Will.i.am’s new wearable looks like a terrible Apple Watch ripoff


Will.i.am cheesin' with Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts at last month's Apple Watch unveiling. Photo: Leander Kahney/ Cult of Mac
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am clearly has more money and ideas than he knows what to do with. He also uses words like “screenager” and “fashionology.”

His latest tech product is a smart “cuff” called Puls, and it comes equipped with a 3G cellular radio for making calls and using data. The Puls looks like an early Apple Watch (then dubbed ‘iWatch’) concept gone awry. It features a Siri knockoff called “AneedA.”

What’s most telling is that will.i.am and crew have yet to announce pricing and availability, although it’s supposed to be on sale in select AT&T and O2 stores for the holidays.

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/ The Next Web
Photo: Roberto Baldwin/ The Next Web

From a pure specs perspective, the Puls is kind of interesting. A cellular connection, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage make it far smarter than most of the wearables out there right now. But then there’s the odd-looking software, laughably squished onscreen keyboard, and an “emotion detector” app that somehow senses your mood based on the tone of your voice.

“My first thought when I saw the Puls was: This thing is chunky,” said Gizmodo’s Jordan Kushins after a demo. “My wrists are not small and when I snapped it on—it opens like claw and is held together with magnets—it still looked large.”

Yet an AT&T executive thinks that the Plus is “enabling a millennial to fashionably tweet from her wrist while clubbing.” Whatever that means.

Another glorious excerpt from will.i.am speaking to Gizmodo:

The other issue is: how much power are you gonna have? We have 780 milliamps. How many is in an iPhone? 900? Cool. We’re good then. Eight hours. But I need more. If we have mophie that gives us more. Jackets, bro! Jackets. The sleeves touch the watch and give you four days; 4000 milliamps.

Jackets, bro!

Anyway, not much to see here. Will.i.am’s last contribution to the tech world was a $475 “i.am+ foto.sosho” iPhone 4 camera case, in case you forgot.