Will.i.am shows off his smartwatch, which can make calls without a smartphone

Musician, producer and TV personality Will.i.am has decided he can do better than the likes of Samsung when it comes to the smartwatch market.

He showed off his own smartwatch this past weekend, getting in a good couple of plugs on The Voice (where he's a judge) and Alan Carr's chat show.

The major selling point for his device – which is a black plastic band with a compact screen – is the fact that it's a self-contained unit with no need for a supporting phone.

Most smartwatch devices have to be wirelessly hooked up to a smartphone, and work in tandem with the phone, acting as a wrist-based portal for your handset's notifications and so forth. Will.i.am's smartwatch (or should that be "smart.wat.ch"?) is standalone and can be used to make calls itself.

Will told Alan Carr: "There's a lot of these smartwatches that need a phone. Mine doesn't need a phone. This is the phone."

Exactly what you'll look like making a phone call and talking into your wristwatch, though, is another matter...

On the chat show, he demonstrated using the watch to dial a number – but not to make a call as such – and play some music. The only visible shot of the UI showed a circular icon, a bit like Cortana, and Will navigated with the expected swipes.

He also stressed social media support – whereupon Alan Carr asked him if the device told the time...

Apparently this gadget is scheduled to launch in July – and maybe with his name backing it, the watch could just succeed in terms of overcoming the "geek" factor which has held smartwatches back to a major extent. It looks reasonably slick, but then again, it will have competition from Android Wear devices like the Moto 360 which are also set to raise the bar in terms of smartwatch desirability for the mass market.