When “Watch Radar” sent me an e-mail about their new iPhone app that is able to detect the name of a watch just by looking at the dial I was intrigued. Until now we’ve all had to read the name of a brand on a watch dial to know what it is – but no longer. Finally technology has come to the rescue. Using the camera on your iPhone, the Chinese made Watch Radar app takes a picture of the said watch and uses its whiz-bang technology to scan the internet and read the name for you. Wow! It even goes so far as to pull data from the net and give you some brand history. Now this is the future.

Watch recognition has come a long way for sure. Those pesky luxury watch makers usually print their brand names in complicated English, even if the brands themselves aren’t based in English speaking countries. No fair! Watch Radar is there to look at your Rolex and tell you that for sure, the name on the dial is Rolex. It can even tell you the model of many watches – now this is progress.

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At this point I invite you to watch the almost eight minute long “teaser” trailer video – which is probably the most amusingly confusing thing you’ll see all day. About halfway through, it actually begins to reference Watch Radar at all. In short, I think some dude in China thinks he is a spy and uses Watch Radar to close some business deals. Kudos to being creative, but it barely make sense – even with subtitles.

Watch Radar at least knows its own limits. Too much faith cannot be put in our robot neighbors just yet. A disclaimer in the app warns that “the report was worked out from the machine. We cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here.” But soon “the machine” will know all. So the next time you require “recognition of almost world watches,” head over to the Apple App Store and shell out the $2.99 for Watch Radar app. The machine thanks you in advance.

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