Martian Watches

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Martian Watches was a brand of smart watch founded in 2007[1] in the United States by SilverPlus, Inc., an American company headquartered in Irvine, California.[2] Martian Watches allow for hands-free use of mobile phones via short distance wireless communication. Using Bluetooth and voice recognition technology, users can take calls, listen to or send text messages, see caller ID information, and send text using speech synthesis.[3] The Martian watch is reportedly the first watch to utilize voice commands.[4]

Features[edit]

Martian Watches are produced in several styles, each with an analog time display, a small OLED display screen, a speaker, and a noise-cancelling microphone. The small OLED displays scrolling text which can show caller ID information, text messages, and other information such as social media notifications.[3][5] In addition, the watch can be used to trigger the shutter of the mobile phone's camera.[6] The watches utilize Bluetooth 4.0, which supports regular Bluetooth, as well as Bluetooth low energy. The analog watch portion of Martian Watches is powered by a watch battery,[7] and there is a side mounted micro USB port for the rechargeable battery that handles the phone functions,[8] in addition to an accelerometer.[3]

Awards[edit]

Martian Watches was named a CNET "Best of CES Finalist" at CES 2013,[9] and was selected for a Popular Mechanics CES 2013 Editor's Choice Award.[6] In addition, the Edison Award for Productivity Tools was awarded to Martian Watches in April 2013.[5]

Kickstarter campaign[edit]

Martian successfully launched their wireless smartphone-connected watches via the Kickstarter crowd funding platform on August 16, 2012,[10] and the first watches were delivered to customers in early February 2013.[11]

A new Kickstarter campaign in 2018 has resulted in significant customer complaints, with users either not receiving their goods or receiving watches which do not work as advertised. The company has so far not responded to customer criticism and it seems that the Martian office phones are cut off, with support tickets also going unanswered.

Update (May 23, 2018): Martian issued a statement to Kickstarter backers saying that after shipping the first batch of about 480 watches, they lack the funding to continue. They tried to acquire more funding to cover their costs (amounting upwards of $15,000,000) but they were unable to get funding. They are closing the company and liquidating their assets to pay investors. They will be issuing another update to Kickstarter backers in about 30 days, when they decide what they will do to repay their debts and issue refunds to their backers. Many backers are angry at their lack of financial planning as they greatly mislead users by setting a $30,000 goal and raised over ten times this amount, yet they are $15,000,000 short of fulfilling the orders. As this goes against Kickstarter terms of service by not providing a product or a refund, users await their next update in the coming months.

SilverPlus[edit]

SilverPlus, Inc., the U.S. distributor of Martian Watches, was established in 2007 by CEO Jeffrey Hsieh[12] and CTO Dennis Kwan. The president of the company is Stan Kinsey.[13]

Other products[edit]

In 2011, SilverPlus launched a home communication safety system for seniors called the SilverCare Personal Safety Alert Device that included a two-way voice communication watch/pendant and a base station connected to a home telephone line. The unique digital watch had a microphone and speaker that allowed the wearer, when within 100 feet of its base station, to call for help and speak to 9-1-1, family members, or a caregiver.[14]

In August 2014 it was revealed that Martian was teaming up with Guess to launch a range of branded smartwatches.[15]

[16]

Closure[edit]

On 24 May, 2018, it was announced that Martian Watches will cancel the mVoice G2 product and permanently cease operations after 11 years in business due to financial troubles.[17]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Martian Watches Official Site: Company History
  2. ^ "Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)". Serial Number: 85651913; Filing Date: June 14, 2012 
  3. ^ a b c "Martian Passport Watch mixes Bluetooth and class, ships by March for $299 (hands-on)". 
  4. ^ Gonzalez, Barb (31 May 2013). "Review of Martian Watch Voice Command for Smartphones". NBCUniversal. 
  5. ^ a b "2013 Edison Award Winners". 
  6. ^ "Tech Test Drive: What's smart, dumb about smartwatches - San Jose Mercury News". 
  7. ^ "Martian Watch Brings Wristphone Technology to Earthlings - NYTimes.com". 
  8. ^ "Best of CES 2013 Finalists". 
  9. ^ "MARTIAN – Voice Command Watches for iPhone & Android by Martian Watches — Kickstarter". 
  10. ^ "MARTIAN – Voice Command Watches for iPhone & Android by Martian Watches » Early Bird shipping has begun — Kickstarter". 
  11. ^ "Silverplus, Inc - Irvine, California (CA) : Company Profile". 
  12. ^ Velazco, Chris (16 August 2012). "Meet The Martians, The Smartwatches You Can Actually Talk To". TechCrunch. 
  13. ^ "Integrated health management console - PCT Patent 2010/134969". 
  14. ^ "Guess and Martian team up for smartwatch". Wareable. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  15. ^ In May of 2017, the company has reported that it filed for bankruptcy for failing to obtain ade- quate investors. We were very excited, like you, about the potential of Martin G2 watches. Unfortunately, we can not obtain the total investment needed to complete the project. We needed more funds to complete the remaining units without completing. We tried to find new funds from venture capitalists, private equity firms and a principal investor for a large round of financing of $ 15 million, but they were not successful. We tried to license our G2 intellectual property as a turnkey solution for other companies, but unfortunately the discussions took too long and we ran out of time. We also contacted our current investors, who previously lent $ 1.5M as convertible notes to the company, but declined to put in additional funds. As such, we recently completed all operations. We do not have enough liquid assets to pay all of our debts at this time. Our intention is to liquidate the remaining assets for distribution to creditors on a pro-rata basis. First, we need to determine the total number of creditors, the amount of your claims, the priority of certain groups of claims and then the best way to sell and realize the value of the company's remaining assets, which consist primarily of intellectual property rights , including patents related to the Martian Watch brand. We expect that approximately 30 days will elapse to develop the best way to proceed, at which time we will update it in the following steps." https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/martianwatches/mvoice-g2-worlds-first-watch-with-voice-and-full-d/posts/2159639
  16. ^ Martian Watches goes out of business