Texas Instruments is selling its new Chronos EZ430 wristwatch for just $50 (well below production costs) because it wants to show off the capabilities of its embedded sensor chips. In this case, it’s not just a watch — it’s an application development platform.
The watch comes complete with a USB dongle with which you can connect wirelessly, and an SDK that you can use to develop your own applications. In addition to the usual watch functions and a temperature sensor, it also senses acceleration in three planes. That means you can program the watch to interact with your PC when you make certain hand motions. The folks at The Register created an app that changed the song playing on a PC when the wearer rotated his wrist, and others have created apps that unlock doors or control robots. It’s really not all that useful, but fun if you’ve got some time on your hands.