My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How WiMe's Talkase Kickstarter indicates Bluetooth Micro-SIM Phone Smartwatch Device Trend

Sunday, November 9, 2014

How WiMe's Talkase Kickstarter indicates Bluetooth Micro-SIM Phone Smartwatch Device Trend

Folk, I’ve got more proof that there is truly a trend towards smaller smartphones and phone in general as I’d suspected in my blog article entitled “Tech Predictions of 2013 - 3D Printing and smaller smartphones”.

Taiwanese company WiMe has developed a smaller phone called the Talkase that attaches to your smartphone via a specially made case that's build as a holster to fit both your smartphone and this smaller phone as explained “Huh? Mini phone attaches to the phone you already have”, published October 24, 2014 12:15 PM PDT by Michael Franco, CNET News and “One phone just isn't enough: Credit card-sized handset piggy-backs on your main mobile for when your battery dies”, published 27 October 2014 14:52 GMT By Victoria Woollaston, UK DailyMail.

WiMe’s Talkase currently has a kickstarter funding round that began on Tuesday October 21 2014 to raise some US$60,000 to make the Talkase. As of Sunday November 9th 2014 they've surpassed that goal, reaching some US$112,818 with the help of some 2,106 pledges.

With only eleven (11) days to go until the campaign ends on Thursday, November 20th 2014 12:44 PM EST, this Project is already set to achieve its lofty dream of making a Talkase with a smartphone case that can carry the Talkase not only for the Apple iPhone but other smartphones as well.

This calculator-sized phone that’s can get lost behind your Credit Card pairs via Bluetooth with your smartphone and makes calls, making this device compatible with virtually any smartphone. The user also has the option of inserting a micro-SIM card to make it a fully-function phone when your smartphone has died.

So why do I feel this may become a hit?

I’ll explain that and why the WiMe’s Talkase may mark the trend towards smaller Bluetooth accessories that function as mini-phones, particular smartwatch that can answers phone calls like the Samsung Galaxy Gear as explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “Samsung’s Galaxy Gear S Smartwatch coming to Jamaica while reppin’ for Tizen”.

WiMe's Talkase - Bluetooth tethered Micro-SIM phone with physical buttons easier to handle

The idea may seem far-fetched to CNET Editor Michael Franco, but to me as a Jamaican it make perfect sense in our country, where you're like to get jacked for just flashing a JA$20,000 smartphone in public as noted in my blog article entitled “How smartphones are stolen and IMEI changed – Uninformed Jamaican Police Tracking Jamaicans even as GOJ ID Registration by Telecom Providers needed”.

For this reason and the fact that despite the explosion of interest in smartphones in Jamaica since 2013 now culminating with the DL750 as noted in my blog article entitled “JA$13,688 Digicel DL750 Launched – Alcatel One Touch Pop C3 with Free TV App, DL600 issues in X-Men Origins First Class Days of Future Past”, we're still not totally into these easy-to-break devices.

Jamaicans, a lot like Americans I suspect, rarely have both a Data and Voice Plan or Credit on the same smartphone. Jamaicans, from my experience, tend to walk with a second simpler feature phone to make regular phone calls. Americans, again from comments on my Social Media, tend to use VoIP Apps such as WhatsApp and Viber to make low-cost VoIP Calls across the country.

A trend that we’re catching on too as well up until the point Viber and Nimbuzz got the axe by Telecom Provider Digicel and telecom Provider LIME as noted in my blog article entitled “LIME and Digicel blocking all VoIP Services - How Telecom Providers can make money from Regularizing Paid VoIP Services”.

Truth be told, here in Jamaica it's really only the Teenagers (ages 13 to 17) and a few Millennials (ages 18 to 28) that have any knowledge of VoIP Apps for making Local or International calls on their Data-enable smartphones. So the vast majority of Jamaicans who aren't so tech-savvy and trusting of such a delicate, breakable smartphone who have made the switch to a smartphone still tote around a regular feature phone.

Smaller phone for Voice Calls – Smaller, Cheaper with Bluetooth is what feature phones should have been

Why Americans would do the same isn't clear albeit it’ll definitely happen.

I suspect because probably like a smartwatch that can make phone calls using a Bluetooth Headset, Americans may, like Jamaicans, also find it a tad more convenient to whip out the smaller talk-only Talkase from its holster rather than reach for this big cumbersome smartphone, fiddle for a few seconds to unlock the screen and answer the phone. Also, given its diminutive size, it’s less like to run out of charge and the last the whole day.

With the Talkase, it’s just to press the physical buttons and the phone answers the call......just like a regular feature phone. Just as easy to have the phone as a smartwatch that you just tap and answer with your Bluetooth headset, making the Talkase a kind of singing canary for such Bluetooth-paired products that can double as phones, such as smartwatches like the Samsung Galaxy Gear S!

The Talkase is merely 5.5 mm (0.2") thick, has a standby time of 100 hours and can give you 2.5 hours of talk, rather poor for a Bluetooth attachment that mimics a regular feature phone. But the ultimate deciding factor may be the price.

At  US$25 (£15.50, AU$28) set to increase to US$49 (£30, AU$55) for BOTH the Talkase and the smartphone case with holster, when the kickstarter concludes, it'll STILL be in the same ballpark as a lot of feature phones and even some smartphones on Ebay.

Not only will the WiMe's Talkase be wildly successful by shipping date December 2014, it'll also spark interest in makers of smartwatches that double as wristwatch- sized Bluetooth enabled smartphones. Even better, it may see the return of the humble feature phone tricked out with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and will mark the move towards cheaper Bluetooth Accessories becoming more commonplace.

Here’s the link:

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