SmartWatch" BlackBerry Watch
RIM is reportedly working on a BlackBerry Watch,
possibly called the "inPulse SmartWatch,"
that lets you view new-message alerts
on your wrist so you don't have to reach
into a pocket or bag to remove
and check a smartphone.
But will BlackBerry users actually employ it?
By Al Sacco
The first mention of the "BlackBerry Watch"
came last May in a BoyGeniusReport.com (BGR) post
in which writer Michael Bettiol detailed
a recent conversation with Research
In Motion's (RIM) VP of Advanced Accessories,
Antoine Boucher. (I too sat down with Boucher
during the same week at
the company's annual Wireless Enterprise
Symposium (WES), and he had some
interesting details to share
about the company's brand new
In the BGR post, Bettiol raised the idea
of a Bluetooth BlackBerry watch to Boucher,
and got a non-committal response
that suggested such a product
could potentially be in the works.
A few months later, the BlackBerry-watch-fervor
was sparked anew when additional blogs
picked on the story, but we haven't heard
much on the subject since August.
Today, Kevin Michaluk of CrackBerry.com
that the BlackBerry watch, thought to be named
the inPulse SmartWatch, is not only
in RIM's product pipeline,
it's "getting announced soon."
I remember reading that original BGR post
and snickering, thinking "Who the hell would
want a watch to display your
That's just goofy." But if today's CrackBerry
report proves true--and the site has
an impressive track recording of
breaking similar scoops--RIM apparently
sees the market for a BlackBerry watch
differently than I do.
CrackBerry.com polled its readers in August
to gauge interest in a BlackBerry watch,
with 37 percent of the poll's roughly
16,000 respondents saying "Maybe, I'd have
to see it first." Thirty-six percent of respondents
said they would use a BlackBerry watch
and the remaining 27 percent said
they had no interest such a product.
Personally, my mind hasn't changed;
I have no interest in a BlackBerry watch
beyond seeing how it actually works.
Nor can I see many of RIM's traditional
particularly intrigued, so I can only imagine
the product would be aimed at consumers.
So far, the only thing we really know about
the "InPulse SmartWatch" for BlackBerry is
that it displays message notifications,
new chat alerts, RSS feed highlights, etc.
As pointed out on CrackBerry.com, future APIs
for developers could allow for third-party
application notifications to be
displayed on the watch, as well.
And such a product would presumably
connect to your BlackBerry using Bluetooth.
Michaluk also says the inPulse SmartWatch
will be made by "a new BlackBerry-dedicated
accessories company," which suggests
we might see multiple styles
of BlackBerry watch and not
just the one pictured above.
I don't wear a watch regularly,
and I cannot see changing that fact
just for a watch that tells me I have
new messages on my smartphone
and who they're from--my BlackBerry
rarely leaves my grasp anyhow.
Even if I did wear a watch, I don't think
I'd get rid of my existing rig
for a BlackBerry one, unless of course
it offered some truly unique
and/or valuable functionality.
It would also have to be stylish,
and judging from these first pics...
well, it's not exactly stunning.
So unless RIM packs some amazing,
new and as-of-yet unforeseen features
into this badboy, I see this product
going nowhere real fast-like.
(Can you say, Palm Foleo??)