The market for wearable tech shows no signs of relenting. And while many are still scrambling to catch the smartwatch wave, one budding startup has been making considerable inroads at delivering a product that doesn’t sacrifice aesthetic appeal at the expense of innovation. Established in Seoul and based in Hong Kong, Kairos is instead positioning itself as a “mechanical watch smartwatch hybrid.”
Founder and Managing Director Sam Yang refers to his patented technology as “a combination of a traditional analog watch and a smartwatch rolled into one.” The 34-year-old Korean-Canadian has found a way of synergizing smart technology and classic watchmaking, keeping both equally relevant. He believes watch enthusiasts can have both. And he’s well on his way to convincing the majority of the titans in the watchmaking industry that classic watches can be technologically advanced while retaining their classic edge.
We've said in the past that the Kairos smartwatch might never come out – that its tech was too ambitious to make it to market. Well, we were wrong.
As we met Kairos on the top floor of a swanky hotel overlooking the melee of Baselworld 2015 below, the company revealed it would start to fulfil orders as early as May.
Underneath, the Kairos watches use a traditional automatic movement, the same as you'd find in any Rolex or Tag. It's an expensive and intricate system that demands a top price – which goes some way to explain why Kairos' smartwatches cost in excess of $1,000....
As that meteorite hurtled towards the earth, the dinosaurs partied on, oblivious.
"Look at us, we're massive! Mammals will never catch on, they're ugly and hairy. We've been here for millions of years and… Ooh, hasn't it gone dark suddenly?" (Bang.)
Baselworld in Switzerland is the world's number one watch show. Its inhabitants are the dinosaurs, the Apple Watch is the meteorite and smartwatches (and wrist-worn wearables in general) are the mammals. Its a torturous analogy, and an exaggerated one, but my English teacher always said to start with a grabby sentence....
Attendees at the Baselworld trade fair in Switzerland are wondering whether smartwatches will upend their industry, echoing the way quartz-based watches from Casio, Seiko and other Japanese firms decimated sales of Swiss mechanical watches in the 1970s.
The event's opening press conference featured a flurry of questions on the topic, to the organisers' obvious discomfort.
Baselworld managing director Sylvie Ritter claimed the two sectors were perfectly able to "cohabit", while in the same breath putting down US and Asian tech giants....
Kairos was featured at the ARM booth during MWC Barcelona last week. We feel very honored to be covered by CNET. We were also selected as one of "21 MOST IMPORTANT GADGETS OF MWC" - http://www.cnet.com/…/mwc-2015-most-important-gadgets-news…/
The video is showing our MWC 115B Hybrid model with 40% Dot Matrix TOLED display. It's on a demo loop. We will be showing an interactive (fully functioning) unit during Baselworld from March 18th to 26th.
Smartwatches may be all the rage these days, but if you're having trouble parting with your favorite analog watch, you now may be able to have the best of both worlds.
The start-up Kairos Watches is working on a smart band, called the T-band, that can be attached to any luxury mechanical watch so that it doubles as a smartwatch....