Olio Devices

Business, Editorial, Wearable Technology

Wearables Were Mostly Absent from MWC 2016, Why?

Wearables Missing MWC 2016 Why Fail category dead mobile world conference fitness trackers smartwatches

Mobile World Conference in Barcelona is typically a showplace of the newest and best cell phones that companies have to offer. At the 2015 MWC though, you could have easily have thought it was a wearables trade show. Practically every company had a fitness tracker, a smartwatch, or another form of wearable technology on display. But at MWC 2016, there were barely any wearables to be found. What happened? And is this the writing on the wall, showing consumer and company interest in wearables is just not that high?  Or are there other factors at hand?

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2015 Gift Guide Smartwatch best featured
Gift Guide

2015 Gift Guide: Smartwatches

2015 Gift Guide Smartwatch_v2

Last year we really witnessed the launch of the smartwatch. This year the market became much more mature, crowded, and competitive. We saw everyone from the Chinese to the Swiss, from traditional watchmakers to startup companies, releasing devices. We are also closing out the year with smartwatches having a higher average price than at the beginning of 2015. Existing players increased their prices and new entries averaged around $350 – there are even some device priced well over a $1,000 and you can buy a gold Apple Watch for $17,000! Smartwatches are probably still not mature enough for everyone, but they might provide a set of compelling features that you (or a loved one) have been longing for.

Around Circuits And Cable Knit, we love them for looking at our calendar or the temperature outside with a glance. Also the ability to quickly and easily read and reply to text messages without digging out our phones is amazing. But perhaps the most amazing thing about smartwatches is how everyone uses the device in a different way. Almost daily I use my watch to easily check in on Swarm, receive breaking news alerts, check the wait for an MTA bus, and to pay for things.

If a smartwatch sounds right for someone you know, here are some of the most notable from the past year:  

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Olio Releases Second Batch Of Smartwatch, Now In Gold

Olio One Gold

We poke fun at it, but finding a good looking wearable feels like a fool’s errand. A very few are well made and striking looking but they are still, well, tech-y. A few months ago we covered a watch that looked ready to change that, the Olio One. The limited edition watch focused on traditional watch looks, a subtle custom interface, and quality materials. The concept resonated and the stunningly designed wrist piece sold out in a matter of days. Yesterday the company opened up orders for its second batch of smartwatches. In addition to adding gold and rose gold options (priced close to $1,000), Olio has also slashed the price of its stainless versions by $250 dollars!

The news comes on the heels of an announcement that Olio has raised $10.2 million in VC to continue creating the smartwatch. At Circuits and Cable Knit, we are looking forward to hearing from people who were able to secure one of the initial Olio Ones, scheduled to ship in August. The interface throughout the watch was created to thoughtfully displaying information in unique and informative ways. The iOS / Android compatible smartwatch is based on an intriguing app-less concept. Olio plans to integrate needed functionality directly into the watch’s OS and has already expanded the watch’s software so that it can do things such as control your Nest or start your car. Designed to be a niche device, it will be interesting to see how the Olio One is received. The watch starts at $395 and if you are interesting in securing one for Fall delivery, I would not dally; approximately half of the allotment has sold out over the past 24 hours.

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Olio Devices Model One Smartwatch

Olio Devices’ App-less Model One Smartwatch

Olio Devices Model One Smartwatch

Recently Olio Devices entered the smartwatch market with their first device, the Model One. The watch is extremely impressive, with a clever interface, strong battery life, and true water resistance. The concept behind the device is unique in that Olio Devices believes that 3rd party apps do not belong on a watch. The company wants the watch to be able to control your Hue bulbs, drive your Sonos, and display your boarding pass but they want to control that experience and have it directly integrated into the watch design. It is a pretty daring idea, especially in the very app driven world we are all living in, but makes some sense. The team behind Olio have impressive pedigrees; the CEO was a product designer at Apple and HP and the staff comes from places such as Movado and Pixar. The Model One falls into the premium end of the smartwatch spectrum (pricing starts at $595) and the first batch of 1,000 watches has already sold out. It will interesting to see more about the Model One. The concept is intriguing and the watch seems to be very well designed. Head past the break for the company’s launch video:  

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