Silicon Valley’s Hewlett Packard has established a triple partnership with fashion designer Michael Bastian and e-commerce website Gilt. Michael Bastian is a winner of CFDA Fashion Awards in 2011 and is being constantly nominated since 2008. At first glance, HP’s smartwatch will have to take on the Withings Activité in terms of design and Moto 360 and Pebble Steel in terms of functionality. Considering that Apple’s mysterious so called iWatch is in development, it seems the prospect buyers will have where to choose from soon enough.
Will we be seeing some fierce competition in the near future or is HP, Gilt and Mr. Bastian aiming at a different market? So far, the sketches and renderings show a masculine design with a 44 millimetre (1.73”) round steel case, featuring three interchangeable bands to match your apparel. The overall design is inspired by luxury automobile dashboards and in order to enforce this idea, Michael Bastian has included an independently lit chronograph that is visually reminiscent of RPM gauges. It is unlikely however for HP to push the boundaries of mobile software applications with a luxury fashion accessory but truth being told, it is a bit early to judge.
As for the software, HP aims to be compatible with both Android and iOS, offering companion apps for further customization. However, it will not be running Android Wear so any apps developed specifically for it are not going to be supported theoretically. Motorolla’s Moto 360 is currently the only direct rival so to speak. They both have the round design and the leather band which give a classical appearance. Similarly both will support an expanding collection of apps although which one will receive the better support remains to be seen. While the Moto 360 is unlocking Android Wear’s sensor features, HP has not released any information on what their watch will be capable of. As the Gilt smartwatch contains an actual physical chronograph over its display area, one may wonder just how much space will there be left on it. Although the exquisite industrial design that Mr. Bastian has envisioned for Gilt and HP is very attractive, the specs should become public as well.
Being that as it may, Gilt promises to deliver updates to their mailing list subscribers. You should also consider creating a Gilt account since it will most definitely be an exclusive through the Gilt web store.