China-based Huami appears to be banking on the flashy aesthetics of a San Francisco-based design studio to help it crack into the American smartwatch market.
The company is promoting its new Amazfit Verge device, which features a Xiao voice-based virtual assistant, IP68-rated water and dust resistance, NFC support for mobile payments, and an embedded GPS. It also features cardiac biometrics, allowing the device to monitor the user’s heart rate continuously and, like the newest Apple Watch, alert the user when signs are detected of an abnormal heart rate.
The device launched in China in September, and it looks like Huami is now aiming to bring it stateside. While the company hasn’t made any official such announcements, it has issued an English-language press release detailing its collaboration with Territory Studio, a US design firm that has worked on major special effects-heavy superhero and science fiction films including Avengers: Infinity War, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ready Player One, and Blade Runner 2049. Territory Studio has now applied its expertise to the Amazfit Verge’s user interface, a collaboration that Huami is evidently keen to highlight to English-speaking audiences.
If Huami does indeed proceed to American markets, that kind of visual flash could prove important in making Huami’s smartwatch stand out, since some of its other more noteworthy features, including support for MIJIA smart home devices and forthcoming support for AliPay and UnionPay transactions, won’t have broad appeal outside of the China market.