Casio’s G-Shock GB6900 hasn’t been mindful of its own raison d’être, turning up much later than expected. After making its first appearance way back in March 2011, rolling through FCC in July the same year, and then reportedly getting stalled by floods in Thailand, the Bluetooth 4.0-packing smart watch is finally available stateside for $180. Tardiness notwithstanding, the wearable gizmo is typically defiant of shock and water. However, its hero feature is hooking up with your iPhone (4S or newer) to sync time, throw up call / email alerts and letting you locate your misplaced smartphone. And while the timekeeper can’t let you be mayor, reveal objects’ secrets or serve up apps, at least it doesn’t hurt your wallet as much as some of its rivals.
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 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. Casio’s adoption of such technologies, combined with its brand recognition, should raise awareness more than any independent smart watch maker could.
G-Shock Releases Bluetooth Low Energy Smart Watch
Organize Your Life with the GB6900AA Series
DOVER, N.J., Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Casio America, Inc. is proud to introduce their latest technological achievement, the G-Shock Bluetooth Low Energy Smart Watch. Casio has been redefining the wristwatch for years by applying the latest technologies. Now, Casio’s application of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) positions the company to create new possibilities for the way people use their watches. The GB6900AA collection provides Bluetooth time sync, alerts for incoming calls and emails, in addition to a Find Me function in which alarm and vibration functions on an iPhone can be activated using the buttons of the watch. To silence the vibration of the alarms, Casio has added a tap function in which the user double taps the face and the alert is automatically dismissed. In addition, the Bluetooth G-Shock will provide a notification when the phone is out of range of the watch, making sure the phone is never misplaced and the watch will automatically adjust itself to the correct time zone by using the time data received through the iPhone.
Taking advantage of the low power consumption of BLE, the new watch powers wireless communication functions with a single, ordinary button-cell battery, and without consuming any more battery life than a conventional wristwatch. Users can wear it every day just like they normally do, without the hassle of recharging or replacing a battery. Battery life is estimated at approximately two years, assuming that the Bluetooth wireless communication function is used for 12 hours per day.
As the wireless link between smart phones and watches gains in adoption, and as the universe of smart phone applications continues to grow, G-Shock expects to see new possibilities for watches in everyday life.
The GB6900AA collection is available in four sleek colorways: black GB6900AA-1, gray blue GB6900AA-2, brown GB6900AA-5 and white GB6900AA-7. All models include shock and 200M water resistance, world time (35 time zones / 100 cities + UTC), LED super illuminator, five daily alarms (beep or vibrate), 1/100th second stopwatch (24H), countdown timer (24H, beep or vibrate), 12/24hr formats, mute function and a 2-year battery (12H of use per day).
“G-Shock continues to be a leader in cutting-edge technology for timepieces,” said Shigenori Itoh, Chairman and CEO of Casio’s Timepiece Division. “With the release of the Bluetooth LE Smart Watch collection, we are pushing the boundaries of inspired timepieces for the business savvy, technology conscious consumer.”
Available this November, the GB6900AA collection will retail for $180 and will be available at select Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Tourneau, Independent Jewelers & Fashion Boutiques, and http://www.gshock.com.
For more information please visit: http://world.g-shock.com/us/en/ble/
About Casio America, Inc.
Casio America, Inc., Dover, N.J., is the U.S. subsidiary of Casio Computer Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of consumer electronics and business equipment solutions, established in 1957. Casio America, Inc. markets calculators, keyboards, digital cameras, business projectors, disc title and label printers, watches, cash registers and other consumer electronic products. Casio has strived to realize its corporate creed of “creativity and contribution” through the introduction of innovative and imaginative products. For more information, visit http://www.casiousa.com