Misfit Vapor
Misfit Vapor smartwatch Misfit

Smartwatches didn't inspire consumers in 2016. Wearable technology maker Misfit is hoping 2017 is the year high-tech watches start populating wrists around the world and it's tapping the help of parent company Fossil to make its first smartwatch, Vapor, stand out.

One of the calling cards for Misfit, which began making making wearables in 2011, has always been simplicity. Its devices are sleek and bare of any unnecessary frills. The Vapor smartwatch steps outside of the company's standard build and adds a touchscreen, making it the first device from the company to sport such an interface.

The 1.39-inch, 326ppi AMOLED display will show off Misfit's own software and apps. The company opted out of adopting typical smartwatch operating systems like Android Wear for its own, in house solution—though the Vapor will still connect to Android and iOS devices. The wearable will simply supplement the functionality of the smartphone rather than replace it.

Misfit has already built out the apps one might expect to make use of on a smartwatch, including weather, a music player, and fitness trackers—anything that provides information that can be processed in a glance and doesn't require much interaction. Of course, sticking with its own operating system means third-party apps are unlikely.

Navigation on the watch is kept to a minimum. A touch bezel allows users to move between watch faces, apps, and notifcations quickly. A button housed on the side of the watch prompts a menu of apps that can be scrolled through by running a finger around the watch display.

Powering the experience is a Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, which comes from the same family of processors found in most flagship Android smartphones. The Vapor also holds an accelerometer, altimeter, gyroscope, optical heart rate monitor and GPS, meaning it's capable of tracking just about every activity a fitness buff could want—including swimming, thanks to a stainless steel body that is water resistant up to 50 meters.

The Vapor is also able to connect using Wi-Fi and bluetooth. It also sports 4GB of built-in storage, so a user could load up a favorite playlist and connect with wireless headphones to make use of the watch even without their phone in hand. The device is expected to get about two days of usage on a single charge.

Misfit's Vapor smartwatch will be available later this year. The company is gearing up to take pre-orders on the device, which will cost $199 when it arrives.