Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 20, 2012.

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HANDS FREEDOM™ starts here. Connect with phone apps to see calls, SMS, workouts, email, FB, Twitter, calendar events, weather & more.

Introducing Strata by MetaWatch

Strata, is a smart sportwatch designed to compliment your smartphone and give you Hands Freedom™. Supporting a Dual-Mode Bluetooth 4.0** connection to your iPhone 4s, or a Bluetooth 2.1 (SPP) connection to your Android smartphone, you can check messages, see who’s calling, control music, view weather, and more, all from your wrist.

**Update (14-August): Susan Kare Limited Edition Unveiled**

Although still a work in progress, a first look is available in Update #6. They look awesome! These are available only at the "Susan Kare Signature Model" pledge level, you don't need to choose now, we'll ask you which one you want at the end. They are a limited edition, and will be signed and numbered.

**Update (6-August): New Photos!**

Just as the MSL mission lands successfully on Mars (Yay!), we got our new photos of the STRATA samples from the studio. You can use these to refine which STRATA is your favorite. You can change your reward while the project is still going (and increase your pledge if need be). If you choose a reward that does not include the new Stealth color, don't worry, when you get the survey at the end, it will be listed there (also remember Stealth doesn't ship until November). The watches all have the same display, the reversed display you see in some photos (white-on-mirror instead of mirror-on-white) is configurable by software.

Engineering and Development

What you see in the video above is our latest functional prototype showing you demonstrations of how we imagine the ways one can use Strata once this project is completed. In this prototype (an off-tool Production Prototype), the watch hardware is fully self contained inside the watch. The electronics are running off of a small rechargeable battery, and the watch case is water resistant.

In the video, the watch's Bluetooth radio is either connected to an iPhone 4s or an Android Galaxy Nexus phone and the screens on the watch display are all being pushed live from these phones during the filming. You are seeing a true demonstration of what is possible with a live prototype!

To get this far, we have done quite a lot of work already:

Step 1: Engineering Prototype and Verification: Done!

Step 2: Industrial Design: Done!

Step 3: Design Verification and Tooling: Done!

Step 4: Production Prototype and Testing: Done!

You can swim in our prototype :)
You can swim in our prototype :)

Step 5: Production Pilot: On the way! We have ordered the long lead time materials required to mass produce the design and we're getting ready to launch it!

What's Next?

  • July: UI, protocol design, Bluetooth stack integration
  • August: Beta release of software, field testing, regulatory certification testing
  • September: Production pilot, mass production ramp, start shipping! Our full production capacity is dedicated to our friends that pledge on Kickstarer! You get it first!
  • October: "Fast Follower" selections run though production. Mass production continues, first production priority is dedicated to these Kickstarter-ers with slower trigger fingers.
  • November: Shipment to "Fast Followers". Tell all your friends how much you like your MetaWatch Strata and what a good Christmas present it will make! Check our website for X-Mas inventory!

The Final Result

The body and strap is double injection molded PU, co-molded with a tough PC poly case. The mineral hardened glass lens has an anti-glare optical coating and is surrounded by a titanium finished, stainless steel top ring. The result is lightweight, durable, comfortable, and eye catching.

Olympian Blue, Olympian Blue with Digital Camo, Tangerine, Optic Green
Olympian Blue, Olympian Blue with Digital Camo, Tangerine, Optic Green

What is Hands Freedom™?

“Hands Freedom” is how we describe the broad range of benefits MetaWatch Strata provides. A vibrating alert and a simple glance reveals everything you need to decide whether to act on a notification now or later. This saves time, conserves phone battery, and eliminates much of the ‘friction’ that comes with using smartphones.

Our passion for design is why we spend so much time sweating the details like the geometry, materials, and finishes. A smartwatch should provide utility, but more importantly, it needs to make you feel good emotionally to wear it. What is on the outside is just as important as what is on the inside.

The unique mirror display is always-on and made for direct sunlight. 

Configurable on-screen widgets provide at-a-glance updates on weather, appointments, stock prices and more. Your other phone Apps can get access to the widget and Application mode of your watch so that they can extend their own interfaces to wrist.

Whether running, or biking; at the office or at home; morning, afternoon, or night; MetaWatch Strata delivers Hands Freedom™.

Open Simple Connected

Developers welcome! There are several ways that app developers can interface with MetaWatch to enhance their use. iPhone app developers can use the Widget SDK to place glanceable information on the watch or use the AppMode SDK to take control of the watch and provide a wearable interface for their app or service.

All the apps live on the phone and not on the watch. There are no complicated "watch" app stores or waiting for your watch to load a new application.

Above are some concepts for various apps
Above are some concepts for various apps

Hackers and product developers are welcome! The embedded watch code is open source so you can create your own native watch code for experiments, proof of concepts, maybe even launch your own product using MetaWatch as your platform!

Features & Specifications

Features

  • Multiple Watch Faces 
  • Caller-ID Notifications 
  • SMS & Email Notifications 
  • Facebook & Twitter Notifications 
  • Weather / Stock/ Calendar Widgets 
  • Lost Phone Alarm 
  • Alarms & Timers
  • Music Control 
  • Integrated Running and Cycling App 

Specifications

  • Handset compatibility: iPhone 4s, iPad (3), Android (various)
  • Sensor compatibility: Initially, Wahoo Fitness BLE sensors for iPhone 4s
  • iOS compatibility: iOS 5 (basic functionality), iOS 6 (enhanced functionality)
  • Double injection molded PU, co-molded with PC body 
  • Mineral hardened glass lens with anti-glare coating 
  • Titanium finished stainless steel top ring 
  • 5 ATM water resistant (you can swim with it, but no diving) 
  • 96x96 mirror polymer network display 
  • Vibrating alerts 
  • 6 buttons
  • Rechargeable (5-7 day battery life)
  • Dual Mode Bluetooth 4.0**
  • 3 Axis accelerometer / ambient light sensor 

**Dual-Mode Bluetooth 4.0 means that we can support connections to the phone via BLE (aka Bluetooth Smart) while also using standard 2.1 (Basic Rate) for standard Profiles.

