Meet the $7 smartwatch

Chinese tech company Fastfox says keeping hardware minimal helped them offer a smartwatch for just $7.

Story highlights

  • A crowdfunding campaign offers a smartwatch for just $7
  • Fastfox is a Chinese product
  • Makers say simple software and hardware let them sell low
The Apple Watch will sell for $349 when it hits stores next year. Motorola's Moto 360 goes for $249 and Samsung's smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, starts at $199.
Now, a Chinese company wants to sell you one for $7.
Fastfox, a technology startup, says keeping software simple and hardware minimal lets them offer a smart wristband starting at prices nowhere near their fancier counterparts in the growing wearable-tech space.
The company has launched a campaign to release the watches on Australian crowdfunding site Pozible. They offered 100 of the wristbands at $7. All of those have been snapped up, but donors can still get a black Fastfox watch for $8. And for $9, they can get a Fastfox in the color and design of their choice.
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The campaign's highest donation level, $684, gets you 100 of the smartbands in the colors of your choice.
The campagin ends on Dec. 24. As of Thursday it had raised more than $7,200 from 529 supporters.
"Smart wearables have the potential to be incredibly useful, especially in the data they can provide to people trying to forge healthy habits," Fastfox creator Liu Chao said in a news release. "But the price is a big turn-off."
Like some of its contemporaries, including the forthcoming Apple Watch, Fastfox's limited array of apps are, indeed, heavily weighted toward health and fitness.
"This is new technology. Many people just want to give it a try with minimal risk," Liu said. "We wanted to make Fastfox as affordable as buying a new workout t-shirt, and help people take the first step towards reaching their health goals."
Fastfox's native apps measure walking and running distances and record calorie intake. It synchs with an Apple or Android smartphone via Bluetooth and other features including lighting up if you miss a phone call, recording sleep data and hooking up with social media to let you share data with friends.
Its makers say it is waterproof and that its battery can last between four and six months.