Even in an environment geared for making the fastest clones of devices on the planet, it still took Chinese manufacturers a couple of years to effective mimic the basic look and feel of the iPhone. With rumors swirling about an impending Apple smartwatch, Foxconn has decided to hedge its bets by getting in on the smartwatch race early with a surprise unveiling of its own wearable computing device.
The reveal occurred last week during Foxconn's shareholder meeting in Asia. According to a report from a Taiwanese website, Foxconn chairman Terry Gou showed the device off and told those gathered, "With such a device, you can keep your phone in your pocket and simply check all kinds of messages on your watch."
Foxconn's device, which looks suspiciously a lot like the Nike Fuel Band, can reportedly be connected to an iPhone and monitor the user's heartbeat, respiration, and be used to check Facebook postings and make phone calls.
Of course, none of this speaks to the app development needed to complement such a device, a skill set that Foxconn has yet to demonstrate a facility for in terms of consumer-facing products. On the other hand, this may have simply been a way for the company to show would-be smartwatch competitors that Foxconn has a ready-made solution for those looking to hire them in order introduce their own brands of wearable devices in the near future.
According to the report, Foxconn also hopes to add fingerprint recognition to a future version of the device. However, the company hasn't announced any plans to make the device commercially available.