In a long-awaited move, will.i.am is expected to officially launch his smartwatch in San Francisco on Saturday.
Oddly, this will not be related to Apple’s event this week. On Thursday, Apple is expected to launch new iPads, Macs, and a new OS.
But will.i.am will launch his new product at a huge customer conference being held by enterprise cloud software company Salesforce.com.
No matter. He also owns a fashion/tech company called i.am+ that just landed an investment from Salesforce.com.
Salesforce recently launched a new $US100 million venture fund focused on mobile apps and “Internet of Things” devices, called the Salesforce1 Fund. While Salesforce didn’t disclose how much of a stake it bought, it did say that i.am+ was one of four inaugural companies to get backing from the fund. (The others are DocuSign, InsideSales.com, and Skuid).
And that means that Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff gets to have will.i.am launch his watch at the Dreamforce conference.
The two of them have been teasing this for weeks.
Will.i.am says the tech industry’s concept of a smartwatch is all wrong.
Last month, for instance, Benioff interviewed him at a Salesforce.com event in Indianapolis, where he said, “This conversation that we’re having about wearables, the thing on your wrist that talks to your phone, that’s not the future. … There’s no reason why the thing on your wrist shouldn’t be able to do everything. There’s no reason for it to talk to a phone at all.”
His smartwatch includes a phone, he says, and also does music streaming.
He actually demoed it a bit with English talk show host, Alan Carr, in April. At that time, he expected the watch to launch in the summer around June or July.
On Wednesday, we expect to see and hear more about the watch, Engadget reports, including price, battery life (which he’s hinted will last all day), and a date when it will be available (maybe even tomorrow).
(Skip to 9:05 to hear about the watch.)