TAG Heuer was not the only company making an announcement about a partnership to develop a new wearable at Baselworld 2015. Gucci Timepieces announced a “special partnership” with will.i.am to develop “a completely stand alone smartband, untethered from any smartphone.”
Stéphane Linder, President and CEO of Gucci Timepieces, said during the announcement: “Today, through this innovative collaboration with i.am+ and will.i.am, Gucci Timepieces is fully embracing the future of wearable technology that is now ahead of us, with the objective of launching a wearable device concept that is a fashion accessory, incorporating the most comprehensive and advanced technological functionalities.“
The unnamed device (Gucci will.i.am smartband?) is described as “both fashionable and technologically advanced”. Will.i.am coined the term fashionology, “a merging of the worlds of fashion and technology,” to describe the category in which it falls. Without requiring a connection to a smartphone, the device will be able to make and receive phone calls and send and receive text messages and emails. It will also offer music, maps, calendar, fitness tracking features and a personal assistant activated by voice command.
In fact, the device appears to be quite similar to another wearable project that Will.i.am is working on. The PULS is also a standalone wearable device currently available for US$399 (about CA$500) solely by invitation.
Gucci and will.i.am will announce availability and pricing of the Gucci will.i.am smartband “in due course.”