By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
The Cookoo smart watch is a Kickstarter project pioneered by Canadian Peter Hauser. Called 'the watch for the connected generation' it is designed to integrate with iPhones and Android smartphones via Bluetooth to show users alerts, tweets, chat messages, emails and calendar notifications when the phone is muted. It is also a platform unto itself and can be made to work with any number of apps.
As skeptical as I was backing a Kickstarter projects (this was my first), I couldn't pass up the opportunity to be part of this project.
Kickstarter's crowd-funded model is great for getting worthy projects off the ground while generating capital from interested backers who share the vision and passion for the product or project.
However, these projects can go both ways and there have been stories of Kickstarter projects that have failed to take off and backers don't get any returns for their investments.
Being a watch fanatic and wanting something better than some of the smartwatch options available today, I jumped right in to back Cookoo, and I'm glad I did.
I received my black first edition Cookoo smart watch yesterday.
Neatly packaged in a cook birdhouse box (which can be repurposed as an actual birdhouse) the love and care put into the packaging of this product is insane and a good sign that the watch itself was outstanding.
Throughout the past few months, I've been kept informed by Hauser and his team on the progress of designing and creating the Cookoo smart watch.
He openly shared each design and engineering decision, each challenge and all the new developments along the way.
I was already impressed by all the images and design studies but the actual watch itself is rather stunning.
It feels surprisingly well built for a high tech watch yet it is reasonably lightweight.
The metal bezel and high grade crystal give it a premium feel while the polymer used for the case is reassuringly sturdy.
There's a great amount of detail, from the branding on the strap to the subtle logo on the crown all look top notch.
The black rubber strap is fairly standard and has some nice design touches although I would welcome other material options down the line.
The Cookoo Smart Watch certainly looks and feels more expensive than a $129.00 smart watch.
I've only had the Cookoo watch for less than 24-hours. It has replaced my beloved 1963 Omega Seamaster 600 military watch on my wrist for the time being. I love its design and undertstated look.
I downloaded the iOS app on my iPhone 5 and it seems like all the alerts (at least for e-mail and calendar alerts) work just fine.
Android functionality is coming soon according to Cookoo and I hope they open up their API's to other mobile operating systems.
More than anything, the Cookoo smart watch is an exceptional example of how a properly run and managed Kickstarter project can succeed.
Cookoo might not have been as hyped or funded as the Pebble eInk watch but not only did it deliver on most of the features promised (more to come), the Cookoo smart watches are already shipping to backers. The ETA is 'early 2013'.