Dumb watches have been a term in the fitness industry for some time now. No, it doesn’t refer to a watch that lacks intelligence. A dumb watch is a watch that on top of displaying the time and date, can display any data generated by smartphone apps connected through Bluetooth. These watches are regularly used by fitness junkies who pair up their dumb watches with some fitness app so as to be able to view power rates, speed and calories burnt among the many.
Pebble was one of the pioneers of dumb watches, creating a watch that is “…infinitely customizable, with beautiful downloadable watchfaces and useful internet-connected apps. Pebble connects to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, alerting you with a silent vibration to incoming calls, emails and messages. While designing Pebble, we strove to create a minimalist yet fashionable product that seamlessly blends into everyday life.” With Pebble, a cyclist for example could check on his exercise metrics, control music, and become aware if messages or calls come through. It is still a main player in the dumb watches game and many prefer the Pebble over its rivals.
The Magellan Echo may challenge the Pebble when it’s released at the end of the year according to rumours. GPS monolith Magellan is employing the Wahoo Fitness application interface to run their new product. The Echo is designed in several bright colours and is water resistant, so we’re assured the basics are covered. It will feature a one inch backlit display, time and date. As with some other dumb watches, it will be able to display any data or metrics from a Bluetooth-connected smartphone. Magellan’s Echo runs on a small coin battery so you don’t have to worry about charging it everyday.
Another famous dumb watch is the Wahoo Fitness RFLKT. Designed as a ‘bike computer’ it was the first dumb watch in the fitness category and is only iPhone compatible. The company claims that the RFLKT has the highest screen to computer ratio of any computer on the market with super high contrast for easy reading. Due to it being made for biking, it has three bike mounting options; stem, bar and quarter turn.
These watches are an ingenious way of displaying data and tracking fitness metrics when you’re on the go. It removed the need to keep pulling out that bulky smartphone and risk dropping it while running or cycling. The big players in the smartphone industry like Samsung and Apple have yet to announce these type of devices so there’s still plenty to come.