The Neptune Suite launched on Indiegogo last year with a wildly ambitious pitch: in the future, your smartwatch will power all the gadgets in your life. Your phone and tablet will just be dumb screens, said the Neptune's creators, and your smartwatch will provide the processing power to make them work. The GIF below — recently sent to backers of the campaign — supposedly shows that this is dream is in sight, but really, it only highlights how far Neptune has to go.
The GIF shows the company's proprietary "Link" software in action — a wireless protocol that sends commands from the Hub smartwatch to other devices. Neptune's creators say this is "both a proof of concept and backer validation," and that the company is "working on reducing the latency levels to the point where it isn't noticeable by users."
But as you can see, the latency is still noticeable at this point, and considering the demo set-up is so simple that's very disappointing. Neptune's promise is that your smartwatch will power your phone, your tablet, and other devices completely frictionlessly, but this GIF shows one tablet barely mirroring commands onto another. What happens if you want to run multiple devices at the same time? And how reliable is the Link protocol for extended use? And if the Neptune's central promise is that it all runs on a smartwatch, why not show it running on a smartwatch? And so on, and so on — there are a lot of questions.
It's worth noting that the company behind this project also made the Neptune Pine — an crowdfunded smartwatch with a massive 2.4-inch capacitive display that was basically a smartphone strapped directly onto your wrist. If it's taken the firm a year to get to this stage with the Neptune Hub, we're skeptical the project will ever live up to its promises.