Many market analysts have diagnosed a lack of unique identity as the main flaw of most wearable devices out and about, with smartwatches accused of depending too much on connected phones, and essentially working as tiny computers for your wrist.
But a Los Angeles-based startup called Rufus Labs seems to think that’s a strength rather than a weakness, and aims to replace “the need for smartphones, wallets, watches, fitness trackers, everything” with a do-all 3.2-incher you can awkwardly slap on your wrist.
Thought the Apple Watch was a bit uncomfortable to wear in public? Snickered at the ginormous Neptune Pine when it asked for your Kickstarter support? Well, the Rufus Cuff is basically like those two put together, and yet somehow, it raised close to half a million dollars on Indiegogo last year.
Now, it’s up for pre-order starting at $250, although no precise shipping dates are provided yet. You can get it worldwide, and double the base 8GB internal storage for an extra $40. Another $55 ups the ante to 32 gigs, and so on until you reach the 128GB (!!!) peak.
Why in the world would you need so much digital hoarding room on your wrist? Because the Rufus Cuff intends to make you ditch your phone instead of working alongside it. Quite the bold… and confusing proposition, given the wearable giant lacks standalone cellular capabilities, so at best, it could replace your tablet. If you’re one of the few that still own one.
Compatible with both Android handhelds and iPhones, the Rufus Cuff packs a Cortex A9-based TI processor, 1GB RAM, and 1,175 mAh battery. It should also offer full Google Play access soon, once certification comes through. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS, and the sensor menu isn’t half bad, with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass in tow.
There’s a front-facing camera on deck too, dual microphones, speaker and music controls, and finally, water resistance. But the design, form factor and especially footprint remain controversial, to put it mildly.