Wearable computing for under 50$

I love Kickstarter, it’s such a great platform for bottom-up market innovation. The platform has already seen success stories like the open-source Android gaming platform Ouya and the Pebble smartwatch. In our current research me and Sander Duivestein are diving deep into wearable computers, and Kickstarter is great source to track what’s going on in developer and maker communities.

Wearable computers has seen a a lot of high-end stuff so far, with high-end prices as well. The Smartwatch by Samsung costs close to $300 and Glass for instance has the current explorers paying $1500 to be part of the experience. One kickstarter is taking a different approach, with a early bird backing price of $49. The project is called CUBIT and it’s a cheap and small device that still packs a lot of functionality.

CUBIT is a small wearable device that pairs with your iOS or Android smartphone to provide basic notifications, the time, photos and can also act as a location device when attached to something. Here’s a list of notification it is able to provide:

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So yes, it is a notification device. But most of the current smartwatches boil down to pretty much the same thing. And cost more. Because of it’s (small) size, it also packs another nifty application. You can also attach CUBIT to some object (your keys) so that the CUBIT app on your connected phone alerts you that you’ve left something behind. Wearing CUBIT is also flexible, due to it’s size it fits on a necklace, keychains or a wristband. Watch the video:

They are also opening up their API and since the device packs stuff like sensors for touch and temperature, a accelerometer, developer communities can add value to the ecosystem. Suggestions from the Kickstarter page:

Use the sensors to turn Cubit into a motion alarm or an automatic Tweet’er. Make a magic-8 ball, luggage tracker, or your very own smart dog leash! A few lines of code can turn Cubit into a fitness device or a medicine reminder. The possibilities are endless and the actions are entirely defined by you.

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One last cool thing is haptic interaction. Squeezing the device allows you to activate it, shake it and it will show you the time. You can join the project and get one for 49$. To me that’s packing a lot of stuff into a small device with a small price.

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