The golden rule in business is that you never let your Technology people run your marketing or design a product. However, when it comes to smartwatches, this rule seemed to have disappeared as for a while, we had a smartphone essentially strapped to your wrist and rebranded a smartwatch.
Watches are such personal fashion accessories that no amount of tech would be allowed to ruin that perfect evening gown nor a good suit; especially when the mobile phone is somewhere close by inside the clutch inside jacket pocket.
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Wearables were still the “big thing” in all shapes and sizes, but the one exhibitor that caught my eye was the Guess watch stand. What was a traditional watch maker doing at a tech conference ?
Guess is now a smartwatch
Guess has partnered with Martian smartwatch company to marry the styling of Guess watch with the technology of push notification and Voice Command controls. The time-piece is made up of two components. There is the Guess Analogue part which has its own battery that lasts up to three years. The second part is the smartwatch component that has the speaker, microphone, display and a rechargeable battery via microUSB. This component would last between 2 and 5 days depending on usage. The two parts are not linked nor do they depend on each other to function.
The watch is paired with your smartphone and the companion app allows you to set which app notifications should be pushed to the phone’s 40 character display. You can also set the watch to vibrate differently depending on the notification type. This allows you distinguish between a Facebook message and a SMS message based on the vibration pattern. A cool feature is using the watch as a remote shutter to snap photos from your phone’s camera – think selfies without the long stretched arm and great for usage with a selfie stick.
So in Summary:
Guess has taken the bold move into marrying their 30 year old traditional design with new-age smartphone tech. This is the right way to get smartwatches onto the wrist of the masses – by partnering with traditional watchmakers. People still want to wear a brand which comes with an unsaid status. Guess watch is not going to run any apps, nor will it give you directions from A to B. However, if you want the sophisticated classy watch with a bit of understated tech oomph, then hang onto your wallet until this lands at your local jeweller.
The Guess watch will be distributed via the traditional Guess channels to over 40 countries including South Africa and is aimed at being available towards the last quarter of 2015. The US based price is between $350 and $400.