Not all smartwatches are created equal – let’s be honest, some look horrid on your wrist. If you’re into more traditional and fashionable watches, one start up firm would like to make your stylish timepiece into a smart device without anyone else needing to know.
The startup behind this new contraption is MainTool, and its strap replaces that on your traditional watch for one of these choices, giving you a lot more functionality than just being able to tell the time.
It allows the watch to monitor your heart rate, receive notifications through personalised vibrations, track your steps, have a look at your sleeping pattern and even reject phone calls.
The device uses a small sensor to touch on the top of your wrist, which lives under the watch itself to offer you all that functionality and not compromise on the design.
At London’s Wearable Technology Show 2016, I got to try on one of the devices for the first time, and the first feeling is yes, it does make it feel like you’re still wearing just a traditional watch.
The strap I tested wasn’t particularly attractive though (a kind of low-end, poor leather) which is odd given MindTool’s emphasis is meant to be on the ‘fashionable’ end of the market. I also found the button within the strap very difficult to locate within the strap.
Founding CEO of MainTool, Hussain Ahamed, told me he knows both of these things are an issue for the watch, and that the company will be sorting it soon – and is planning to customise the straps to each brand of watches.
The better news is that the app MainTool has created to see your stats is easy to read and offers a lot of functionality, similar to other fitness tracker providers. You can look over your data for a day, week or month period and see where you’ve improved within the app.
Smartwatches like the Apple Watch or Moto 360 are beautifully designed pieces of kit – but there’s nothing like having a traditional, stylish watch on your wrist and MainTool offers a way to let that happen.
In terms of a release date, it’s all a little bit up in the air right now. The aim is get the device out to consumers by Christmas this year though, and MindTool’s CEO seemed keen to get the strap on customers watches as soon as possible.
Article continues below