Smartphone gets smarter, thanks to County Durham inventor

County Durham inventor Paul Gill has invented a smartwatch which he says uses the kind of technology usually only seen in a James Bond film

Paul Gill with his Orsto x 3 smartwatch
Paul Gill with his Orsto x 3 smartwatch

An inventor has created a smartwatch computer prototype which he says uses the type of advanced technology usually only seen in a James Bond film and plans to produce it commercially from July.

Paul Gill, 52, whose business is based at Pity Me Business Centre, County Durham, has designed the Orsto x3 so it has the capability of a computer in the size of a 50p, as opposed to rival smartwatches, which operate via blue tooth connections to a mobile phone.

His product is a combined phone and computer with a GPS signal and what he believes is one of the biggest capacity cameras for the watch’s size, with 8 mega pixel images able to be taken from the watch face.

He has been supported in his prototype production by Transmit Start-Ups who awarded him a £9,000 loan to help develop the Orsto x3 and the next series of prototypes.

Gill said: “I am really excited that this smartwatch is now ready to be taken to the marketplace. It has taken about three years to refine and perfect the technology but all of the elements from design to the screen home page are exactly right.

“I have invested around £75,000 of my own money in this watch and the Transmit loan is a huge help to get it to the next stage of production. They have been amazingly supportive.”

Richard Myers, Transmit director, added: “I could see the potential of Paul’s invention as soon as we met. The Orsto is definitely the most hi-tech timepiece I have ever seen and the potential for his business is incredible.

“Paul, like many of our clients, just needed a relatively small amount of capital to get their company or product off the ground and then the business is able to fly.”

Gill has a lengthy track record in research and development which started at Philips Electronics in Belmont, Durham, where he trained as an electrical and mechanical engineer.

Since then his career has taken him into a range of product design projects including a motor cycle racing exhaust system which ended up being sold and distributed worldwide, personal protective equipment and consumer products.

The Orsto x3 is a culmination of his previous experience of technology and innovative design. Further models are in the pipeline.

Development of the Orsto x3 has been a team effort with predominantly North East companies, E3 Design, Newcastle, Amtech, South Shields and KooDoo Creative, Stockton all providing expertise to Gill, who was also supported by Sunderland’s Software City.

He said: “It is really important to me that these watches are produced in the North East rather than overseas as I want to show the world how great we are at hi-tech manufacturing.”

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