One aspect of Olio’s internal electronics hardware is their custom inductive charging coil for wireless charging of the Olio Model One.
This charging system, Olio states, will give the Olio Model One two to four days of battery life between charges – two days of nominal use and two additional days of use if you turn off the connectivity to your Olio Model One.
The user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) — arguably present the biggest differentiator for the Olio Model One vis a vis the rest of the global smartwatch industry.
The Olio Model One UX offers a series of watch faces that are altered to present the user with visualization of their last 12 hours of activity, arc bar graphs of their schedule for the next 12 hours, quadrants of weather display, analog or digital alarms, a stopwatch, and a timer with vibration alert.
One of the noticeable differences of the Olio Model One from almost every other smartwatch is their UX concept of “earlier streams” versus “later streams” and their “control hub”.
The earlier streams present information that you missed earlier in the day, such as missed calls, Emails, social media messages and texts, sports scores, business and finance updates, news, and alerts about when your smartphone apps are being updated.
The latter streams organize the information that is coming later in your day, such as traffic, weather forecasts, schedule items, reminders, alarms, Google Now updates, and Olio Assist suggestions and information.
The Control Hub presents simple interfaces for controlling the music on your mobile device from the Olio Model One, receiving turn-by-turn navigation directions on the Olio Model One itself, receiving notifications of who is calling your smartphone, and the possibility of performing simple control actions on IP connected devices such as thermostats, locks, and cars.
Together, the Olio UX concept of stream event tracking and a control hub that work together to eliminate the need for installing gobs of apps in your smartwatch is an intriguing software and UX approach and merits watching over the months and years ahead.
The obvious advantages are your smartwatch is not performance drained by dozens of loaded apps and neither are you. Olio’s streams and control hub are meant to make your smartwatch assisted life simpler, sans apps.
Another advantage, perhaps not as obvious or manifestly efficient according to a fair amount of customer feedback, is that the Olio Model One’s proprietary OS, software APIs, and UX are all designed to be compatible with Android and iOS smartphones.
In fact, Olio claims that the Olio Model One can support voice commands to nicely interface with Apple’s Siri and the Google Now (a.k.a. Google Assistant) functions.
Yet another advantage of Olio’s app-less OS and software approach is that the Olio Model One offloads most of its processing to the cloud. Which, in theory, should help a smartwatch maximize its processor and graphics chipset performance to the benefit of the user.
However, when you are in circumstances when an event strikes that prevents your Olio Model One to access the cloud, events which surely are inevitable at some point, given
Murphy’s Law, then you are stuck with a stainless-steel paperweight on your wrist, with very little in the way of smarts in your watch.
The disadvantages of Olio doing its level best to avoid the world of apps is that Olio presents yet another software layer — this one hidden in the cloud and not customizable — between the contextual-, data-, and UX- driven world of 4 million apps out there and the information you need on your wrist.
There may indeed be critical or very useful information that common smartwatch industry apps present that you are simply not going to get on the Olio Model One on your wrist because of Olio’s commitment to making your life simpler, sans apps.
Furthermore, with a global market share represented by less than a few thousand batch-manufactured luxury Olio smartwatches, there is literally no reason whatsoever for any developer to even consider developing any apps for the Olio Model One OS, API infrastructure, and software suite of services and user experience, as it would likely never be profitable for any app developer.
Any way you slice it, the earlier and later streams and control hub concept sets the Olio apart from the major smartwatches. For a small sliver of a small slice of the global smartwatch marketplace, this may offer substantive benefits in time-savings and ease of use.