The Hot Band makes any watch – dumb or smart – even smarter

editors-choiceSmartwatches run the gamut from simpler fare like the Pebble Classic to more advanced options like the Moto 360 and the Apple Watch. But despite the wealth of options on the market, smartwatches are like Cinderella’s glass slipper after the ball: part of a hunt for the right owner.

Fur many of these folks, though, wristwear comes down to aesthetics that no digital face can countenance. The multi-faceted Hot Band tackles that objection by making any dumb watch smart, hitting even the most baller of watches with a dose of digital intelligence through the use of two easily swappable fobs that sit on the wrist. The Audio Fob uses Bluetooth to route a paired smartphone’s calls to the device using the combination of a 180° mic and the user’s own cupped palm that acts as a parabolic dish for a completely private call. It can even unclip to become a Bluetooth headset in situations where both hands are necessary. The Smart Fob offers users a tiny but powerful, touch-enabled screen with a surprising number of functions.

Everything from SMS notification to music control to light fitness tracking is covered. And for all those already smitten by the smartwatch vanguards of the market, the Hot Band’s private calling capabilities trump their half-baked calling solutions. For those interested, $69 buys a Hot Band with either Fob while an increase of $30 buys all three pieces together. Hot Bands are due to ship in July 2016 should the Kickstarter campaign reach it $100,000 by March 22nd.

Hot Band is novel idea that cleverly addresses some admittedly minor pain points with some great design and engineering that result in something unlike much else. Value is found in those pain points that, while minor, turn many smartwatch owners off to the experience. The expansion of functionality for dumb watch owners is a huge asset, all while staying discreet. In that way, Hot Band is very similar to Trivoly. While the latter offers vibration notifications, the former’s phone calling feature is a functional coup.

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