**Update: Many sites around the web have mentioned this BlackBerry watch over the last 24 hours. Some have gone as far claiming that the manufacturers aren’t in any way affiliated with RIM therefore implying they have no worries. However, this company developing the watch for RIM isn’t just an occasional acquaintance mind you. It is a new company that although isn’t owned by RIM, is under close contact and coordination with the Waterloo company. Having such a close relationship and spending so much time getting the two devices to bled in perfect harmony takes time, work, and money — hence the Foleo references. Continue on…

Ok. So they’re not real images. But, what they highlight is that a “BlackBerry Watch” is coming. I’m still warming up to the idea. The gadget pictured above has is currently going by several names — “Berry Watch”, “BlackBerry Watch”, “smartwatch”, and information contained in the images sent to CrackBerry, “inPulse”.

I personally don’t really like watches. So even a gadget that straps to my arm and allows me to do 65-75% of what my BlackBerry already allows me to do isn’t exactly earth shattering. Still, there are many times in life when a quick glance or subtle/sneeky peek at some messages without having to whip out the full sized berry are might helpful. It’s weird. I’m at a sort of stalemate. The initial reaction is: “Holly hell, a real BlackBerry watch phone!!”. But then I think about the practicality, carrying around two things now instead of just one, as well as the overlapping functions and services leave me just “meh” on this one. Of course, as CrackBerry notes, if this BlackBerry watch is to really become useful, or gain any traction, the API’s need to be released to developers so that 3rd party applications can also communicate with the smartwatch/inPulse,BlackBerry Watch. Via CrackBerry:

  • it has been designed specifically for BlackBerry from the ground up - developed by a new BlackBerry-dedicated accessory company
  • it features an OLED screen that we hear is “big, bright and beautiful” and optimized for displaying text clearly, and thanks to OLED has solid battery life
  • it’s designed to show you notifications and previews of messages arriving on your BlackBerry
  • judging by the filename of the photos as they were sent in to us, we’re thinking it’s going to branded the inPulse smartwatch

Furthermore, another quote pulled from CrackBerry: “….The intent of the watch isn’t to replace using your BlackBerry to view messages. Rather, it’s for those occassions when your BlackBerry is tucked away”…..

What the hell do I want to carry around another gadget for that is dependent on the first one I already bought to consolidate? RIM is obviously spending a truck load of cash on research and development for this “smartwatch”. But for what? No one can replace their Berry with it. This watch is forever stuck to a “mother ship” device. In fact, now that the creative juices are flowing, I am seeing many parallels to the Palm Foleo — a companion device — a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. RIM, for the love of god, don’t create something to buddy up with your current, increasingly outdated products. Instead, use all of that manpower and cash on completely overhauling the BlackBerry both hardware and software. I can think of a great place to start…the BlackBerry OS. Once great and cutting edge is sadly stuck in 2005. Even though RIM is posting impressive sales and doing well financially, better so than most in the market, things could quickly turn south if they put too much emphasis and company resources behind this.

What’s your take? Is this the gadget to give RIM a new breath of fresh air? Or is it a Palm/Foleo copycat disaster in the making?

CrackBerry