Published on July 5th, 2013 | by Maiwenn Regnault
VEA Buddy: An Apple-Inspired SmartWatch
If Steve Jobs designed the iWatch, it could very well look like VEA’s Buddy. A thin and solid watch, with a single button, a color touchscreen display and large clear icons. A world’s away from the more geeky smart watches from Casio, Pebble, Motorola or Sony.
“The iPhone was our inspiration,” said Armand Billard, the CEO of Caiman Design, who led the VEA Buddy’s design team. “We’ve been designing smart watches for years, but with the Buddy, we started from scratch, with a user-centric approach. It had to be simple, easy to use and comfortable to wear. A smart watch for everyone, not just geeks!”
A smart watch for everyone, not geeks!
VEA Buddy, the smart watch for everyone
The Buddy icons lets you access, in read-only mode, to key functions on your smartphone, like your text messages, emails, calendar, music, photos, Twitter or Facebook .
“The Buddy is an assistant to your Bluetooth smartphone (iPhone, Android, Windows 8, Blackberry…), that you wear all the time, but not a replacement. If you want to write an email or place a call, then your smartphone is a better device. But if you want to check something quickly, like your last emails or your Facebook feed, without having to dig in your pocket or your purse, then the Buddy is the best,” adds Brigitte Bensaid, the CEO and founder of VEA.
A large 2″ color horizontal touchscreen
Instead of having a rather square screen, like most of the other smart watches, VEA chose to use a horizontal 2″ display for larger icons, texts and notifications.
“Who wants to go through menus and buttons to check your email. With the Buddy it’s just one touch away, just like the iPhone,” said Billard. “And despite its larger screen, the Buddy is even thinner than the Pebble which matters a lot when you have it on your wrist all the time.”
And unlike the Pebble, the Buddy is repairable (in less than 10 minutes!) because it’s not glued together but screwed, told me Bensaid. A beginner’s mistake that 13-years old VEA learned to avoid.
“While many startups are still learning how to make smart watches, we sold more than 10,000 already, from our Sportive, a Dick Tracy-like smartphone watch, to the simpler and cheaper Buddy”, added Bensaid.
The Buddy will be available in June and can be pre-ordered today on Indiegogo for $150, the same price than the Pebble.