Spark, the non-smartwatch that keeps you awake

spark watch

Smartwatches are supposed to be our phone’s accountable companion, serving notifications and alerts to the wrist when applicable. but Spark’s semi-smartwatch doesn’t seem to use this philosophy. Instead, the Spark is a pseudo-smartwatch that “makes sure you never fall asleep during anything important in life.” And that’s about all it does, other than display the time.

This simple Cambridge-based Kickstarter project is practically a large alarm watch with an LED screen and LG G Watch-like form factor, without the latter’s gizmos.

Instead, the US$40 watch is equipped with two smart motion sensors that keep track of normative day to day activities. When it senses that the user has fallen asleep, the watch vibrates to ensure that its wearer is adequately woken. Vibration and other options can be adjusted per user’s preferences as well, and should the wearer desperately need some shut-eye, the built-in “Time mode” turns the watch’s primary sensing function off and lets the user rest.

It should be noted that Spark’s developers don’t claim it to be a “smartwatch” as per the traditional definition, but what can the Spark do that other smartwatch apps can’t? It’s not an Android Wear device, so no apps can be loaded onto it, nor can the device be tethered to a smartphone. Essentially, the Spark is an oversized-alarm watch with a pretty colour LED screen. Annoyingly, and unlike classic alarm watches, the Spark needs to be charged every seven days.

However abstruse it may seem, backers love the idea. Over 150 people have contributed a massive US$8 700, funding the project in just one day. If their stretch goal of US$14 000 is reached, prospective buyers can also look forward to an even thinner battery.

The developers want to ship by mid-September by which time there should be an army of slightly more-expensive but more comprehensive smartwatches running Android Wear.



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