“While you’re now not in smartwatches this day, especially as a worn opinion manufacturer, then we are the formula that you acquire the excellent product to your customer.”
Right here is how Steve Prokup, co-founder of Mijo Linked, described the firm’s enterprise, and it has me severely intrigued and brooding about the formula forward for smartwatches. I spoke to Prokup over a video name at some level of CES 2024, and although you seemingly haven’t heard of Mijo Linked, and it seemingly received’t be a title on an accurate product you’ll prefer in the extinguish both, that doesn’t point out it’s essential to gentle ignore it. Right here’s why.
Prokup has in fact intensive expertise on the earth of wearables, having labored as head of hardware at Pebble earlier than heading to Fossil, where he labored as vice president of engineering and senior vice president of connected devices. Mijo Linked’s other co-founder is Hai Nguyen, who moreover labored at Fossil on product administration and study and building initiatives. It’s perchance now not a shock that the corporate retains a connection with Fossil, as Prokup told me.
“We are usually now not half of Fossil. But we are pursuing a identical route and perform have entry to a pair of the Fossil technology,” he talked about befoe including that he used to be unable to develop further on precisely what that meant. It is, however, a solid signal of how severely Mijo Linked takes smartwatches, as it makes total sense to proceed leveraging the expertise of a longtime opinion and smartwatch maker.
So, what is Mijo Linked, and why must gentle you care? It plans to fabricate a wearable instrument platform that some very acquainted model and sumptuous brands will in the end build their names on, permitting them to perform shapely, outlandish, and trendy smartwatches that moreover have the excellent technology and software to serve up the appears.
If that sounds luxuriate in a well-diagnosed approach, it’s now not dissimilar to how Fossil launched smartwatches with partner brands luxuriate in Diesel, Kate Spade, and Skagen. Nonetheless, it has recently stepped serve from such ventures, and Mijo Linked is primed to salvage that house.
“Our platform lets in our customers to rapid birth completely differentiated merchandise. So, for instance, a mark needs to birth a smartwatch. They don’t prefer some generic app — it needs to be their title. It has to have their branding, their vogue. Same component for the opinion, true? It’s bought to ogle luxuriate in a opinion from that true company. That’s that’s what our platform does.” defined Prokup.
“The underlying platform has an completely outlandish ID, so the appears of the opinion, the opinion case, the strap, all the pieces is totally designed by [the brand] because they generally have very merely accomplish teams that know put in force their mark’s vogue. The an identical component with the app and even the recommendations in the cloud.” he persisted.
Mijo Linked will raise its trade expertise to brands that want to birth smartwatches (and, in the extinguish, other connected cell devices luxuriate in wi-fi earbuds and neat audio system), but don’t want to make investments in building partnerships with software firms, manufacturers, after which studying the sexy plot construct a product that’s representative of the emblem. Mijo Linked will perform all this in its set up and must gentle raise a spacious quantity of customization alongside with it, too, primarily based on Prokup:
“Now we have a extremely identical plot to how worn watches are manufactured, where the roam is wrapped in assorted designs and assorted opinion instances. We are able to scramble to a top price titanium case, we are able to build pavé [a reference to jewels set into a bezel or case] on it, or scramble to stainless-steel and other alloys, or to plastic. If any individual needs a more moderately priced mark level plastic case with a silicone strap, that is moreover available from our platform,” he defined.
The extent of the customization and individualization provided has meant Mijo Linked is talking to both model and sumptuous brands about working together, including some luxurious brands which have already released a smartwatch in the previous. But what about the software that can lope on these recent smartwatches?
At CES, Mijo Linked launched its smartwatch platform with software company MicroEJ (which is pronounced as Micro Edge) and published that this might per chance presumably moreover notify MicroEJ’s Vee Wear working system in the extinguish. Whereas you might presumably moreover now not today know the title, you might presumably moreover have already used MicroEJ’s platform on a wearable, as it has powered smartwatches made by Polar over the outdated few years.
I moreover spoke to Semir Haddad, chief product and approach officer at MicroEJ, at some level of CES 2024. He talked about the significance of total customization on the software side too, so brands can construct the instrument their salvage. He moreover published that one in every of the corporate’s strengths is in how its technology makes it easy to adapt Wear OS apps to lope on a non-Wear OS smartwatch. It is working with a vary of quite a complete lot of names already, plus it has struck a partnership with the Facer app to provide assorted opinion faces.
Vee Wear has low energy demands, but that doesn’t have an affect on efficiency. Each of those are long-time interval concerns on low-mark smartwatches that might per chance presumably moreover have build some model brands off in the previous. Vee Wear smartwatches will moreover work with both Android and iOS phones, providing more flexibility. Does this point out Mijo Linked received’t provide an probability for a Wear OS smartwatch and is handiest working with MicroEJ?
“MicroEJ are a colossal partner,” talked about Prokup, “but now we have a platform available for an RTOS opinion, as nicely as a platform that we’re engaged on for Wear OS.” The choice of software alternate choices reveals the plot it’s covering all smartwatch customization necessities birth air of the physical accomplish.
Smartwatches are now in fact dominated by three predominant units — the Apple Glimpse Series 9, the Google Pixel Glimpse 2, and the Samsung Galaxy Glimpse 6 — which might per chance be all very excellent, but are usually now not continually what someone who likes worn watches or model watches needs. Mijo Linked is thrilling since it’s working to salvage the gap out there that used to be left considerably birth by Fossil, permitting brands that want to construct a smartwatch to now not want to scramble all-in and switch into a tech company.
The company might per chance presumably moreover be recent, however it brings in fact intensive expertise with it — and sure already has a merely recommendation of what works and what doesn’t when making a branded smartwatch. That must gentle give confidence to firms that might per chance presumably moreover have kept a long way from a connected product in the previous.
So, when does Prokup query the major units to map?
“We don’t have locked-down birth dates, but as you appreciate, on this house, [the fourth quarter] is huge for all people,” Prokup hinted earlier than including: “We’re engaged on a colossal birth with a mark.”
Mijo Linked will mostly be the corporate in the serve of the smartwatches and must gentle now not be a title you’ll hear except you’re “in the know.” But Prokup moreover talked about it will probably presumably moreover have a small product birth of its salvage, although now not underneath the Mijo Linked title, at some level.
This is able to give us a colossal belief of what to perk up for from its smartwatches in the extinguish and appropriate how transformative they’ll moreover be. This is able to moreover happen in an trade for the time being controlled by a catch few tech brands that historically haven’t catered nicely to model and watchmakers. If all goes the formula Mijo Linked is hoping, it will probably presumably moreover very nicely replace the smartwatch market without end.
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