Do we really need a wristband that tracks your health and also turns into a headset? Huawei thinks so.

Mobile World Congress

It was only a matter of time before Huawei got in on the increasingly-relevant wearable space, and the TalkBand B1 is its first attempt. This device, while it looks wrist-bound, is actually two devices in one. The name reveals its hand a little bit — the TalkBand can both be used as a fitness band to capture and give you simple information about your movement but can also be removed from the band and used as a Bluetooth headset.

That's right, you can remove the screen from the TalkBand and stick it in your ear and use it to make and receive calls. When it's all put together, the TalkBand looks and works like your standard fitness band — think Fitbit or LG Lifeband — with a 1.4-inch curved OLED display and a single button on the side. When removed, it looks like a sleek, low-profile headset with a simple microphone slot and rubber earpiece.

The band latches together with two metal prongs, and one end pulls double duty as a USB plug to charge the device. That means you have the simplicity of not needing a cable to charge, but it also gives the TalkBand IP57 waterproofing as well. The band itself feels comfortable, as it should when you'll be wearing it all the time, but is a tad thick because it has to house all of the components of a Bluetooth headset at the same time.

The TalkBand connects to your phone over Bluetooth 4.1, of course, and initiates that connection over NFC. It is supported by Huawei's recently-launched devices officially — although Huawei isn't showing off the software integration just yet — but we were also told Android 2.3+ and iOS 5+ support is on the way as well.

We're not entirely sure if the fitness band + Bluetooth headset is a large addressable market, but the design and implementation of what Huawei has gone for here is above what we'd expect on a first attempt. The TalkBand B1 will be hitting Europe for just €99, which is an industry-following price for something like this.

 

Reader comments

Huawei enters the wearable category with the TalkBand B1

20 Comments

I like it. They read my mind. A Bluetooth headset that receives notifications, it's waterproof, and can be worn on your wrist.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3 Maxx...!!!
(ZeroLemon 7000mA battery and ZeroShock Case)

So you didn't listen to the next 3 seconds to hear that support for all Android and iOs is coming, but you still felt you should comment on it. Odd.

Looks interesting for a first release

Posted via my outdated and under spec'd galaxy tab 3 using the Android Central App

I don't think I'd want it personally, but kudos to them for thinking outside the box. Very interesting idea.

Excellent little device to go with a phablet like the note 3 or Xperia Z Ultra

Posted via Android Central App with LG Google Nexus 4

I thought it was going to be like a Bluetooth that if someone's calls you can talk into the wrist band back and fourth. Oh well one can dream.

Posted via Android Central App

intresting.. i own several clippy Bluetooth stereo headsets.. I carry both stereo and mono ear buds which i use for podcasts and music.. I would be interested in this, i'm not vain and could care less that its not fashionable to someone else.. if it provided decent battery life and call quality i'd be on board.. as far as the fitness aspect I still think the error rate is high.. i would rather see heartbeat and blood sugar stats over estimated steps..

Bluetooth audio tech will really only take off when it becomes useful. that won't happen until we can converse with our phones a lot better. Even simple things like a yes/no question asked and a nod or shake of the head for the answer would be much easier and accurate then the 75% success of a yes/no. When someone finally cracks the contextual awareness will start to see some good uses for wearable tech..

also, would it kill google to allow some training on the phone side.. even a simple pass through in your contacts and when it finds a name that is outside the normal it asks you to speak it.. half the contacts in my phone i can't say "Call ______ " because the name isn't something like Smith..

Is this the same Huawei that is banned from supplying electronics/chipsets to western military suppliers, because their products have been suspected of/found to have incorporated spying/listening mechanisms?