Will.i.am launches smartwatch this week: makes calls, plays music, don’t need no smartphone

Will.i.am

We’re really not sure what to make of Will.i.am (or William Adams Jr., of Black-Eyed Peas fame) and his technology fetish any more. After co-developing Beats with Jummy Iovine and Dr. Dre all these years, launching his custom 3D-printer, designing a bespoke Lexus NX and selling a good few million records, Adams has now set his sights on the enormous wearables market and, more specifically, smartwatches.

Hilariously, as a face-slap to Beats’ new owner Apple, Adams plans to launch the watch on 7Digital’s network at the same time as Apple’s iPad launch this Thursday. Best of luck trying to compete with that.

Unlike Apple Watch though, Adams’ variety can make calls and play music out loud. Speaking to chat show host Alan Carr in April, Adams’ also noted that the watchphone will sport apps for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It also needn’t be tethered to a smartphone to perform effectively either, making it more of a Samsung Gear Solo competitor than anything.

Cool right?

7Digital saw its share prices jump preceding Adams’ announcement, and the music distribution service will likely strike a deal with the musician to propagate music over the watch’s internet connection. It may well be the first music-orientated smartwatch.

Although the mogul stated that he plans to develop his own OS, the watch will run Android Wear for now.

But will the consumer be again duped into purchasing another overpriced, under-performing and over-hyped product like the Beats range? Adding a famous face to a gadget seems to do wonders with consumer base, especially if the target market is the vociferous music-consuming generation.

Launching just before the holiday rush is a smart move too, but will it be the catalyst that the wearables industry duly needs?

Image: Bob Beklan via Flickr

Andy Walker
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