The CONCEPT: “the world’s first wearable that needs #NoChrage”
That’s how the founders of Liber8 Technology tag their product: elegant, yet quirky smart jewelry that changes design easily, wirelessly. No charger needed. At all. And this is where the futuristic aspect comes in.
I dream of a future without cables, with awesome wireless technologies,
says Sándor Oroján, co-founder of Liber8 Technology. And this dream is shared by the entire team, whose declared mission is:
We, the people of LIBER8 Technology, believe in a future that is free of batteries, cords and buttons. A future where design-forward thinking, aesthetics and customer experience are in the focus. For this we create and develop energy harvesting and wireless display solutions for wearables and small electronic devices. We disrupt static industries with our dynamic solutions.
In other words: liberate technology of cords and wires, and make it attractive to non-techies out there.
The smart jewelry concept is quite exciting, especially for a fashion techie like me. But what I love even more about it is the idea that of a bunch of dreamers have come up with a #fashiontech product that can help them make their dream come true.
And it seems I’m not the only one loving the concept. 517 people raised money to support the Tago Arc campaign on Indiegogo.com – more than 2 times the campaign’s funding goal.
The goal: $40 000;
The actual amount raised in one month: $104 407.
If you have a #fashiontech startup, and you’re looking to grow it – know there’s hope! Check out the Tago Arc story on Indigogo and get inspired!
The SECRET behind #NoCharge #NoCables
Now let’s look at how this concept was “materialized”.
Tago Arc features an E Ink display – technology you may know from e-readers. But unlike e-readers, the bracelet’s display does not have a backlight, and it’s not 100% black and white colors.
As mentioned before, you can change its design easily, anytime, anywhere. What you need in order to do it, is a smartphone or tablet with a Near Field Communication (NFC) capability, and the Tago app. (Yep, like most wearables, the bracelet is tied to a smartphone, through a dedicated app). This app provides a wealth of designs (images) to choose from, and then, once you’ve made your pick, you can transfer it onto the Tago bracelet via NFC. During the transfer, the display absorbs any power it needs for the task from the mobile device. And ecause it’s a low-power E Ink display, it doesn’t need batteries to work.
So the secret behind the #NoCharge #NoCable concept is the combination of E Ink and NFC technologies.
Since we’re talking tech stuff, here’s the list of tech specs:
- Android 4+ only, since currently, only these devices support NFC
- 16 color greyscale for displayed images
- 150 ppi (pixel density)
- 5-15 image transfer interval depending on the smartphone device and image complexity
And here’s how it works:
- Access the Tag app
- Buy or create an image you want displayed on the bracelet
- Place your smartphone on your bracelet
- Tap the transfer button on the Tago app of your device
- Wait until your bracelet changes its look.
Just tag it and wear it, as the Liber8 team say.
Now, you may be thinking that the Tago bracelet used for the demo is a bit clunky, but worry not! It’s only the engineering prototype. The team assures us that the “real thing” is made of plate surgical steel, with an approx. 40 mm-wide cuff.
Which brings us to what every fashionista out there is really interested in 🙂
The DESIGN: supported by a community of artists
One bracelet – an infinite number of designs to match as many outfits as you can put together. This is what Liber8 Technology promises.
A cool thing about these designs is that you can either purchase an existing one from the Tago app’s Pic Shop, or create one yourself and put up for sale in the Pic Shop. This way you can make real money, and help the Liber8 team ensure new and fresh images for the other Tago Arc wearers. In addition, you help them create and foster a community of artists around their product.
Now, as cool as everything described above may sound, I see one small downside: the greyscale coloring.
It would be even cooler if the bracelet incorporated color-supporting E Paper technology. Granted, this technology is still in its infancy. But it will most certainly gain traction and become widely used in the future. So hopefully, we may see it added to Tago Arc as well? After all, this is (smart) jewelry from the future we’re talking about.
What do you think of Tago Arc – will you buy it when it becomes available for purchase?