The Inertia

Wearable technology is no longer a future trend. We are now immersed in full fashion-forward hyperdrive, especially in the smart watch sector.

For anyone who attended the Baselworld 2016 in Switzerland this year (the self-proclaimed “most important marketplace and trendsetting show for the world’s watch and jewelry industry”), then they know the time is at hand for watches that go well beyond just telling time. Literally, a handful of new sport/smart watch releases were announced at the trade show.

One particular standout for the surf, skate, and ski crowd was The Mission by Nixon. Specs for The Mission show it to be a legitimate shot across the bow to Rip Curl’s Search GPS unit. The fact that the device is the brand’s first foray into Android Wear also makes it marketable to a much broader audience.

Sporting up to 100-meter (roughly 330 feet) water resistance, developers cranked things up a notch when it integrated Trace Inc. technology into the watch. I hit up Brad Blankinship, COO of the Southern California-based Trace Inc., to get his take on the new endeavor.


“We are fans of Nixon,” says Blankinship. “We reached out several months ago and asked if they might be interested in doing a collaboration. They shared their plan to make a smart watch and together we thought it could be a perfect way to work together.”

The Mission provides a display for the Trace information. “There are several things you will be able to see live on The Mission, like speed, max speed, calories burned, and even altitude for snowboarding,” Blankinship says. “After the session, you will be able to see a lot more: paddle distance, paddle time, number of turns, top turn angle, rail angle, etc.”

Surfers, skiers, and snowboarders who already use the Trace tracker can enhance their sessions by adding The Mission to the equation, Blankinship ensures. “The Trace device will still go on your surfboard or snowboard and provide information back to the Nixon watch. Having the device on the board allows you to see a lot of information that you cannot get by having something on your wrist alone.”


When I asked Blankinship if the Trace tracker was required for The Mission to fully function, he said either can be used independently. “The Nixon Mission will provide a lot of information by itself,” he says. “Think of adding the Trace as the ‘Pro’ edition.”

The Mission is slated to be available to consumers in September.


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