Industry / Technology / Watches

Citizen Brings In NASA and IBM Watson Studio for Its “Smarter Smartwatch”


Imagine: It’s late afternoon, your energy is waning, and you still have a big jewelry order to complete. Do you reach for a piece of dark chocolate, a cup of coffee, or take a walk?

If you’re wearing the newest version of Citizen’s CZ Smart YouQ watch—which offers customized insights and personalized strategies to maximize daily activities—then you’d have a data-driven insight on what to do, says Eric Horowitz, managing director of Citizen Watch America.

Citizen debuted the latest iteration of its CZ Smart Watch at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January in Las Vegas and introduced it as the “smarter smartwatch” on social media as well. The watch is available to the public for purchase in March in either a sport or casual look.

The sport model features a 44 mm case and a silicone, leather, or stainless-steel bracelet strap. The casual model comes with a 41 mm case and its strap is made in mesh, stainless-steel links, or silicone. All models feature a customizable dial, rechargeable battery, and will retail for around $350 and up.

CZ Smart YouQ
Citizen attended the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show to unveil its second-generation CZ Smart watch with its proprietary YouQ technology for “empowered wellness-curious consumers,” the brand says. The new CZ Smart smartwatches come in a sport and casual style version. 

The brand launched its first generation of CZ Smart watches in November 2020. Citizen updated the watch in fall 2021 with a hybrid model. Citizen says its will reveal a new second-generation hybrid smartwatch to consumers in the second half of 2023 with the YouQ software as well.

For Horowitz and CZ Smart head of application technology Tripp Wall, the newest version of its CZ Smart is revolutionary because of its proprietary “wellness software” that forecasts the wearer’s peaks and valleys, so to speak, allowing its NASA-driven insights and AI models from IBM Watson Studio to provide a “built-in self-care adviser.”

“Citizen is a leader in the traditional timekeeper space, but it also has been a leader in technology for more than 100 years,” Horowitz says. “Given that technology has been the lifeblood of our brand for a century, it’s appropriate that we have a position, a voice, and a real point of difference in the smartwatch market.”

To take Citizen’s game to the next level, Horowitz says the company wanted the best in science and technology, so it reached out to NASA and IBM Watson Studio. Altogether, the resulting watch is “next generation and revolutionary,” Horowitz says.

The new CZ Smart smartwatches include proprietary YouQ application powered by IBM Watson Studio and developed using research from the NASA Ames Research Center Fatigue Countermeasures Laboratory, Citizen says. 

For example, the CZ Smart YouQ application uses the sleep data it collects to sync with the wearer’s daily life and provide real-time biofeedback. This and other data generates an Alert Score, which takes the NASA research that determined an astronaut’s mental acuity and adapts it to the smartwatch wearer, Horowitz explains.

This NASA Psychomotor Vigilance Task Test or PVT+ allows the astronaut to then come up with a solution—something that Citizen through its CZ Smart YouQ calls a Power Fix. These Power Fixes suggest actions that help the wearer offset fatigue, improve alertness, or come up with better habits. This, in turn, helps the wearer understand their day in a new and wellness-focused way, Wall says.

“There’s a revolution going on in people’s awareness of themselves, and they want insights that are actionable,” Wall says. “We know having seen everything that’s out there that there’s nothing like what we’re doing.… These are actionable insights to optimize your daily life. We think it’s radical.”

Horowitz agrees. “That’s what this is about—your preparedness and your ability to meet the challenges of the day,” he says. “It’s continuously learning.… The more data we can accumulate about you, the smarter it gets. The smarter the YouQ gets. And the better informed you will become.”

Top: Earlier this month, Citizen introduced its latest “smarter smartwatch” at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, bringing NASA research and IBM Watson Studio AI power together in its CZ Smart timepiece (photos courtesy of Citizen). 

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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