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By Meg Watson
June 25, 2014
By Meg Watson
June 25, 2014

Leave it to the Europeans to design something this good looking. Parisian electronics artisans Withings may have just cracked the code to creating appealing wearable tech devices this week. The secret? More wearable, less tech. This recently announced smartwatch is one of the first offerings that doesn't overshoot its target. Not endeavouring to become an iPhone strapped to your wrist or a creepy maligned face computer, the Withings Activité is a beautiful Swiss-made watch that happens to also track your exercise activity.

"We tried to really turn the equation upside down," said Withings CEO Cedric Hutchings. "[We wanted] to stop trying to make a piece of technology with a screen, a piece of rubber, something you need to charge every day. We tried to start with a watch."

This minimalist-as-blazes watch, which is set to be released in a few months, comes with a large analogue face and two shades of leather strap. It boasts a regular watch battery with a guaranteed life of one year, and is actually waterproof up to five metres. Its only difference from the analogue standard is a small second dial to the right of the clock's centre. This one measures either your steps or your sleep, then syncs the information to your iPhone via Bluetooth. In another cute feature, the Activité can also act as an alarm clock, gently vibrating to wake you at the lightest point in your sleep cycle.

While it may not sound all that revolutionary, it certainly is refreshing in a tech market flooded with unrelentingly hideous gadgetry. Like any burgeoning technological field, there are some design issues that need to get ironed out in the smartwatch market and we need to burn our way through a few Nokia 3315s before we get to the iPhones, if you know what I mean. This is probably one of the first worthwhile products of the bunch.

Of course, nerdier types are still holding out for the much-hyped Google smartwatch next month — a nifty little piece of tech that even we got excited about. But for those who are more about simplicity and style, the Activité is the way to go. It's maybe the first thing that can be useful without completely resembling a Tamagotchi. Maybe for that we can forgive its cheesy promo clip.

Via The Verge.

Published on June 25, 2014 by Meg Watson


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