You know that beloved watch you’ve got strapped to your wrist right now? If you’re secretly hankering for it to be smarter, but are loathed to replace with an ugly modern smartwatch,this little gadget could be a solution to the problem. It’s called the Chronos, and it gives smartwatch superpowers to even the most stupid watch.
The Chronos is a small, 3mm thick disc that attaches to the underneath of your current regular watch. It clings on using a suction system that avoids any messy sticky pads, and makes it easy to swap between watches. Once stuck to your watch, it adds fitness tracking, notifications, and a cool gesture control system — all without changing the outward design of your watch, or swapping the strap.
It communicates with an app on your phone using Bluetooth, and it works with both Android and iOS devices. The gesture controls include screen taps to mute incoming calls, and to skip tracks in the music player, plus other options set up in-app. The fitness tracking system counts steps as you’d expect, but anything beyond this isn’t discussed on the Chronos website. It does say the app needs to be told which other apps and contacts should disturb you, much like the Pebble and Vector. Notifications come through as a vibrating alert, or a subtle LED light glow under the watch’s body.
Made from stainless steel, the Chronos is 3mm thick and 33mm wide, with a water resistant casing. it’s compatible with a wide range of conventional watches, and the company has made an app which lists many of them for you to check. Functionality may not be quite as comprehensive as a full-on smartwatch, but at $80 it’s cheaper than the majority of similar wearables. However, this is a special price, and the normal $130 is a little steeper.
If there’s a downside, it’s that you’re adding a battery which needs to be charged to a watch that normally wouldn’t need such attention. What’s more, the Chronos only lasts 36 hours, which may be longer than some smartwatches, but it’s a lot less than most fitness trackers.
The Chronos can be pre-ordered here, but be patient, because deliveries aren’t expected to take place until spring 2016.