The watchface is one of the biggest battleground areas among competitors in the smartwatch marketplace.
There’s a battle raging between those smartwatches with a digital display, and those with a modified analog watchface. This mirrors the competition between round or square watchfaces. And if you’re going digital, is it touchscreen or read-only?
This debate over the look and function of the smartwatch’s face has been neatly resolved by Ritot, a crowdfunded smartwatch project on Indiegogo.
It has no face at all.
Instead, the Ritot smartwatch projects the time and other notifications to the back of your hand. We can’t imagine something like this working very well in the bright sunlight, but the company claims to have special pico projection technology which allows its use day and night and is completely safe for the skin.
Certainly this kind of technology allows Ritot to score highly on style since they don’t deal in clunky watch faces at all, but rather in really attractive bracelets that come in “sport” or “bracelet” style. They are planning four different sizes to ensure a good fit for everyone.
The Ritot has only one touch sensitive button, with which you can run a 10 second projection or a permanent projection. But you can also activate the projection just by shaking your hand. You can also change the projection color from among 20 choices.
The device vibrates to alert you of messages and alerts, including projections of incoming caller ID, text messages, emails, Facebook and Twitter messages and other apps. You can dismiss a notification with a simple shake of the wrist. You can set notifications in the Ritot App, which currently works with iOS, Android and Windows phones.
The Ritot also comes with a unique, circular wireless base which is used for setting up and charging the device. They are promising an impressive one month of charge in standby mode, and 150 hours in projection mode.
The startup has already exceeded its Indiegogo goal, and they are promising production by early 2015. The Ritot projection watch is going to be listed at around $160 US.
Kudos to these guys for originality. We suspect the device will sink or swim depending on the quality of the projected readout. But we can’t help but wonder if a projected notification on the back of your hand might be even more distracting than one on an actual watchface. Or maybe that’s just the price to pay for such a simply and beautifully-styled device on your wrist.