This week the team at Omate have let it be known that they're aiming to be one of the first fully-functional wrist-based boomboxes in the world, not just one of the newest smartwatches on the market this upcoming season. Here in the latest entry in our extended interview session with Omate's top minds, we're speaking again with one of three co-founders: Nick N.M. Yap, about the immediate future of this first in a series of wearables from the company. Today it's time to jam.
What you're about to see first is a demonstration on the Omate TrueSmart smartwatch of the app Sonic Emotion Absolute3D. This app is not currently available for Android devices outside this implementation, but it is appearing here optimized for the display size of the TrueSmart smartwatch - and as you can hear, fully functional with the built-in speaker setup under the device's hood.
This app can be found in a different form on Google Play, but good luck getting it to hop on to your device unless you're part of their development crew. It's expected that we'll see this awesome implementation of sound on Android devices sooner than later, but for now, Omate will be working with this technology as an exclusive.
The team at Sonic Emotion have teamed up with Omate as part of their last "Stretch Goal" through Kickstarter to bring "Absolute 3D" technology that - as you may have realized - is not otherwise available publicly (for devices like this smartwatch, that is.) You'll see Sonic Emotion in a wide variety of implementations and in devices of many kinds in the near future.
NOTE: We've sent word to Omate inquiring about the specifics in speaker hardware on the TrueSmart smartwatch and are awaiting word back - stay tuned!
Software on the TrueSmart smartwatch has not yet been finalized, but the hardware certainly has. The final working model is the one you're seeing in the video above, complete with all-black look, support for Bluetooth devices, a camera, built-in speakers, and a SIM card slot. Software has been guaranteed by the company to be of highest importance once the machine is out in the wild.
Nick N.M. Yap: Omate's team is fast and responsive so you can expect good firmware updates. Once we complete the current 4.2.2 development, we will start development to update to 4.3. And you can update your TrueSmart system easily OTA (Over-the-Air) via an internet connection.In addition to official Omate firmware, I believe you will see a lot of alternate versions from the community.
We encourage the developers community and already has 1300+ developers pledged for the Developers Edition. There's also a Developers Community on Google+ including some top community developers ready to do mods and hacks on the TrueSmart - it will be a vibrant playground for superusers as well.
Above you're seeing a non-final version of the watch (hardware-wise) running more music apps. You'll find that Google Music is fully prepared to scale down to this level right out of the box - optimization ready to roll. The same is true of a wide variety of apps, as it turns out, with what Yap describes as a success rate (thus far) of essentially 95% for apps tested right out of Google Play.
Nick N.M. Yap: With the TrueSmart you will be able to install plenty of apps from Google Play Store, or side-loading it via Wifi, USB or microSD. We've tested lots of apps simply installing them from Google Play store and 95% of the apps work fantastically as it is without any re-work at all. The other 5% would only require minimum adjustments.
So your favorite apps [will work] like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Whatsapp, Runkeeper, Runtastic, AirDroid ... just to name a few. [Google apps also] work fantastically. Google Music, Drive, Google Search (Search is the app version, exactly same as Now), Gmail, Google+, Google Maps.
From here you'll want to have a peek at a few competitors with the Sony Smartwatch 2, the soon-to-market Samsung Galaxy Gear, and of course Pebble. Once the Omate TrueSmart hits SlashGear's review bench, we'll be bringing you even closer to the action. Have a peek at the full review and feature article timeline below - until then!