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The AGENT smartwatch

AGENT watch connected to Windows Phone music app

The AGENT smartwatch was an early Pebble competitor on Kickstarter. With a campaign launched in May 2013, the AGENT promised lower power consumption than its contemporaries, Qi charging, and a .Net toolchain. That was the most exciting part to me; as a Microsoft developer, I really wanted a smartwatch which my Windows Phone and I could get on board with.

AGENT is a prime example of an underdelivering Kickstarter campaign. The drastic 912% overfunding would normally spell doom for a KS project in itself, but the problems with AGENT are less about fulfilling stretch goals and more about project management.

Secret Labs and House of Horology partnered to produce the watch software and hardware respectively. At some point, the relationship between SL and HoH broke down due to Secret's complaints with the status of watch case manufacturing. There are doubtless many sides to this story, and fault is always shared. I don't know a lot about it, but from outside it looks like brinkmanship and name-calling, not professional conduct.

Outcome

Most of the backers are clamouring for a refund and a Kickstarter inquiry. I don't think either of those things will happen. Despite being two years behind schedule and now offering a "smartwatch" which is significantly behind the curve of current technology, I definitely still want one! Maybe AGENT is going to be one of those tech artifacts that goes down in history. With limited circulation, will it become a rarity?

Fundamentally, AGENT is still the only smartwatch which would make Windows Phone a first-class citizen (Pebble and the like only have third party apps with partial functionality) and I still have the same phone as I did when I ordered, which I plan to keep for as long as possible!

So if you're a backer of the AGENT too, maybe drop an email to ste at this domain and we can compare notes :)

Written 2015-09-28