Alexa may not be a household name on the level of Siri or Cortana just yet, but Amazon's voice assistant is starting to reach more and more homes thanks to the Echo. Her next destination? A smartwatch, actually.
And Amazon isn't even the company making the wearable device. It's iMCO, and the device is called the CoWatch. It's a sleek little smartwatch with a fully rounded face and an Android-based Cronologics OS, and it'll work with both Android and iOS phones for notifications and connectivity.
Although Amazon has nothing to do with the hardware, the device will indeed feature the Alexa voice assistant, which lets you ask for web queries, make app-related requests, control your connected home devices, and much more.
Why is Alexa in the watch if this isn't official Amazon hardware? Well, Amazon's primarily goal with the voice assistant is to get it into as many devices as possible, since people using Alexa are then plugged into Amazon's digital storefronts - and thus may spend more money with Amazon. It's why Amazon recently offered instructions on building a DIY Echo: selling a piece of hardware is much less important than simply getting Alexa into your life.
The CoWatch has some nice specs on offer beyond the inclusion of Alexa. The 400x400 (286ppi) Super AMOLED display compares nicely with that of the Huawei Watch, but battery life seems to be a big perk here, with the CoWatch promising up to 32 hours of life using an always-on screen mode. It also has IP67 water resistance, a heart rate sensor, and a stainless steel and zirconia ceramic body.
iMCO is taking the CoWatch directly to the people, launching an Indiegogo campaign today in the hopes of raising US$80,000 to help fund production - and the first 400 devices are available at the super-cheap price of US$159, whereas the final watch will sell for US$279 in stores.
The campaign claims that the first 800 units are already in production, and that those units will ship out in June, just weeks after the conclusion of the campaign. As of this writing, the crowdfunding attempt is 25% funded and has a flexible goal, so it seems likely that the CoWatch will indeed finish production and be shipped in the coming months.
Whether it can stack up to the Apple Watch or Android Wear options on either a software or hardware basis remains to be seen, but the CoWatch has some interesting perks - and Amazon fans may be especially interested, particularly if they can lock down one of those early bird price points.