Interview with James Guess, from BURG.
Kahoona Technology’s Managing Director, James Guess, talks to TeckComesFirst about BURG’s smartwatch which takes a sim card, some insight into the brand name, where smartwatches fit into our lives and more.




1)   Can you introduce yourself and say what you exactly do at Kahoona Technology day to day?

My name is James Guess. I am the Managing Director of Kahoona Technology Ltd, the sole BURG importer, my day to day role is to develop the UK retail market and drive the marketing to promote the BURG Range of products throughout the UK. I discovered the BURG Watch phones in April and instantly believed this would be a great product for the UK Market.

2)   What is the meaning behind the brand name “Burg” and why is the Smartwatch called “Hong Kong”?

Our company founder Mr. Hermen van den Burg has been exposed to consumer trends and tastes for all his live – from the family retail business in his childhood to various international design awards in his adolescent. With all these experiences from the family, Mr. Hermen van den Burg has set up various business in Netherland, the US and China. The brand name “Burg” is from his family name, it symbolizes the spirits and great qualities of van den Burg family.

We name our watches with different international big cities. Apart from Hong Kong, we also have London/Tokyo/Amsterdam and so on. We think our watches share many similarities with all these international cities. They are all modern, high-tech, fashion and cool. We named Burg 15 Hong Kong to make it a modern characteristic.

3)   What was the inspiration behind making a Smartwatch?

Sometimes people forget or lose their phones somewhere, sometimes when people go out for sports, it’s not very convenient to carry their phones. When we saw these problems, we realized there is a desire of a phone that can keep talking, keep moving and keep on track. With the fashion tastes and the experience of global consumer desires, Mr.Hermen van den Burg is dedicated to design a product that meets above requirement, as well trendy and cool.

4)   What is/are your biggest accomplishments?

Now we are a leading Smartwatch company in the world. We designed the first Smartwatch which can carry SIM card. At the same time, we are working with many international retailers. You can almost find our watches all over the world.

5)   What challenges did you face in making a Smartwatch in which you can put a SIM into and how were these overcome? Also why a full size SIM and not a micro SIM in such a small device?

The most difficult issues are how to fit all components in such a small package. For example the antenna: The more space available the better the antenna performance. To make it fit in our watches we use smart solutions such as placing the antenna in the strap or use technologies like lasering and plating to make the antenna part of the case. Even though a micro SIM uses less space, it’s easier to use a micro SIM in a full size SIM card slot using an adapter. Making a full size SIM fit for a micro SIM slot means you need to cut your SIM card.

6)   96 hours battery life is huge for a Smartwatch; can you share some insight into how such battery optimization was achieved?

It’s all in the balance of performance vs. battery life and choosing the right components.

7)   A stylus pen tucked into the strap is a genius idea, where did this bright idea stem from and how was it executed so well?

We soon realized we had to find a solution for the small screen and input options which led to the choice of offering a stylus. Since again the space is limited we experimented with different options and found that the straps are a very useful space to place certain components such as the speaker, antenna and also the stylus. Being able to utilize this space led to a compact design which is both fashionable and ergonomically.

8)   What would be the main incentive for consumers to try out the Burg Smartwatch compared to rival offerings such as the Galaxy Gear and the Pebble?

There is of course the price difference and the ability to insert a SIM card meaning you are not dependent on your Smartphone anymore. The rivals are not standalone models but merely Bluetooth devices. In case you want to do sports you would still need to bring your Smartphone to be connected. With the Burg Smart watches this is not necessary which creates more freedom.

9)   Why in your opinion are smartwatches becoming so popular and where do you see them in the future?

Smartwatches are now more than just a geek gadget. Smartwatches have the future! More and more people now see how clever it is to have your phone strapped around your wrist for a quick check, whenever you want, wherever you are. You don’t have to reach to your phone every time you hear a message or if you want to make a quick call, or even a picture! This daring device will truly make your life easier, and give you more freedom then you could have wished for.

In no time you will realize that you need one on your wrist too, because BURG phone watch with SIM-card makes it possible for you to call and message anytime, without using your phone.

10)   Can you tease anything about upcoming products, are you planning a Hong Kong Smartwatch 2?

We are working on different models such as an Android Smart watch, a waterproof sports watch and some other great updates for our current collection.
James Guess, Managing Director of Kahoona Technology.

James Guess, Managing Director of Kahoona Technology.

Look out for a new interview every 2nd Tuesday of the month here on TeckComesFirst! #TalkToTCFTuesdays

Click here to see more interviews!

Thanks to James Guess for participating in this interview. Questions were chosen by both co-founders of TeckComesFirst; Purav and Usman.

Feel free to share in the comments below what you thought of this interview as well as anything new or interesting you learnt about the company.

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I’m a 23 year old Maths Graduate, who has a great passion for technology and in my spare time I make videos on YouTube to show my passion. I'm also co-admin here at TeckComesFirst and I joined this site back in January 2012.
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  • Techius

    Awesome blog post!

  • theryangoodman

    Really enjoyed this interview, the idea of having this type of smartwatch is interesting, and to have someone explaining it the ideology is super cool! Keep up the good work guys.

  • Jack Harnett

    I enjoyed this interview, this a great product and is already a great rival for the Pebble and Smartwatch brands.

  • Gareth Bayard

    This was an interesting interview to read! This is an interesting product, the only thing I was slightly confused about was so It has a SIM of it’s own but what does that let it do? – Is it totally instead of the phone?

    However, overall it seems a great product!

  • Michael Smith

    Another great interview! The idea of a smartwatch is growing on me as more and more are released.

  • NaijaMan

    Awesome interview; this product is by far the most innovative amongst its rivals. A smartwatch that can actually be used standalone as a phone is definitely a sweet spot for someone like myself.

  • Great interview guys, I enjoyed that. I wasn’t actually aware that there were smart watches available that worked independently. As James Guess mentioned, I do believe that wearable tech is the future and I’m looking forward to those developments.

    The BURG range actually looks really good too!

  • Billy Noyes

    This interview has pretty much made my want for a Smartwatch even worse! Seems like a very great company and James seems like he has a very interesting and exciting role at BURG.

  • richard foster

    great interview and a really neat product not sure about others but it certainly has my interest a watch that doubles as a phone without the need for Bluetooth or nfc is certainly a winner in my eyes and for work purposes a perfect gadget for the masses

  • Kumaran Ganesh

    wow that’s one amazing battery life!! Great interview guys! Keep it up!

  • Freddy Reiter

    Interesting “innovation”, although I am not sold with the whole SmartWatch thing, let alone a SmartWatch with a Sim card. It take me less than a second to get my phone out of my pocket and see the notification it self. Honestly if there is any SmartWatch i would buy it would be the Pebble, either the steel or the normal one would be fine, but i don’t need it. Overall this is a very great interview and you got a lot of aspects covered, left me with no questions anymore.

  • I saw this smart watch early December and was like woah. Great review.