This holiday season may be the first where you can walk into your local mall and find a smart watch in a mainstream store. Casio’s G-Shock GB6900AA, a $180 digital watch with Bluetooth 4.0, will adorn retail shelves in select Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom stores, starting this month.
Casio’s GB6900AA watch, spotted by Engadget, wirelessly connects to Apple’s iPhone 4S and 5 smartphones, which both support the Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy standard. Once paired and connected, it receives alerts for incoming calls and emails. The watch can also sync the time with an iPhone and alert the wearer if they move beyond the wireless range of their iPhone, in case the handset is left behind. Double-tapping the watch face dismisses an alert.
In the product’s press release, Casio says the watch battery lasts for two years, assuming 12 hours of wireless connectivity per day. That’s a big plus as some of the early smart watches require recharging every few days or weeks. Some of that battery savings could be coming from limited functionality, however: The GB6900AA simply notifies the user of incoming calls or emails; it doesn’t provide caller ID or message details.
For many consumers, this will be the first time they see a connected watch. Geeks like me have a seen a number of them on Kickstarter, tested some out in the past or actually one one: I still wear the MotoACTV I bought this year. Talk about smart watches to the average consumer, however, and they’d likely say they never heard of them. Casio’s adoption of such technologies, combined with its brand recognition, should raise awareness more than any independent smart watch maker could.