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Brief Published: 23 Mar 2015

Neptune Hub: Next-Gen Smartwatch

A new smartwatch will turn any screen into a computer that can be controlled from your wrist. The Neptune Hub from Montreal-based tech start-up Neptune will be a fully functioning computer, reversing the premise that smartwatches are optional smartphone accessories.

The wearable is designed to work as a standalone device, but can break free of its small screen with complementary phone and tablet-sized second interfaces (complete with front and back cameras), and a dongle that turns virtually any TV or monitor into the wearable's display.

Neptune envisions a new computing era where cheap screen interfaces are ubiquitous and can be used by everyone via wrist-worn hubs: "Everything will become smart, by simply becoming accessories for your wrist."

The Neptune Suite, which includes the smartwatch and its related interfaces, has raised more than $800,000 on crowdfunding website Indiegogo – more than 800% of its $100,000 goal. It will retail at $899 and is expected to ship in February 2016.

Brands continue to experiment with a range of functionality and designs to win valuable consumer wrist space. Luxury and heritage watch brands are beginning to create smart-artisanal hybrids – Google and Intel announced plans for a smartwatch collaboration with Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer on March 19.

For the latest insights into the future of wearable tech, see our coverage of the Wearable Technology Show 2015 and Mobile World Congress 2015.