Former Google Workers Create Next-Gen Interactive Smartwatch

Male commuter in London looking at his smart watch. Shot from behind, focus on the finger tapping on the watch. Urban lifestyle and new technologies concepts.

Two former Google research scientists are looking to fund their idea for a next-generation interactive smartwatch through a crowdfundingcampaign on Kickstarter.

The Ticwatch

After working for the world’s largest search engine for several years, Zhifei Li and Mike Lei decided it was time to start their own business, so they founded Mobvoi. The duo experienced success with their company’s first project for a mobile voice-controlled search assistant,Chumenwenwen. Soon after, Li and Lei launched an interactive Android Wear smartwatch called the Ticwatch.

The Ticwatch was well received by critics but faced one major problem: it was available only in Mandarin, greatly restricting its regional release.

Meet the Ticwatch 2

With the success of its original Ticwatch, Mobvoi is working on a next-generation model. The Ticwatch 2 is touted as “the most interactivesmartwatch,” featuring a touchscreen interface, voice-activated controls, fitness tracking, and the company’s signature Ticwear OS. And unlike its predecessor, the Ticwatch 2 is available in English.

After launching the Ticwatch 2 on Kickstarter, Mobvoi quickly surpassed its original fundraising goal of $50,000. As of writing this, more than 7,000 backers have pledged $1.3 million towards the Ticwatch 2.

Mobvoi included an early bird special in its Kickstarter campaign, selling the Ticwatch 2 for just $99. Of course, these specials were quickly scooped up after news spread of the next-generation smartwatch. Now, you’ll have to pledge at least $159 to get your hands on theTicwatch. When compared to other smartwatches, however, that’s still relatively inexpensive, making the Ticwatch 2 is a smart buy.

Mobvoi is already looking at new product ideas beyond the Ticwatch 2. According to TechCrunch, the company is planning to develop “other products like a smart car mirror.”