Will.i.am to launch standalone smartwatch today, to square up to Apple Watch

Will.i.am is reportedly set to launch his smartwatch over in San Francisco later today, and one British music streaming service is doing well out of the deal already.

7digital, which boasts a library of around 27 million songs, saw its share price surge around 50 per cent when it was announced as the supplier of music for Will's new gadget, the Telegraph reports.

Will.i.am first announced his smartwatch back in April, when he showed the device off on several TV programmes including a chat show (Alan Carr's) and The Voice.

The major selling point for his offering is that it's a self-contained unit with no need to be hooked up to a supporting phone, as with other smartwatches. It's also capable of making phone calls itself, as a standalone unit (as long as you don't mind looking a bit of a pillock talking into your wrist watch, that is).

It's thought it will be powered by Android, allowing it to run popular apps, and it will have Bluetooth on board.

Related: Will.i.am and 3DS announce Ekocycle Cube 3D printer that uses recycled plastic bottles

The device will, of course, have some stiff competition, not least from Apple Watch which is expected to launch early 2015, but also from various Android Wear watches that now look pretty sophisticated (like the Moto 360). Furthermore, the smartwatch category is expected to grow significantly over the next couple of years, with the likes of Swatch and Tag Heuer set to produce their own luxury offerings.

The question is just how much weight will the Will.i.am brand carry?