Word on the street is that much like the foto.sosho, the Puls is a bust. Techno-pros across the board panned the device for a wide variety of reasons after its October 2014 introduction by Will.i.am. Where to start? Most find it ugly. One of the key precepts behind wearable technology is that it's either supposed to be discreet -- unnoticeable or slim and chic -- or, if it's a larger item, well designed and/or sporting appealing displays. The chunky, clunky, Plain-Jane Puls fails on all fronts. Further, while experts say it's surprisingly light and doesn't weigh down your wrist, its sheer size gets in the way [source: Prasuethsut].
But unsightly looks and even an unwieldy size could be overlooked if the thing worked like a dream. Experts say it doesn't. While they give props for the cuff being untethered, the clarity of its phone calls, AneedA's generally quick, accurate responses and the fact that the Puls offers you 94 ring tone options, those pros hardly outbalance the cuff's cons [source: Wong]. These include [sources: Miners, Prasuethsut, Strange]:
- A non-intuitive interface.
- A dim display that makes it difficult to see clearly; at its highest setting, it's still dimmer than other wearables' power-saver setting.
- A short battery life (less than a day).
- A pint-sized predictive keyboard that requires swiping over letters and is difficult to master. It's so tiny, you're constantly hitting the wrong keys.
- A lack of apps. While the cuff comes loaded with Facebook, Instagram and a few others, that's about it. Supposedly more third-party apps are in the pipeline, including a fitness app, which is one glaring omission.
- No camera. This means that while Instagram is loaded on the Puls, you can't post pictures to it. Plus, you'll still need to tote your smartphone if you want to take shots.
Down the road, the Puls may be upgraded and glitches fixed. But most people think it likely will be too late. The wearables market is quickly becoming saturated, and a big stumble out of the gate doesn't help you stand out. At least not in a good way. On the other hand, the fact that it's unique as a stand-alone device could be its chance at salvation [source: Prasuethsut].
Author's Note: How Does the Puls Wearable Differ from a Smart Watch?
It doesn't matter to me whether the Puls Wearable is deemed good or bad. All it took was one look at its chunky ginormousness to know it would never work on my tiny wrist. And even if it did, as someone who spends eight to 10 hours a day at a computer keyboard or piano, having something that size on my wrist would drive me crazy. Sorry, Will.i.am.
More Great Links
- Bell, Karissa. "Hands On With the PULS, Will.i.am's Connected Wearable." Mashable. Oct. 16, 2014. (March 30, 2015) http://mashable.com/2014/10/16/PULS-wearable-hands-on/
- Brownlee, John. "Will.i.am Unveils Yet Another Stupid Smartwatch." Fast Company. Oct. 20, 2014. (March 31, 2015) http://www.fastcodesign.com/3037278/william-unveils-yet-another-stupid-smartwatch
- Hopewell, Luke. "Will.i.am Foto.sosho Hands-On: Stupider Than The Name Implies." Gizmodo. Jan. 14, 2013. (April 2, 2015) http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/01/will-i-am-foto-sosho-hands-on-stupider-than-the-name-implies/
- Kim, Eugene. "Here's Will.i.am's New Smartwatch 'PULS'." Business Insider. Oct. 15, 2014. (April 2, 2015) http://www.businessinsider.com/williams-new-smartwatch-PULS-2014-10
- Kushins, Jordan. "Will.i.am Talks PULS, a Gigantic Wearable Cuff For Everyone." Gizmodo. Oct. 15, 2014. (March 30, 2015) http://gizmodo.com/meet-PULS-will-i-ams-gigantic-wearable-cuff-1646838552
- Miners, Zach. "Will.i.am's PULS is a beast of a wearable that makes calls without a phone." PC World. Oct. 15, 2014. (March 30, 2015) http://www.pcworld.com/article/2834672/williams-beast-of-a-smartwatch-makes-calls-and-more-without-needing-a-phone.html
- Nelson, John. "PULS cuff severs smartphone-wearable tether." Plus Plastic Electronics. https://www.plusplasticelectronics.com/wearables/PULS-cuff-severs-smartphone-wearable-tether
- Prasuethsut, Lily. "PULS review." Tech Radar. Feb. 19, 2015. (March 30, 2015) http://www.techradar.com/us/reviews/gadgets/PULS-1269354/review
- Strange, Adario. "A closer look at Will.i.am's PULS wearable." Mashable. Nov. 5, 2014. (March 30, 2015) http://mashable.com/2014/11/05/will-i-am-PULS-wearable/
- Will.i.am. "about - will.i.am." (April 2, 2015) http://will.i.am/about
- Wong, Raymond. "Will.i.am's PULS: This is what a wearable nightmare looks like." Mashable. March 2, 2015. (March 30, 2015) http://mashable.com/2015/02/03/will-i-am-PULS-review/