A-Wristing Technology…but do they tell time??

We all remember the comic strip “Dick Tracy” wherein the razor-nosed detective wore on his wrist first a walkie-talkie, and in later years a video-phone. I don’t know about you, but I really wanted one of these when I was a kid, and nothing much has changed.

Well, actually, something has changed…technology has caught up with fiction, and there are some expensive toys available that do approach this level of sophistication.

First, there is was a watch marketed as a “Dick Tracy” special, made by Fossil:

This little $200 gem uses the MSN Direct network, a subscription wireless service that sends accurate time to the watch, as well as sports scores, stock prices, news, etc. The downside here is that the service is expensive (~$10/month), and there is no uplink back to the Internet. I’m not sure if it’s still available.

If you don’t want to communicate, but do want the joys of watching videos and hearing MP3’s on your watch, then this latest series of watches from China might be up your alley. (My son is considering squandering some of his allowance on one of these, and if he does, I’ll let you know how he likes it.) Below is a photo from http://www.chinavision.com of this rather large contraption…it’s almost a video iPod with a wrist strap:

These things are only $50-$100 or so, depending on how much memory you purchase with them (they are currently available with up to 4Gb of RAM!)

The Holy Grail of wrist machines is, of course, a real wrist cell-phone, and there is finally one for sale to the masses, although the masses would need to cough up $1000 Australian (about $850 US.) This feature-packed M500 comes from SMS Technology Australia, http://www.mymobilewatch.com:

Look at these specs:

Model M500 Quad Mode, Touchscreen, Java and WAP enabled

Weight: 60g

Color: Silver or Black with Leather Strap

Screen: TFT 1.5 – inch colour touchsreen 120 x 160

Frequency: GSM850/900/1800/1900Mhz (GPRS), SIM

SMS: Full SMS and MMS functionality

MP3: Support AAC/MP3

MP4: Support Video Playing

Touchscreen with Built-in Stylus

Memory: 128MB Built-in Memory

Battery: 400mAh, Talk Time 200 Minutes, Standby Time 80 Hours

USB: For Data Transfer and Recharging

Bluetooth 2.0

This thing should work on any GSM network, including AT&T. The only downside (besides the rather outrageous price) is that one must use a Bluetooth headset, but that isn’t much of a limitation these days.

There is nothing like being on the bleeding edge, especially if you can afford it! And yes, if you were wondereing, all of these wrist-marvels do tell time….


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