Cookoo Smart Watch
Smart watches are big news at the moment, from Samsung's rumoured wristwear to the insane time piece that totes a 41-megapixel camera. But just how usable are they? Cookoo is a successful Kickstarter-backed project that takes a traditional watch design and throws in smart phone skills. Is it the smart watch you've been waiting for?
The Cookoo doesn't look like a smart watch, more like your everyday wristwear. It comes in a few bright colours as well as black or white. The soft-touch rubber coating feels nice against the skin, and even attracted a few compliments. And that's before anyone actually knew what it did.
Sync it to your iPhone or Android device via Bluetooth, and it can act as a remote control. Perch your handset on a tripod, for example, and you can activate its camera shutter by pressing a button on your watch, so no one has to be left out of the photo.
It'll also let you drop a location marker without fishing the phone from your pocket, which will help you remember where you parked the car or pitched the tent. But the pins are only labelled sequentially as 'Pin 1', 'Pin 2' and so on. That system quickly gets confusing if you drop a few close together, or on un-marked streets and fields. A simple time and date stamp would help here, as without it you can't tell the difference between a pin dropped upon leaving the car, and one dropped much later in the day but in the same vicinity.
One of the main draws of the Cookoo is it'll send push alerts right to your watch, but they're not very reliable. Often they don't trigger, or they do but much later than the event they're supposed to signify. They're also quite annoying: post something on Facebook, and if it's popular, you'll quickly drown in a cascade of bleeps and buzzes.
The meaning of the Cookoo's icons aren't fantastically obvious and the button system is also quite confusing, so you'll need to commit the manual to memory or risk forgetting how to use the thing as soon as you leave the house with it. For all its good looks, it's also quite chunky, meaning it's easy to catch on door frames, coat sleeves and bag straps - we'd prefer something much subtler.