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Agent Watch Gives Pebble a Run for the Money

The public clearly hasn't yet had its fill of crowd-funded smart watches with lofty goals. The latest entry hoping to vie for the public's support -- and money -- is the Agent smart watch created by Secret Labs in collaboration with New York-based group House of Horology. This Pebble competitor bills itself as a next generation smart watch and potential users have responded, with the company blowing past their $100,000 Kickstarter goal, and hitting $800,000 with 15 days still to go.

Agent promises to fix many of the limitations of previous smart watch models, including the Pebble, I'm Watch and Martian Watch. Like Pebble, Agent is water resistant and the battery can last a full week on a charge, but Agent's hardware and software design should make the new watch more dependable. For instance, Agent ditched the microUSB charging port in favor of wireless charging, eliminating a big source of potential water weakness. Additionally, all apps on the Agent watch will run inside a sandbox, much like smartphone apps, limiting a poorly-designed app's ability to drain battery life or corrupt the device.

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The feature set on the Agent watch, however, isn't anything new. Using Bluetooth to connect to a smartphone, users can view incoming calls and texts, control music and get an alert if they've left their smartphone behind. The watch also works as an external display for apps, leaving additional functionality in the hands of the various developers attracted to the platform. The watch works with the iPhone 4S and newer, Android 2.3 and up and Windows Phone 8. Sorry, Blackberry 10 users; no love for you.

While previous smart watches may have felt more like a toy for hackers rather than a consumer-ready device, the Agent watch aims to provide the user experience expected from a wearable wrist watch without constant maintenance and the possibility of bricking the device.