Posted by Tom Foremski - August 2, 2011
WIMM Labs today launched a modular device that shrinks a PC behind a tiny color display screen with wireless connectivity and full day battery power.
The company hopes it will become a platform for a broad range of applications, ranging from wrist watches to golf-swing monitors. It contains an accelerometer, magnetometer, WiFi, Bluetooth and is waterproof. The color display is about one-inch on each side for a diagonal screen of 1.4 inches.
Foxconn, the giant electronics manufacturer, is an investor in WIMM Labs.
I met with the team behind WIMM Labs last week for a sneak preview.
"We wanted to make the module as thin as a Rolex," said Dave Mooring, CEO. He expects watch makers to use the device but also a wide range of different companies. "We will partner with brands and help them develop unique applications," he said.
WIMM has developed a few simple apps to show off the capabilities of the module and it has a software development kit based on the Android operating system, available in the third quarter of this year.
The module is pricy, at about $200, which means initially it will be targeted at a high-end market. Mr Mooring, who used to work at Intel, says Moore's Law will bring down the price significantly.
The display features a touch screen input and it's bright and surprisingly easy to read for its size. The challenge for WIMM will be to persuade companies to develop apps for the module instead of apps for smart phones.
Mr Mooring believes that smart phone apps are too clumsy to use. "This is a glance and swipe solution, it's always on, and you don't need to find and run an app on your phone -- it takes too much time."
WINN has also developed an "App store" that its oem customers can white label and use to showcase their apps.
It is currently working with a small number of developers on applications such as SportyPal, which sells sport fitness monitoring devices.
Gligor Dacevski of CreationPal, developer of SportyPal, said: “Because the WIMM device is always on and always attached to the body, our fitness app on the WIMM Platform helps athletes in the gym or on the field, giving them immediate guidance and feedback on their workout.”
More info here: WIMM Labs