Unlike Fossil’s previous attempt to combine a watch and a handheld, the Wrist PDA actually includes Palm OS 4.1 and can run almost any application written for that operating system. It has a 33 MHz Motorola Dragonball VZ processor, 2 MB of RAM, and 2 MB of ROM. Pre-loaded applications include: Address Book, Date Book, Memo Pad, Calculator and To Do List.
The 160-by-160 pixel touch screen is backlit and can display 16 shades of gray. It includes a stylus integrated into the band for Graffiti input and a rocker switch.
It has an infrared port to support beaming between all Palm Powered devices. According to Fossil, it can run for 4 days between recharges and comes with a charging cable.
“We believe consumers want the functionality of a handheld with the style and portability of a wrist watch,” said Donald R. Brewer, vice president of technology for Fossil. “The Palm OS enables Fossil to provide customers with a fashionable wrist-worn device that is incredibly useful, yet lightweight, small, and powerful.”
This device was first announced at Comdex in November, where it was named “Best of COMDEX” in the mobile devices category. To win, it had to beat the HP iPAQ Pocket PC h5400 and the Nokia 3650 mobile phone, which were also nominated.
There is an article on The Register that mistakenly reports that the Wrist PDA won’t be available until early 2004. According to a Fossil spokesperson, this is totally in error and the device will be available at the end of this month.
This is Fossil’s second attempt at putting a PDA into a watch. The first version worked in combination with a Palm OS or Pocket PC and was not a big success. Reviewers complained that it was too bulky and offered slow performance.