The verdict is still out on whether smartwatches are a legitimately useful thing to strap to your wrist. But setting Apple Watch dweebiness aside, a very limited, completely dedicated wrist-puter for winter sports could make real sense.
Smartphones and cold do not mix: either, you keep your phone buried under 18 layers and it’s warm and inaccessible, or you take it out in 10-degree weather, and it dies instantly. I’ve been using a Pebble smartwatch since they first came out to combat this exact problem — checking texts and switching music without having to pull my phone out — but the small buttons aren’t ideal.
YodelUp was a Kickstarter project for a much more specific kind of wearable. It’s basically a chunky, screenless watch aimed at skiers and snowboarders. It’s got two functions: letting you use big rocker buttons to control music, and a push-to-talk button that pairs with your phone to emulate a walkie-talkie.
It was $US100 on pre-order during Kickstarter and is now in further development, which is a steep price for a glorified Bluetooth remote with a wrist strap. But that said, it’s cheaper than other smartwatches out there, and definitely better designed for skiing.