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CoWatch keeps Amazon Alexa Voice Service at arm's length

This crowdfunded smartwatch works with Android or iOS, but uses Amazon's cloud-based voice service to do anything from play music to control connected devices to call a cab.

CoWatch is the first smartwatch to use Amazon's Alexa voice service.

Amazon is getting its own smartwatch, sort of.

The CoWatch, an Indiegogo project currently more than $45,000 past its $80,000 funding goal, will use Amazon's cloud-based voice service, Alexa, to do things like control smart home devices, get traffic and weather reports or play music. It's like have the power of an Amazon Echo on your wrist.

CoWatch's capabilities are powered by Cronologic, an operating system that will let you use the watch with an iPhone or Android smartphone. This means you'll be able to get notifications and such, but if you want a specific app, you'll have to wait for someone to develop it for the Cronologic platform. However, along with the Alexa services, the CoWatch can be used as an activity tracker with heart-rate monitoring.

Other specs are expected to include:

  • A 400x400-pixel fracture-resistant AMOLED touch screen
  • 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi
  • An Ingenic dual-core 1.2GHz and 300MHz mobile processor
  • 1GB of memory and 8GB of storage
  • Up to 32 hours of battery life with an always-on screen
  • Magnetic charging cradle gets watch to 70 percent in an hour
  • Water-resistant stainless steel case (IP67) with a ceramic decoration ring

Backing the Indiegogo campaign for $179 (approximately £125 or AU$230) plus shipping will get you your very own CoWatch sometime after the end of June when it is expected to start shipping.

As always, please note that CNET's reporting on crowdfunding campaigns is not an endorsement of the project or its creators. Contributing to a crowdfunded project comes with risk. Before contributing to any campaign, read the crowdfunding site's policies, such as those for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, to find out your rights (and refund policies, or the lack thereof) before and after a campaign ends.