There’s something about this smartwatch revolution that feels a bit, I don’t know, forced? It’s the case of a product without a problem, a solution to something that isn’t broken. But brands have told themselves that smartwatches are going to be the next big thing, and they’ve all released their variations on the theme. It’s like a variety of chair lifts to a mountain without snow.
I could be wrong. I felt the same way about the Apple iPad when it was released. Now I used mine every night in bed and on every photo job I take. I digress.
Beyond the Apple Watch and the Android Play devices, a few other newcomers are doing some truly innovative things. The Olio Model One Smartwatch is a prime example. It isn’t a hacked version of Android or iOS, it’s a unique snowflake that displays detailed data in an elegant, easy-to-use way.
In short, the Olio Model One is your world at a glance. It’s not a second screen or a fitness dongle or a glorified app controller. It is a smart watch built for fans of “beautiful data”, for visualizing your day in a quick and useful way.
The Olio Model One is arranged in a typical watch configuration — an hour , minute and second hand with markers on the outside of the dial. Upon closer inspection, there’s a series of concentric circles with varying “towers” that represent activity. In the future tense, these can show calendar items as they approach the current time. Elsewhere, it can show activity based on email/sms/voicemail notifications. The Olio watch pays attention to these cues and learns patterns in your life, letting you know when important events are coming and serving as a wrist-worn digital assistant.
In the video introduction for the Olio Model One smartwatch, one section shows the example of an upcoming phone meeting. Olio alerts its wearer of the upcoming call, then asks if the wearer would like to hold any calls during the scheduled meeting. With a swipe on the screen, Olio can interface with Android or iOS to make that happen.
I appreciate the Olio Model One for its simple, elegant but useful display. You can see an overview of your day with just a casual glance. You can see when you have a lull in activity to take some time for yourself. You can be notified of an upcoming stretch of work that you should be prepared for. The allure of the Olio Model One smartwatch isn’t about fitness or app management, it’s about instant information at a glance. That’s what made the traditional watch so valuable in the first place.
The Olio Model One smartwatch is available with a linked bracelet or leather strap, and is also available in stainless steel or black PVD. It is priced from $745, and is available right now.
Olio Model One smartwatch video introduction
Olio Model One Smartwatch | Gallery