Since smartwatches are yet to define themselves on the market, manufacturers experiment with various form factors and designs. While some, like Samsung with their new Gear series, try to create a miniaturized computer, others think of smartwatches as wearable, always-connected smartphone companions that expand their functionality. But what if they are wrong?
Span Watch, a great smartwatch concept designed by an American studio Box Clever, takes a different approach as it puts "watch" before "smartwatch". It has an OLED screen that displays notifications and alerts, but it is just a hortizontal ribbon across the traditional watch face. It feels like an integral part of the casing and neither stands out, nor makes the watch look like a weirdly shrunk smartphone. A tire-like jog dial on the bezel handles navigation and controls and allows you to quickly cycle through notifications. Watch the video below to see it in action.
I wish the Span Watch went into mass production, because it is a device I could actually see myself wearing. It has an elegant - if not formal - look and its "smart features" are cleverly incorporated into a body of a conventional wristwatch. I also like the design of the watchface, which uses two overlapping wheels to tell time. They bring automotive gauges to mind and give the Span Watch an interesting feeling of dynamics.