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Smart Watches: Time For Every Purpose

LAS VEGAS – More companies entered the fledgling U.S. smart watch market during International CES, including tablet maker Archos, smartphone/ tablet supplier ZTE and start-up MyKronoz.

Other newcomers to the product category included CE maker E Fun, Yifang Digital and startup Neptune, while GPS supplier Magellan expanded its smart watch selection. (See TWICE, Jan. 7).

Here’s what some of the companies displayed:

Archos unveiled a selection of models starting at less than $50. They will work with iOS and Android mobile devices.

MyKronoz, the French maker of smart watches designed in Switzerland, entered the U.S. market with its latest four smart watches. The company launched its first three models in 2013 and markets them through retailers in Europe.

Three of the new models connect via Bluetooth to Android and iOS devices, and one operates independently of a mobile device.

The three smartwatches that connect to mobile devices are the ZeSplash, ZeFit and ZeMaster, which ring and vibrate to notify users of an incoming call, display caller ID, let users answer or reject calls, and feature a microphone and speaker for hands-free conversations. They also control music playback. The ZePhone functions on its own.

Sony didn’t say whether its first planned smart band offers time-keeping capabilities, nor did it disclose much more information about the device’s capabilities other than to say that it can be worn on a wrist to track and log a user’s physical activities on a Bluetooth-connected Android phone running a Lifelog app.

The company’s Mobile Communications group already offers a smart watch.

ZTE’s first smart watch is the BlueWatch which features built-in pedometer and records and analyzes such health data as percentage of body fat. The watch, which connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth, enables on-wrist control of phone calls, content, camera, and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. It features Bluetooth 4.0+EDR, Android OS, 235mAh battery, 1.26-inch, four buttons, 128KB RAM, and such other apps as weather, calendar, clock, SMS, Gmail, camera, music and a find-phone feature. Pricing was unavailable.