During CES, Judie and I had the opportunity to sit down with Martian Watches to chat about their product, the experience of going on Kickstarter in order to first promote and back it, and to gain some insight into their thoughts about the overall smart watch market. We both came away impressed by the product itself and the people who turned an idea into reality in an impressively short amount of time.
What really stands out about the Martian Watch is that it actually works. The company took a different approach than the one we have seen other smart watch companies embrace. Rather than build specialized technology into the watch and rely on special apps built using a proprietary API, the Martian Watch leverages the technology already built into iOS thanks to Siri.
In other words, the Martian Watch can let you take or place a call, create or listen to text messages and create new tasks all from your wrist. The difference is in the fact that the Martian Watch is simply the conduit to the iPhone, rather than playing host to the specific technology desired.
We began our conversation by asking about the background of the key players in specific and the company in general. They explained that their first product was an emergency alert watch that let people access help without a monthly subscription.
They went on to note that when Siri came out they knew it would be big. They quickly decided they wanted to go the route of having an accessory that would truly take advantage of the new power and flexibility Siri offered. They explained,
“We don’t just look at this as a watch company but as an accessory that leverages the emerging and powerful voice command technology. Our idea was to first launch with a wearable accessory. One that lets people have access to your phone when it is not right in their hand.”
When asked why they went to Kickstarter they replied that, in part, they wanted to get feedback from the consumer. As they put it,
“This smart watch market is brand new and we wanted feedback from the people who would be wearing and using the devices.”
By the time they went up on Kickstarter, they already has three working prototypes. In addition, because of the work they had been doing they had a design and production team in place so they were able to move quickly.
They found the process of being on Kickstarter to be a positive one.
“The most valuable thing that Kickstarter gave us was the feedback to know how our customers would interact with the watch.”
We asked, “What’s your favorite feature? What do you now use and think “Wow I’m glad we put that into the watch.”?”
The answers included the remote camera shutter feature and the ability to have voice to text and text to voice right from your wrist. “Inevitably,” one of them noted, I’ll get no texts during the day and then will get tons of texts when I get in the car.”
The watch gets two plus hours of talk time and seven days off standby. A microUSB port on the side allows for charging. Right next to it is a noise canceling microphone.
The watch comes in three styles and, thankfully, doesn’t scream “Look at me I’m a tech watch!!!” It looks good, is comfortable to wear and, best of all, it actually works!
You can learn more here, on the company website.