Image source: Nowatch

Nowatch’s journey from health tracker to hybrid smartwatch

We saw the launch of a few interesting wearables at CES 2024. The latest addition to this list is a hybrid smartwatch that comes from a Dutch startup.

Nowatch, a name that initially suggests an absence, ironically marks an interesting presence in the world of wearable technology. This outfit’s startup’s journey from a mindful health tracker to a sophisticated hybrid smartwatch encapsulates a unique blend of aesthetics, mindfulness, and technological innovation.

The genesis of Nowatch

The original Nowatch, unveiled at CES 2023, was a unique statement in wearable technology. Born from a successful Indiegogo campaign in December 2021 and previewed at CES 2022, it raised over $100,000, reflecting the public’s intrigue and support. The device, priced at around $500 was a wearable designed to reduce overstimulation and stress. Instead of a standard display, it featured visually appealing materials like ethically sourced gemstones, positioning itself as a fitness tracker with the elegance of a smartwatch.

In essence, this first iteration of Nowatch was a pushback against the constant digital noise of notifications and distractions. It aimed to be discreet, not overwhelming its users but instead helping them to manage stress and anxiety. Its standout feature was the ability to predict stress levels in real-time using an electrodermal sensor (EDA), similar to that in the Fitbit Sense. This sensor could detect subtle electrical changes in the skin, allowing Nowatch to predict cognitive zones and the wearer’s mood and stress fingerprint up to an hour in advance.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

The device also sent subtle vibrations to alert the wearer of rising stress levels, providing an opportunity to take proactive steps like stretching, meditating, or simply taking a break. The stress-tracking algorithms, developed in collaboration with Philips, were a testament to the device’s focus on mental well-being over physical fitness.

Evolution into a hybrid smartwatch

Fast forward to CES 2024, and Nowatch has evolved. It now includes Chronos ‘timepiece faces’, transforming it into a hybrid smartwatch.

This addition allows the device to display time, a function it initially lacked, while maintaining its core focus on mindfulness and stress awareness. The AI Insights feature, another significant addition, provides daily summaries and recommendations based on the wearer’s stress data, sleep, and activity stats. This feature stands out for its customization options, allowing users to tailor the feedback’s tone and length to their preference.

Nowatch hybrid

The design philosophy of Nowatch has always centered on wearability and style. The interchangeable discs made of polished metal and gemstones enable users to customize the device to fit their style and mood. This approach not only enhances the device’s aesthetic appeal but also reinforces its commitment to mindfulness and personal well-being.

Nowatch hybrid

With thousands of units sold and increasing interest in B2B sales, particularly in stress management and scientific research, Nowatch has carved out a niche in the crowded market of health trackers. Its focus on aesthetics, mindfulness, and a user-customizable experience sets it apart from traditional wearables. It will be interesting to see whether the hybrid smartwatch with AI-driven insights generates the same sort of interest.

Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out!

Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.