November.
The GEAK Watch will retail for about $330, with pre-orders beginning on July 3. The GEAK ring will retail for about $30, with pre-orders beginning on August 8.