Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].
It seems like a smartwatch crowdfunding campaign has kicked off every other week as of late, and today’s latest is the HOT Watch.
The name HOT doesn’t sound very cool, but it does stand for Hands On Talk, which refers to maker PHTL’s technology for bouncing sound waves off your palm when making a call with the watch.
PHTL is hoping to raise $150,000 for the project, and it has already received more than half that in pledges on the first day of the campaign. The basic version of the watch can be had for a pledge of $109, a discount off the $169 retail price. More advanced models, such as the Edge, Classic and Curve are rewards for pledges as low as $119 and $149. The current estimated delivery time for the units is December 2013.
HOT will come with support for a set of hand gestures for taking and making calls. Some of them, such as waving to hang up a call, would be impractical in the real world because they’d confuse the real-live people around you, but a few of the gestures would actually be useful.
The watch also comes with an “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” style accelerometer alert that can notify emergency services if it detects a fall.
Consumers continued to show deep interest in smartwatch projects. Kreyos, which I wrote about earlier this week, has raised over $1 million on Indiegogo, and HOT looks set to handily pass its own goal. Pebble, of course, is the gold smartwatch standard, having raised more than $10 million and taken over 275,000 preorders.
Canalys expects smartwatch makers to ship 500,000 units this year, but the way things are shaping up, that number sounds quite low. Time will tell if the space gets out of hand, but we’ll definitely be keeping a watch on things.
Image credits: iStockphoto, PHTL
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