Development Teams

We still need your help to make Strata the ultimate smart sportwatch for smartphones. Your pledge will be used to complete the bluetooth stack, user interface, remote protocol, SDKs for app developers, and to run radio regulatory testing and certification for major markets. These development tasks are spread out among expert teams all over the world.

Texas & Finland: MetaWatch

Wisconsin, USA: LS Research

Kentucky, USA: StoneStreet One

We’ve been developing smartwatches for the past 8 years. We’ve been building and enhancing the supply chain and production network behind MetaWatch for the past 6 years. We’ve been developing the MetaWatch platform for the past two years. 

(water resistance testing)
(water resistance testing)



What this means for our Kickstarter backers – your MetaWatch Strata will ship just in time for back-to-school or as an early Holiday gift for the fashionable geek in your life.

Thank you for your pledge and support!

With your help, Strata will become a reality.

Join the revolution. Hands Freedom starts here!

Who is MetaWatch?

The founding team at MetaWatch first started designing Bluetooth connected watches in 2004 as part of Fossil’s Watch Technology Division. The team has developed and shipped hundreds of thousands of smartwatches for some of the world’s best known technology brands.

Our product design philosophy is simple:

  • Great technology should add convenience to your life, not take your attention away from it.
  • The main feature of a watch is glance. The information you need is presented to you when you need it (the wristwatch has been the world's most successful wearable display for over 100 years).
  • A smartwatch will only succeed if it is fully integrated with fashion design from its conception. We carry devices; we wear fashion.

Last August, our founders left Fossil and formed MetaWatch to focus exclusively on the growing opportunity for smartwatches. Since then, we shipped thousands of open source smartwatches to developers throughout the world. Now MetaWatch has offices in Dallas, Texas and Espoo, Finland.

The Meta Watch core team is Bill Geiser, David Rosales, Mu Yang, and Siqi Hao.

FAQ

Which Android phones will be supported?

Details about compatibility with specific Android versions and phones will be issued in the next two months. It seems like most phones with an OS version greater than 2.1 should be compatible, but there are a lot of variables that need to be checked out.

How long is the battery life?

Battery life estimation is complex and is related to use (ie the number of daily alerts, etc.). We estimate you’ll need to recharge your watch every 5-7 days, depending on this usage. We can provide more details as we develop the software that you are funding.

Why are most of your pledge levels capped?

Simple answer – to meet the expectations we’ve set in terms of our ability to deliver. There is a limit to how many watches we can manufacture in a limited period of time. So we’ve put caps in place which factor in component lead times; production capacity; an appropriate amount of time for assembly & testing; quality control checks; etc. By putting caps in place, we can be quite accurate in projecting when watches will ship.

Does my watch come with a warranty?

Yes, each watch carries a 2-year limited factory warranty.

The display is designed for direct sunlight, is there a light for dark conditions?

Yes, there is an LED front-light that can illuminate the display when it is dark.

What’s the price for MetaWatch Strata after the Kickstarter campaign is over?

$179 + tax (if any) + shipping

How much does shipping cost for Kickstarter?

$5.00 for US; $10.00 for Canada; $20.00 International.

This is a consumer product. What about developers?

We have SDKs for app developers to use in iOS and Android. Our app software and firmware for MetaWatch Strata is still open source. We've also improved the hardware to make it easy for non-firmware developers to reflash their watch with updated code via a serial port. We will also sell optional JTAG firmware clips to developers that need it (for in-circuit debugging and low level chip programming).

Is Meta Watch Strata MFi compliant?

MetaWatch Strata is not MFi compliant. We decided on a Bluetooth 4.0-only connection to applications for reasons of battery life and so that we can remain open source to enable innovative new applications. Our radio is dual mode, so we also support Bluetooth 2.1 (Basic Rate) profiles for other services as well.

However, the underlying platform has a footprint for the MFi encryption chip. We put this here for our OEM customers who might require a MFi-compliant solution.

About the Susan Kare limited edition: will this watch be offered for sale again?

Only 250 signed & numbered Susan Kare limited edition watches will be sold. However, we do plan on future collaborations with Susan.

What regulatory certifications will MetaWatch Strata carry?

FCC, IC, CE, AU/NZ, Japan, China is what we currently have planned. 

What do you mean by “Open Source'?

All of MetaWatch Strata’s firmware (with the exception of the Bluetooth protocol stack) is provided under a modified Apache 2 open source license. This allows you to download and use the source code software and our SDK to develop custom applicationsthat run on watches or other wearable devices made by MetaWatch.

The MetaWatch Strata smartphone app, the Widget & AppMode SDK libraries for iOS & Android are provided under the Apache 2 open source license.

Code contributions for any of our open source projects are welcome. First you must agree to the Contributor Agreement.

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    *** SUSAN KARE SIGNATURE MODEL, NUMBERED LIMITED EDITION *** (Ships Nov) Loving care from Kare herself. Custom designed watch prints & watch faces. Signed and numbered. Susan Kare began her career at Apple, Inc. as the screen graphics and digital font designer for the original Macintosh computer. According to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Susan Kare is "a pioneering and influential computer iconographer. Since 1983, Kare has designed thousands of icons for the world's leading software companies. Utilizing a minimalist grid of pixels and constructed with mosaic-like precision, her icons communicate their function immediately and memorably, with wit and style." Add $5 shipping for US, $10 for Canada, and $20 for other international.

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