iPod Wrist Watch — It is here but is it usable?

Over the past few months, I have been watching and waiting for someone to take an iPod (yes the small 6th gen Nano) and turn it into a usable wristwatch.  Many of my cohorts commented on the same idea in January and February with the first articles appearing about it this past 2 weeks or so.  No it seems that everyone is jumping on the band wagon including us.

Having had a computer on my wrist since the early 1990’s with the Timex version of a Datalink watch, I guess the whole idea that James Bond had the coolest watch was just a fantasy that the movies liked to portray.  I seemed to have the watch everyone was wanting and each generation of upgrade was better.

The Datalink series had staying power with it lasting until 2010 when the entire line was canceled.  The watch was popular with Astronaut Nancy J. Currie wearing the Ironman model of the Datalink on STS-88, the next watch on my wrist also had a famous astronaut wearing it.

When Seiko Instruments brought out the Ruputer (known as the Hands On in the US), I was over joyed.  They had a 512k and 2mb model of the watch in 1997 and by early 1998, a 4mb model was also released.  Each one of these watches cost around $500 USD and was bulky but definitely useable, especially as a TV remote control.   When Japanese Astronaut Mamoru Mori (STS-47 and STS-99) wore it on his space mission I figured I had the right watch once again.  Sadly, the watch really never got out of the starting gates with only a few of the originally produced watches selling.  Luckily, I still have a number of these watches around and use them from time to time.  Sadly no one since then has gone into that realm with much gusto.

When the 6th Generation iPod Nano was released, I once again though of the size and the potential of it making a really nice watch.  Of course, the sad thing is no one at the time even really considered it.  But now there is the option to make the iPod into a Watch.

Wimo Labs TikTok

Wimo Labs TikTok

Wimo Labs, LLC (http://lunatik.com/) now has two models of iPod holding watch bands that are much better than some of the ones that have been seen around with all the technophiles had recently.   They have produced the TikTok which is a 34.95 clip in black watch holder / band and the LunaTik which is a 69.95 CNC machined Aerospace Grade Aluminum system affording the iPod some protection from the daily grind.

Wimo Labs LunaTik

Wimo Labs LunaTik

Suddenly the concept of going from 4mb to 32gb doesnt seem so far fetched and while the iPod doesnt do everything the Ruputer did in 1997, it is still a much better screen and not bad as far as the watch idea goes.  Also, having all of one’s schedule and music on the wrist makes things really each to deal with when trying to keep to a schedule to chill out with between those hard to handle meetings.

I see this as one of the must have items of the year but with the deficiencies in the iPod, I am secretly hoping for a few more features in the 7th Generation Nano. However,  the only thing it really needs is bluetooth, infra-red,  and a wireless headset to make this really cool item that much better and truly a usable item.

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About the Author

Bill Martens

A.P.P.L.E. Chairman of the Board and Club president -- Bill worked for the founder, Val J. Golding and A.P.P.L.E. from 1981 to 1982. In 1999, he began archiving the materials which were distributed and sold by A.P.P.L.E.. That project led to the group that remained of A.P.P.L.E. Bill was involved in the financial industry in Tokyo and has over 20 major office infrastructure projects to his name. In March 2001, he retired to write books and to spend more time pursuing personal interests. As the president of the users group, Bill is in charge of distribution of Call-A.P.P.L.E. magazine as well as the organization of this web site. Bill currently resides in Tokyo, Japan and Shelton, Wa splitting time between the places.