This week we received our long-awaited smart-watches from Neptune; devices which we’ve had big plans for since they were announced on Kickstarter way back in autumn 2013.
The Neptune Pine is the first smart-watch to feature a full build of the Android Jellybean OS found on mobile and tablet devices, wrapped up in a hardware package that enables the device to replace your smart-phone rather than simply tether to it like other smart-watches on the market.
Spearhead are always looking to new technologies to enable access to the experiences and software we develop for our clients. The work we are doing in re-purposing Android powered micro-consoles as secure offline export solutions is testament to the way we innovate with current and future hardware – all in order to enable our clients the freedom to innovate within their own businesses; using our software in new and novel ways that bring significant efficiency, productivity and safety gains to their endeavours.
Sporting a 2.4” touch-screen, a dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU, dual cameras (both with flash), 3G, Wifi, all the sensors and gyros you’d expect in a mobile phone (GPS, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass) and 32GB storage, the Neptune Pine smart-watch was a device we were keen to get our hands on.
We see huge benefits to the use of smart-watches in the workplace, across many different sectors and purposes, from the video-calling and instant-upload camera features that come straight out of the box to aid surveying, communication and remote analysis, through to the use of GPS data to monitor the location of construction or emergency service personnel.
Naturally, we want to see what we can do with all of this data when combining it with real-time 3D applications and have several strands of R&D in place to solve specific business challenges. These include the creation of step-by step, hands free construction and assembly guides, interactive plant / equipment operational manuals, 3D site maps and remote tracking of the device itself.
Initial signs are encouraging with Spearhead having several of our real-time 3D applications running well on the Neptune Pine hardware within hours of receiving the devices. We’ve got some work to do in addressing resolution and navigation issues alongside running frame-rate tests to see how hard we can realistically push the platform in delivering visually impressive 3D software but we’re very happy with the results so far.
Overall the quality of the product is good for a first generation product. Remembering it has been brought to market by a young tech start-up and funded by the Kickstarter community, we’re impressed. We would have liked to have seen a higher resolution screen, a newer build of Android and the heart-rate monitor feature that was unfortunately dropped also included; but it’s the lack of waterproofing that may prove to be a big issue for clients in some sectors who may be interested in the technology.
We’re sure that these are all issues that will be resolved over time and they don’t take away from the Neptune Pine being the first smart-watch to incorporate so much technology into a wearable product.
Whether it’s Neptune or another company creating high-end smart-watches in the future, they certainly have their place in the world of business – it’s now up to developers to open up the possibilities and help drive innovation by showing the world what we can do with the technology.
Watch this space…