Amidst plenty of clutter in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the 2014 CES included a TechZone called WristRevolution aggregating numerous smartwatch developers in one small exhibition area. The watches significantly blurred together in terms of features and designs, substantially looking like riffs on previously-released fitness tracker bands with OLED screens, Pebble-style black and white notification watches, and color-screened watches akin to sixth-generation iPod nanos. It appears highly likely that many name-brand companies are buying into OEM/ODM reference designs; we’ve picked a few interesting examples of items we spotted on the show floor.
Once heavy on media players and tablets, Archos’s CES booth was focused on small electronic accessories including a fitness tracker with an OLED screen. The design is slender but very hard to distinguish from Fitbit’s Force and many other trackers.
Archos was also showing a color-screened smartwatch with a user interface that — like virtually every other color touchscreened option we’ve seen at the show — used an iPod nano-like grid of four icons at a time for various apps.
FiLIP is pushing a kid-ready smartwatch with a Pebble-like black and white screen that can tell the time and display phone notifications including messages and e-mails. It comes in a variety of rubberized colors, and is made to provide kids with visual reminders of things pushed to their phones by their parents.
JayBird Gear’s new Reign ($199) is an attractively designed fitness tracking band that has no screen and no timekeeping functionality, but can be resized to eight sizes and comes in either white or black. It interfaces with an app to provide sleep and activity analysis and advice, recommending when you’ve become inactive and should exercise.
SonoStar’s SmartWatch ($179) uses a curved eInk screen to provide high-resolution black and white graphics and text; it is otherwise similar in functionality to some of the color-screen smartwatches we’ve seen from other companies, displaying notifications, golf course information, and calling information on the display. It’s controlled via a touchscreen or an app. One week of battery life was promised between charges.
Meta was showing new housing variations on its $230 black and white Frame smartwatch, which gets a week of power per charge and supports notifications and text alerts from a smartphone.