Kairos Aims to Create Best Smart Mechanical Watch

As the popularity of wearables grows, there are still some gaps in current models.  A new startup seeks to add the missing ingredient to smartwatches.


It seems like a new smartwatch is announced or rumored every other day.  Most of these watches are all over the spectrum, from powerhouse computing on your wrist, to minimalist functionality.  All smart watches up to this point fail to provide a substitute for the most basic function of any watch: to tell the time without a regular charge.

This paradox puts most wearables in an awkward place.  A watch is first and foremost a time telling device.  If the battery on your smartwatch dies, it’s just an ugly bracelet.  The only reason to wear a smartwatch is for the functionality.  There has yet to be a smartwatch design that doesn’t sacrifice fashion for size and features.

That’s where Kairos comes in.  Kairos is a new startup that aims to close the canyon between mechanical and smart varieties of watches.  The Kairos smartwatch appears to be modern, reasonably fashionable–albeit, a little thick–mechanical watch, but hidden in the watchface is a transparent OLED display that lights up to provide the “smart” watch features when relevant

This design would be the penultimate of all smartwatches that have been announced yet, but it is important to note that all releases thus far are merely renders.  There is no functioning prototype to speak of, yet Kairos is taking non-refundable pre-orders for various models ranging from $499 to $1,199.  I, for one, will wait until I can get some hands on time, because the promise of this watch appears too good to be true, which likely means it is.

Kairos is attempting to produce a product that will contain the best of both worlds in its two halves, mechanical and smart.  It’s important to note that this is its first watch model of any type.  Kairos doesn’t have a smart watch or a mechanical watch currently on the market, so the ambition to produce a device that is on par with existing smart watches and mechanical watches may be a bit of a reach.  It would be one thing if this was a partnership with Citizen, Swatch, or Timex, but this is an independent venture, so it wouldn’t be surprising for this first foray to provide a product that is really the worst of both worlds.

However, Kairos may produce a surprise product when the watch is released this coming December.  At the very least, it serves as a great proof of concept.  Even if the device is unusable, somebody had to be the first to market and an improvement on the design will likely be out sometime in the next couple of years.

Source: The Verge

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