Si14 WearIT Brings Android 4, Health Monitoring to Your Wrist

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Want some fitness help on your wrist? Made by Si14, an Italian group that helped develop the I'm Watch smart watch, the WearIT is a powerful Android wrist piece with a focus on fitness. At this year's CES, Si14 showed off a non-functioning prototype of the watch and described its  intriguing features, including a bright 240 x 240 screen, an OS based on Android 4.0 and the ability to connect via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ANT+ protocols.

Though not quite as stylish as the I'm Watch, the sporty-looking WearIT comes in your choice of fashion colors, including red, black, white, yellow and orange. Its 240 x 240 pixel touch screen is as bright and colorful as the I'm Watch's display and, at just 1.2 ounces, it is much lighter than any other smart watch we've handled.

Though it won't break any speed records, according to Si14 COO Fabio Patron, the WearIT's Cortex A8 processor is fast enough to handle video as well as music playback. Its Wi-Fi radio will allow users to grab data from any hotspot, without the need to pair to a watch as they would with I'm Watch. Bluetooth  4 enables you to pair with a phone or listen to audio on your headphones; there's no wired headphone jack. ANT+ is the wireless protocol for connecting to health monitoring devices like heart rate monitors and glucose meters, devices a lot of potential WearIT customers will want to use. The  WearIT also has GPS, an accelerometer, a compass and a pedometer.

Because the WearIT units on display at the Si14 booth were simply looping through a series of demo animations, we couldn't get a good look or feel for the UI. What we did see was a series of apps that are likely to come preloaded including an audio player, a timer and a cardio map which shows where and how far you've jogged along with your heart rate. Patron said that the watch will be able to run most Android 4 apps and many of them may even work without modification. An SDK will give developers access to the watch's unique features like its hardware sensors.

The WearIT is due out later this year, but will likely be sold under a different brand name as Si14 is looking for partners to bring it to market.