LAS VEGAS -- While most tech companies at the Consumer Electronics Show here are introducing new and fanciful smartwatches, Bem Wireless clearly believes in putting a Bluetooth speaker on the wrist instead. Its latest product, the Speaker Band, is a small Bluetooth speaker that's worn on the wrist like a watch.
From a function point of view, the Speaker Band works pretty much the same way a standard Bluetooth headset does. It has a speaker that can be used to play music from the phone, and comes with a built-in microphone for answering calls. There is no display on the device, but it does offer an audio-based caller ID function. It also features music playback controls onboard. It has a six-hour battery life and can be recharged via the micro-USB port.
I tried the Speaker Band during a short hands-on session at the CES booth and found the speaker a tad soft, though that could be due to the higher noise levels at the convention center. Personally, I find it hard to imagine anyone using it to make calls, as it's not hands-free since you will probably have to lift your wrist closer to the mouth to talk. And frankly, it looks little too squarish and bulky on the wrist for most people. However, given its $49.99 price tag, this is a product that should be within reach for most mainstream users.
The Bem Wireless Speaker Band is expected to start shipping in February.