Will.i.am has finally launched his Puls smartwatch.
The device – which will.i.am stressed “isn’t a smartwatch” at the unveiling in San Francisco last night – is powered by a customized version of Android Wear, and features 16GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM and built-in speakers.
The watch which has been two years in the making, can make phone calls without being linked to a smartphone and boasts an array of apps and GPS and a voice-controlled personal assistant like Siri.
Unveiling the device at Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce event in San Francisco, the musician and entrepreneur was keen to stress that his device is not just a watch because watches don’t typically come with SIM cards, reports TechRadar.
He joins the likes of Apple and Motorola, who have launched wearables to appeal to the fashion-conscious, rather than the stereotypical tech geek.
On stage, the singer was keen to position the Puls as more fashionable than its mainstream cometitors, with one executive at the event saying the device would allow “a millennial to fashionably tweet from her wrist while clubbing,” reported The Verge.
The device includes a SIM card reader next to the battery, which is fitted into the wide wristband, to make phone calls possible. A curved touchscreen is also built into the cuff design.
It has 16GB of memory, 1GB of RAM, speakers, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity as well as GPS for maps and a pedometer and accelerometer for fitness apps.
The watch runs on an Android-based operating system using a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, according to Engadget.
Like Apple’s Siri, Windows’ Cortana and Google Now, the device includes a voice-controlled assistant.
Called AndeedA, it is described as the ‘virtual personality and the soul of Puls’ which can be used with popular apps such as Facebook and Twitter.
“Puls represents my passion for, and my mission to marry design and advanced technology – to create a new breed of wearable device that leapfrogs what is currently on the market,” said Will.i.am.
“We designed AneedA from the ground up, taking her from an innovative concept to a reality. You speak, she listens. You ask, she delivers. You need something, AneedA’s ready.”
“With you at all times and incredibly capable – AneedA is the perfect virtual personal assistant.”
AneedA can take dictation to send a text or email, play songs on-demand, post to Facebook, schedule appointments and make calls from voice commands.
A built-in music app will allow users to store music locally, as well as use a digital music service from a British company called 7digital.
Will.i.am and 7digital are thought to have struck deals with large and small record labels to cover most musical tastes, which could give the wearable an edge over those with other music services.
Because the Puls is a stand-alone gadget, it requires its own data plan, which will be available from AT&T in the US and from O2 in the UK.
Prices have yet to be announced, but the Puls will come in black, white, pink and blue.