It’s somewhat ironic that so many health-focused smartwatches feature busy, brightly-colored screens that through constant updates, notifications, and prompts almost demand your attention and, just maybe, add to your stress.
According to the Mayo Clinic, left unchecked, stress can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
NoWatch, though, has created a state-of-the-art smartwatch that may reduce stress by leaving out just one key feature: the screen. You heard that right, there’s no display on the wearable. Although this isn’t an entirely new idea – Whoop and Amazon Halo devices replace the screen with an extension of thier simple fabric bands – NoWatch has gone for a more stylish approach, as in its place are gemstones.
NoWatch features user-swappable, display-sized gemstones. They slip neatly into a slightly-beefy, gold-toned smartwatch that includes most of the activity and health sensors you’d find on, for instance, an Apple Watch or Fitbit. There is, though, a focus on stress reduction. NoWatch, which was unveiled here at CES 2023 in Las Vegas, features skin conductivity sensors, developed in partnership with Philips, that analyze sweat gland activity and measure stress levels.
The accompanying app uses that data to cook up what NoWatch developers call a recovery plan. Company representatives told me that they’re focused on “restoring balance.”
The lack of visual notifications and on-screen information play a part in that, as does the static, jewelry-like gemstones that may appeal to rock hunters, and crystal aficionados.
Pricing, which starts at $300, will depend on which gemstone you chose. Each one comes in a disk shape that clicks into place on the watch. Removing them requires a specialized, and included, charger that has a powerful magnet on one side. You place the charger over the gemstone and pull it off, leaving a rather stark-looking watch body that houses all the sensors and a digital crown. The watch, by the way, is also water-resistant.
NoWatch representatives explained that the beauty of the removable gemstones is that you don’t have to keep replacing your entire smartwatch to change your style.
It is an attractive watch, but we do wonder if the novelty of a screen-free wearable existence will eventually wear off and you’ll be pining for the stressful, good old days when you could raise your wrist and see that you got a text message from your nana.
NoWatch launches pre-sales in early February and should ship in the first half of 2023.
Check out our CES 2023 hub for all the latest news from the show as it happens. We’ll be covering everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops, and smart home gadgets, so stick with us for the big stories.