UPDATE: 7digital has confirmed it has entered into an agreement with i.am+ for the development of applications and operation of the music service on its devices, including the Puls.
Will.i.am‘s new wearable device, the Puls, is far more than a watch. The hip-hop mogul-turned-tech entrepreneur was sure to make this clear at Dreamforce ’14 convention in San Francisco Wednesday, telling his audience to call it a “cuff: — a fashion-focused term fitting his “fashion-ology” mission of blending the two disciplines.
“First off this is not a watch, by any means,” Will.i.am said, showing off the bulky, curved black band, and pointing out its various attributes. “The battery is all around here, right next to the battery very tightly packed is the speaker, and then the radio is here and here, SIM card is there, the chip set is there, and it’s all tightly packed under this curve screen.”
The device has 1 GB of memory, 16 GB of storage, 780 mA of power, wi-fi, bluetooth, GPS, a pedometer and accelerometer, and will run untethered on a 3G cellular network provided exclusively through AT&T, Will.i.am announced.
“I almost forgot, it also has 4 kW of DAF,” he added with a laugh. “That’s ‘dope-as-f—ness.'”
Will.i.am’s big unveiling of his self-funded i.am+ brand Puls at Salesforce’s annual user and developer conference had the feel of a coming-out party for the new, coolest guy in tech. He was nervous but confident throughout the nearly hour-and-a-half presentation, excitedly showing off the device’s capabilities, including phone calls, email, text, music streaming, a mood sensor, fitness and maps all without a phone for, as he put it, “untethered awesomeness,” all run with the help of the system’s voice navigation virtual assistant Anita.
Aside from AT&T’s stateside service, a long list of i.am+’s partnerships were unveiled, including O2 for service in the UK, the Humin app for easy contact entry and memory, and a deal with News Corp that Will.i.am said is a “reimagining of journalism and the flow of information,” to be unveiled at a later date.
Will.i.am finished the presentation with a mini fashion show to reveal some of his company’s other projects in the works. Aside from the cuffs his models were all wearing, their stylish “Powear” jackets were actually working to power the devices, he said, and by touching them to the sleeve the cuffs would be energized for two-and-a-half days of use. As well, there were sneakers weighing a model and counting his steps and a geometric backpack that carried its own power and speakers as well.
“That’s wearables,” he said. “Wearables isn’t just something on your wrist. You should be wearing it all. Counting steps, weighing you on your shoes, jackets to give you two-and-a-half days of power, and a backpack that gives you sound when you go out into the world. And it’s made fresh and it looks freaking dope.”
No release dates for the Puls or any of the other products have been announced yet.