John Wang, the former HTC executive who left the company in 2012, is back in the mobile market, but this time he’s not planning to market smartphones.
Wang is the person behind a company called Noodoe, which he founded in 2013 with what he called “the goal of making innovation meaningful in our lives.” The first fruits of that mission will be the Noodoe Watch, a connected watch launching in May through an Indiegogo campaign.
“I launched Noodoe Corp. in 2013 with the goal of making innovation meaningful in our lives, starting with the challenging quest to redefine what wristwear should be,” said the nine-year HTC veteran.
Noodoe Watch works with Apple and Android smartphones and will be available on the Noodoe website and through other U.S. distribution channels not yet nailed down.
More like a wristband, the Noodoe Watch doesn’t run apps like the Apple Watch or offer nearly as many functions. It focuses on notifications such as caller alerts, text-message display, date and time, and weather.
Unlike smart watches, it lacks buttons; instead of pressing a button to access certain information, users just flick their wrist or flip their hand to move through screens or change selections. Text scrolls automatically, and users flick their wrist to take a second look from the beginning. A flip of the hand silences incoming calls.
“Motion Magic really excels in moments like when you're in a meeting, cooking, driving, or riding a bike and it really isn't the moment to fiddle around with your ringing phone,” he said.
The display itself is invisible. Pixels light up when needed, and then go dark to blend into the band's skin.
Wang is also positioning the wearable as a means of self-expression, more so than simply picking a watch or jewelry item from the many that are commercially available. Users can turn doodles drawn on paper into animations on the watch.
From an Android or Apple smartphone running the Noodoe app, users snap a picture of a doodle that will appear on the watch. On the watch, the doodle will appear to grow as time progresses.
And as time progresses, we’ll see how well Noodoe does.