Nowatch Is A Healthfocused Smartwatch Without The Watch Part
Your health is in your hands and you can't change what you can't measure, so it's no wonder health trackers are everywhere. The problem with many of them is that in addition to measuring steps and heart rate, they also send a lot of notifications. Nowatch has another feature that offers many of the features you would expect from a health tracker. The company has ditched the standard "tiny smartphone watch" approach and replaced the watches with a range of attractive materials, embracing more traditional analog watches from Apple, Google and Samsung Withings.
The company likes to call itself "mindful," reflecting its mission to combat overstimulation, anxiety, and stress. The inspiration for the company was the accidents of CEO and company co-founder Hilke Münting, as well as the diagnosis of a rare genetic disease.
"Five years ago I lost six of my best friends in one year. In those moments you realize that life and death are very close. Then, two and a half years ago, I found out he was going blind from a rare disease called PXE. This is a warning not to get lost in distractions. I have to live now,” Muntingo told TechCrunch at CES in Las Vegas.
From there, the company created Nowatch. The device doesn't have a display, but instead uses a thin face in the style of ethical gemstones. Inside, the watch is equipped with advanced health tracking technology that performs its functions smoothly throughout the day. The device includes Biosensing Philips EDA (Electrodermal Activity) technology, which measures changes in sweat gland activity using skin conductivity. Biosensing technology delivers a small, harmless current to the skin and measures the change in electrical conductivity between two points on the skin over time.
“We actually decided not to put the ability to tell time on wearables: it was more of a distraction. Nowwatch is for those who really want to do science and technology and prefer to wear something beautiful and durable. A watch has always been a piece of jewelry that says "Hey, I'm here." We felt that many people were attracted to our aesthetic," explains Muntinga.
The wearable can predict stress levels and send subtle vibrations to the wearer to make them aware of stressors and their emotional effects. Nowwatch studies the user's biorhythms and tries to measure and warn them. The watch also uses its measurements to assess your 'cognitive zone' - how clearly you can think, your mood and their 'stress fingerprint'.
"We have a way to predict stress an hour ahead. We try to find out how much stress is related to your habits and try to help people change their habits or some things that affect their habits over time," said Muntinga.
Interacting with the watch's readings is through an iOS or Android app that can display the user's physiology in real-time and provide actionable tips and insights for a more balanced life. Sensors include red and green PPG (photolethysmography), EDA, accelerometer, temperature sensor and barometer.
The Nowatch's battery lasts up to four days (depending on usage) and the MSRP starts at $500. It will be available from next week. Other gemstones can be purchased separately, including white agate, tiger's eye, rose quartz, malachite, lapis lazuli, labradorite, black eye, and amethyst. Prices range from $25 to several hundred dollars depending on the stone, and the team told us there may be some special collaborations.
"We work with different artists and jewelers. They are in the process of creating a limited edition Nowatch, including using moon rocks and meteorites. People say: "I want something completely different", and this is a very popular request", says Muntinga. "We want to see artists with whom we can work to create new collaborations".
The Nowatch team presents a video demonstrating the technology and some of the options available: