Androids next market wrist computing with WIMM

first_imgLook at Android today and you’ll see an operating system on smartphones, PMPs, and tablet devices. We don’t expect it to go anywhere else up the scale, such as on to laptops and desktop machines because Google has Chrome OS for that. Look smaller though, and Android may have a bright future on your wrist or hanging around your neck.WIMM Labs is a startup that counts former Rambus, Dell, Roku, Palm, EA, and Opera employees and investors on its books. The company’s idea is a platform called WIMM which puts Android on a tiny device you can wear on your wrist, or slot into other devices.WIMM Labs has created a device measuring just 32 x 36 x 12.5mm that includes a 1-inch capacitive touchscreen, up to 32GB of memory, an accelerometer, magnetometer, built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and audio output. Because it runs Android it is also a platform that is very easy to develop for with a new class of micro apps expected to appear for the device. WIMM also has an SDK to support developers with that should make app turnaround fast.Although the WIMM device remains static, it’s the ability to load it with apps and use it with other devices and peripherals that make this an exciting platform. Just as with the iPod nano, a wristwatch case will be made available, but you could also clip it on to your bike for journey feedback, or hang it around your neck and use it as an exercise planner/tracker.The inclusion of Wi-Fi also means access to the Internet, so up-to-date weather readouts, bus timetables, using it to complete a transaction, and even using it as a remote control if Bluetooth is turned on. It can also be linked to other Android devices, such as your phone for text and call previews, but works perfectly fine independent of them.In a device so small battery life is always going to be an issue, but WIMM Labs has overcome this to a large extent by using a dual-mode display. When in use it is a full-color display, but let it sit idle and it switches to a mode more like the Kindle has which is very low power. The end result is a screen that performs when you need it, but conserves a lot of energy while remaining useful when you don’t.WIMM Labs is using Foxconn for manufacturing the device and is opening up the platform to everyone. So if a company wants to create a new watch they can purchase WIMM devices and brand them however they want before shipping them as a watch. The same is true if you are a bike manufacturer who wants to ship it as a gadget for their latest models, or someone who wants this to be the core of their latest exercise system.Although it will be a while before we see a WIMM device hitting the market, a developer kit is expected by the thrid quarter of 2011. After that, it’s just up to manufacturers to come up with product ideas and start shipping the device.Read more at WIMM Labs and betanewslast_img