With 33m albums sold and seven Grammy Awards won, Will.i.am doesn’t lack confidence. So much so that the creator of the fashion-tech brand i.am+ is pioneering a new kind of wearable mobile device, the Puls cuff.
Will.i.am – whose real name is William Adams – unveiled the smartband (pronounced ‘pulse’) last night, during his keynote presentation at Dreamforce 2014 in San Francisco, California.
In a dramatic show that featured music, video, poetry and a fashion runway show, the rapper revealed that the device will deliver many of the usual functions of a smartphone, including calls, texts, email, music and fitness functions, as well as being voice activated.
Stepping into the world of tech entrepreneurship, Will.i.am was every bit the hype man for his product, making bold statements that make it seem as though he is hip-hop’s answer to Steve Jobs.
Puls is no smartwatch
“i.amPULS represents digital freedom, individuality, intelligence and the intersection where fashion and technical innovation meet,” Will.i.am told the crowd. "I’m honoured to share my vision for the Puls with this global audience.”
Don’t call it a watch, though. “Watches don’t have SIM cards,” said Will.i.am in an interview with Gizmodo. You see, unlike a smartwatch, the Puls has the ability to make and receive calls independently of any smartphone.
“Ours doesn’t need a phone for it to function. Why do you want to have a device that doesn’t have a phone? The gym. I’m tired of having the friggin’ music experience tangled with wires, and my device, and I have to figure out where to put my phone. We all know, in a gym, it hasn’t been thought out right. I want to have a device on my wrist where it’s free, and I can work out with my Bluetooth and I’m straight.”
Will.i.am living his dream through smart jackets and cuffs
Cranking up the ingenuity levels even further, the device can even be charged by its user wearing a special charging jacket.
“The other issue is: how much power are you gonna have? We have 780 milliamps. How many is in an iPhone? 900? Cool. We're good then. Eight hours. But I need more. If we have mophie that gives us more. Jackets, bro! Jackets. The sleeves touch the watch and give you four days; 4000 milliamps.”
Jackets, bro. Jackets.
In addition, Puls might also need an external piece of hardware in order to take photographs.
"First off, who in the f*** is going to be putting up their wrist up to take a picture? I don't want to be hanging out with that guy. Come on bro, let's just be real. So how do you take a picture? Glasses. Let's make glasses that take a picture. And people take pictures by tapping their wrist and looking."
Will – who we remember to be a tech enthusiast from his wonderfully over-the-top 'T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)' video – is certainly is thinking big, envisioning that users will be as likely to own a smartphone and Puls as they would a laptop and tablet. Tweeting before his presentation, he called the project his "vision".
I'm seconds away from launching my vision and Dream at dream force so blessed and I'm happy to be here to be able to do this
— will.i.am (@iamwill) October 16, 2014
And according to the rest of Twitter, he was equally pumped during the presentation itself.
— Rohan Thakkar (@rohant21) October 16, 2014
— Salesforce (@salesforce) October 16, 2014
Also present were The Next Web, who report that Puls will boast 1GB of RAM,16GB of storage, GSM 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS , a speaker and, according to Will, "four kilowatts of DAF (Dope as F***ness)".
A release date for Puls has yet to be announced. Those looking to register for pre-order information can via the product's official website.
Images of the Puls cuff via iampuls.com