Looks and practicality are a hard combo to find in a SmartWatch... but this SmartWatch concept made by Hungarian designer Gábor Balogh has the potential to change all of that.
The SmartWatch can be viewed in two different ways: practical but boring to look at, or beautiful but hard to function. So far, it seems a combination of both beauty and brains is non-existent in the SmartWatch. The Sony SmartWatch 2, for example, features all the key applications you'll need for a hectic lifestyle: call logs, weather, calender entries, emails, Facebook and Twitter... all packed inside its dinky 9mm frame. Yet it's pretty plain to look at, and kind of resembles the toy watches you may have worn as a kid.
The Pebble SmartWatch, meanwhile, is on the other end of the scale with its clunky, bulky build. Pebble wearers might be able receive push notifications from iOS 7, but the 'Cherry Red' design is hardly a subtle and sophisticated look for a business meeting. The 'Arctic White' also looks pretty cheap.
For SmartWatch lovers who demand the best of both worlds, Hungarian designer Gábor Balogh has arrived on the scene. He wants a SmartWatch which actually looks smart, yet is still fully-functional. So he went ahead and designed an interface which he believes has the killer combo.
The concept takes Swedish watchmaker Triwa's Havana timepiece, replacing its face with a circular display. Balogh said: “In this concept the UI does not have a predefined style, but it would match the housing. Only the navigational patterns have to be taken into consideration.”
Balogh's concept does not feature a touchscreen or voice control. It uses buttons and a bezel instead, which are most commonly found on regular watches. The bezel can rotate, scroll through a long message or switch functions in an app, or be clicked to make a selection. By using the bezel to control apps, the three side-mounted buttons are free to control standard watch-like functions e.g. time, date, and alarms.
Balogh concluded: “The size of the watch is a very limiting factor, so we don't have to make it very smart. I see the watch as a piece of jewellery, and wanted to add an interface that would be familiar on a classic watch.”
As Balogh is a designer, and not an engineer, there are a fair few technological hitches to think about. Squeezing a battery and circuitry into such a tiny space is going to be difficult. Circular screens are also tricky to come by, so it may be a while before Balogh can make his concept a reality. Nevertheless, there's no reason why tech giants like Google, Samsung and Sony can't pick Balogh's brains and design their next SmartWatches based on his idea.
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