Every once in a while, a product comes out that changes the way we view technology. Something that fills a certain void in the market, enhances our overall productivity, but at the same time, is not exactly essential. In essence, the LaMetric TIME is one of those nifty gadgets. Simple in performance, minimalistic, yet functional. In this brief review, I will explain what exactly this device does, how well it works, and my reasons for purchase.
WHAT IS THE LAMETRIC TIME?
The LaMetric TIME is basically a retro looking LED display clock. But that would be an over simplification, akin to calling a smart phone just a phone. For this reason, I would call the LaMetric a ‘smart clock’! It connects to your home wifi network. To get the most (and even most basic of functionality) from the LaMetric, you will need to download the app (free from the app store) and register. You can then download a vast number of ‘apps’ which can easily be installed. The possibilities, like a smart phone, really are endless. The number of apps currently available are somewhat limited, but rapidly expanding.
Set-up was an easy, hassle-free process. I downloaded the LaMetric app, registered and easily connected the clock to my home wifi without any issues. The LaMetric is powered through a micro-USB port. A (rather larger) USB wall plug is included, but I plugged mine to a USB power hub. I should add that (for some reason) only the supplied USB-micro USB cable worked. I tried to use my own, and the LaMatric would not power on.
At the present time, I have only owned the LaMetric for a few days, so not had much hands-on time with exploring the various apps and functions. But I will provide a brief overview of some of the main apps I have used. The LaMetric is small and compact, and sits neatly below my TV in the living room. Made from a rubber exterior, it features a power button on the side, as well as three larger buttons on the top for easy access; two arrow buttons to scroll between apps, and a main ‘select/action’ button in the middle. The built-in speaker for listening to radio, etc. is very basic. The LaMetric certainly won’t be winning any awards for it’s sound quality!
It comes preinstalled with a few basic apps including the time/date, weather, etc. You can have it scroll through the screens of the various apps you have installed, or have it set on a single app. I have mine with the time/date, which is not only hugely convenient, but looks very nice, too. You can even draw your own icons to display next to the time. But if you are not feeling too creative, or simply don’t have the time, there are a number of pre-made icons you can use. I suspect that these have been uploaded by other LaMetric users/developers. The vast majority are very creative with some novel, as well as iconic characters. For example, I have downloaded Mario who is jumping up and grabbing a coin. Excellent! However, I should add that there are a few images of genitals and various sexual acts which I did not approve of. Fairly comical, but I am quite surprised that they made it through LaMetric’s screening (if they have one).
I have also installed the Philips Hue app. This allows you to turn a particular room’s lights on/off by pressing the main button on the top. Probably not hugely functional for me to be honest, as I use the Amazon Echo to control my lights. But it is good to have another option! Further interesting apps include stock alerts, news feeds, etc. You can even design apps yourself if you are in the know how.
REASONS FOR PURCHASE
This is an interesting question. The LaMetric is still at an early stage of it’s life-cycle, and not many people are aware of it. As I mentioned, it is in essence a clock, but does so much more than that. I will personally be using it to set various alarms, timers, view my YouTube subscribers, etc. There is no exhaustive list, and I am actually just excited to see where this new technology is headed. As new apps and ideas come out, I will trying them on an ad-hoc basis, and seeing just exactly where this fits into my digital life/set-up.
Conclusively, this is probably more of a want gadget than a need. It will not enhance your life, but looks very cool and as an early adopter, you are paying a premium to get on board and see what all the fuss is about. At a rrp of £159, the LaMetric is fairly costly for what it does, but excels at it. Think of this as the Ferrari of clocks! I am happy with my purchase.