New technologies need new business models, and this new wearable tech bracelet shows exactly what we mean. Brands, why sell just a product when you can potentially sell a subscription to a product? Imagine the possibilities when you can push new updates to a product every season… or several times a day. This new wearable tech startup has hidden their technology inside of a fashionable bracelet, and we think the possibilities are huge! We spoke with LookSee Lab’s founder, Per Ljung, to tell us more about their Eyecatcher bracelet.
Describe LookSee Labs.
Looksee started because our team wanted to redefine wearables and in particular smartwatches. We had developed wearables at Nokia and Motorola, and were dissatisfied with small displays that are normally off to save power. Instead we imagined what if you could have a flexible display that wrapped around your wrist and was always on? So we built some prototypes that showed we could do it. That was the beginning of Looksee’s Eyecatcher bracelets. We later joined the SF hardware accelerator Highway1, demoed at TechCrunch Battlefield where we were a Finalist, demoed at CES Las Vegas, went to lots of meetups in SF, and jewelry shows in NYC. And now we have launched a campaign on Kickstarter.
Tell us about your Eyecatcher bracelet.
We are fusing art, fashion and technology to create something new. This is a fashion accessory that shows slideshows of patterns and custom photos, as well as showing real-time information. The Eyecatcher is all about self-expression.
We have three designs: Mars with flexible stainless steel cuff, Mercury with a slightly flexible white bronze cuff, and Venus in solid sterling silver. All are functionally identical, and available in three sizes. We currently support iOS phones, but are working on Android support too.
What was your inspiration behind the Eyecatcher bracelet?
Like I mentioned earlier, our team had built wearables at Nokia and Motorola, and we knew we didn’t want to create another smartwatch. We didn’t think that current smartwatches were particularly compelling with small displays–normally off to save power–and tiny touch & swipe interfaces. So we certainly didn’t want to create a “mini-me smartphone on your wrist.” Instead we imagined, “What is the minimal device that would be useful?” As an experiment, we threw out almost everything but left a large display, radio and battery. We were on to something which was getting very interesting. We started showing Google Now information which was very popular with men, but realized that many women were more interested in self-expression with patterns and photos. Eyecatcher does both.
What value does Eyecatcher have that makes it stand out against other wearables in the space?
Eyecatcher is infinitely customizable with the app, letting you choose the patterns, photos and information you want to see. It has a large flexible display that wraps around your wrist. Eyecatcher has an incredible battery life of 1 year which is about 8000 updates before the user needs to recharge. The secret to the battery life is that the display retains its image even when the power is off. To save power we normally turn off all the circuitry, and only turn it on when you are updating an image. Eyecatcher has the world’s first flexible display on the market.
What was your greatest challenge when making the Eyecatcher bracelet and what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far?
One of our greatest challenges has been that there are a lot of moving parts when creating a new product category. The most important lesson we’ve learned has been getting pre-production prototypes that we can demo for customer feedback. [Editor’s note: Check out our recent post on the “how” and “why” of prototyping here.] It’s always lots of fun to demo because no one has ever seen something like Eyecatcher before.
What can we expect from LookSee Labs in the future?
Lots more! We are working on a number of projects in the labs. You’ll see a variety of designs and materials very soon. We are working on a number of things in our labs, which are a little further out.
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