When I learned about this project I got really excited because I felt like I was missing on this smart watch/smart band trend. I hate the idea of a smart watches because, in my opinion, they will never be able to replace a classic analog timepiece that you own and wear for years. Smart bands are less complicated; although, it’s hard to wear it on everyday basis next to a wrist watch, leave alone a dressy wrist watch with a suit and tie to go along with it. To solve this issue, guys behind Gooseberry came up with an idea to stick all the functionality of a smart band into a buckle of your watch. I have to say that’s a really clever idea!
Alright, but how does it work? It’s a nice and sleek stainless still buckle, which measures 42,4 mm by 23,4 mm and is 8 mm tall in the thickest point. You can attach it basically to any watch strap you already own, as long as it is 20 mm wide at the buckle side. Then all you need to do is to strap the watch on your wrist and fire up an iOS or Android app and you are ready to rock.
Inside this tiny buckle there is quite a lot of modern tech going on: 3-Axis gyro, angular velocity, and motion sensors to calculate steps, pace, distance, calories burned, and sleep patterns, and Bluetooth 4.2 to communicate with your iPhone or Android smartphone. There is also a battery, which lasts up to 7 days of use. And when the juice is out you simply attach the buckle to a supplied magnetic charger for just 60 minutes and you are ready to go for another 7 days. Did I just said “magnetic”? Yes, I was also suspicious when I read that. But don’t worry, I contacted Alexei (one of the guys behind Smart Buckle) and he assured me that the magnet inside the charger will not interfere in any way with the mechanical movement of your watch.
Finally, the whole thing has waterproof level of IP57, which mean you don’t have to be afraid if it gets wet. Although, I wouldn’t rather take it for swimming.
As far as the functionality goes, Smart Buckle can track your sport activities, steps, calories burnt, distance, pace, and your sleep habits. When paired with your smartphone via Bluetooth, it will synchronize with Apple Health or Google Fit apps.
If you are interested in Gooseberry Smart Buckle, be sure the check out their ongoing Kickstarter campaign. At $39 a piece, the price is really affordable for what you get. A quality smart band would cost you the same if no more but with Smart Buckle you don’t have to wear additional gear as you can attach it to your daily wrist watch.
Gooseberry Smart Buckle really got me interested and I’m definitely going to check it out myself. I love the idea; although, I can see some limitations. First of all, Gooseberry offers just one size of the buckle, which will fit 20 mm wide strap. They said they plan to launch 22 mm version as well if there is enough request from the audience. That’s why, I strongly suggest you email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them to release 22 mm buckle as well. The second thing I’m thinking about is the size of the buckle. Although, it’s amazing how they managed to fit all that tech inside the buckle, it still could be kind of bulky at 8 mm of height. But honestly, that’s something we have to check in person before giving a final verdict.