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Runcible: Round, Cool, and One of a Kind

A pocket watch (not unlike Runcible) is an awesome old-fashioned men’s accessory. Face it: when a man reaches into his pocket to check the time rather than flipping his wrist or (heaven forbid) looking at his smart phone, he just looks sophisticated. Indeed, a pocket watch is cool, especially among the steampunk crowd, but really to any man who has an eye for good taste and a classic style.

Runcible – A Touch of Class

However, the pocket watch has fallen out of fashion. Fewer men actually wear watches (why bother, when your smartphone has the time?), and those who do are increasingly opting for the smart variety.

However, Runcible is a pocket watch with smartphone capability — a pocket smartwatch, if you will. First displayed at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona a few weeks back, Runcible is a cool little device that’s generating lots of buzz.

Traditional Materials, Advanced Capacity

Proclaimed by its developers as “the first personal device for the post-smartphone era,” Runcible isn’t quite a watch. It’s billed as a circular smartphone, but the word smartphone may be misleading too, as it’s too limited in its capacity to actually replace the device we’ve all come to rely so heavily on. It could be an alternative to the smartwatch, as it can perform a lot of those functions.

Runcible is still in prototype, and the exact specs have not been released yet, but here’s what we know: it runs on Firefox OS, it has BlueTooth (so users can take calls using a BlueTooth headset, and it could possibly sync with smartphone apps), and it includes a camera that is rumoured to be about the same quality as that on the iPhone 5. It has some quirks, like a maps feature that offers the most interesting route rather than the most direct.

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A Better Fit, Literally and Figuratively

Unlike a lot of smartphones and bulky phablets, Runcible is palm-sized and lightweight, so it actually fits in your pocket, and it’s not likely to slide out at an inopportune time. It’s round, so there are no poky corners either. The materials are a unique combination of space-age and traditional: Gorilla Glass on the front, grained wood on the back. To complete the Victorian-era aesthetic, there’s even a place to attach a chain.

Ultimately, though, Runcible out there as an advanced device that does its best to not interrupt your actual face-to-face interactions. It won’t send you notifications, it won’t beep and it won’t buzz. You decide when you want to interact with it, just like a regular pocket watch.

Old Name, New Game

If the word “Runcible” sound a bit familiar, you may remember it from the poem “The Owl and the Pussycat” by Edward Lear. The specific line goes, “They dined on mince and slices of quince / which they ate with a runcible spoon.” The word is actually a made-up one by Lear, but it’s fun to say, and its innovative yet quaint character is perfect for the 21st Century device that now bears its name.

Runcible is made by Monohm, an “heirloom electronics” company located in Berkeley, California. The device should be out before the end of 2015.




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