Fitbit has made another acquisition in the wearables market, this time buying out European luxury smartwatch maker Vector Watch for an undisclosed price.
Vector Watch only launched in March of last year offering a range of 12 smartwatch models in various fashion-conscious styles. Key features in its line-up include basic activity tracking, phone notifications, and 30-day battery life, with some third-party apps built into the interface. The London-based company announced the buyout in a statement on its website.
Well, I would hesitate to call a company that sells watches for 349 a “luxury” smartwatch maker. But I see this as a strong trend for the future.
When I recently decided to stop using my Apple Watch, I noted that I’m using a Fitbit One as an activity tracker, and the one thing I’d miss is notifications. There are several companies selling this type of smartwatch – that looks more like a real watch, but also does fitness tracking and notifications – but as I looked at them, none of them grabbed me. I might have gone for the Withings Steel HR (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) if it had been available, but it’s not and won’t be for some time.
I like wearing a nice watch, and I doubt that I’d slip back to something smart, unless it had the same look as my current watch, and offered the features I want: fitness tracking and notifications.
I would like to see how these features can be integrated to existing watches, perhaps through something you could put on the band. Chronos makes a $99 disc that you can place under any watch, but it’s 3mm thick and needs to be charged every two days. I wonder how comfortable it would be to wear, but the idea is going, I think, in the right direction: let people who wear regular watches also get some smart features.