Wearable Tech: Meet the CAT Clutch

Wearable Tech: Meet the CAT Clutch

This wearable tech clutch charges a user’s phone and has LED lights that are programmable from a phone app. We think the results are pretty cool, so we talked with Creative Arts & Technology co-founder Al Linke to learn more.

What inspired you to start Creative Arts & Technology?

I’m an electronics geek and like to tinker. In particular, I enjoy working with LEDs and had just finished up two Kickstarter LED art projects. One day my wife Erin, looked at one of the LED panels I had been using and asked if I could make her a light-up bag. So I made one for her, but it was never meant to be anything other than a one off build. We took it out to a local bar and person after person came up to her asking about the bag. Then we took it out again and the same thing kept on happening over and over. After about the fifth time taking the bag out, we realized we were on to something and decided to take the plunge and turn it into a product. That was a year ago and we just shipped out the first batch of 100 CAT Clutches two months ago in November 2016. 

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Tell us about the CAT Clutch.

My wife and I are both big into vintage, the design is inspired by the Lucite bags popular in the 50s while adding our modern twist of tech. It’s a classic clutch, hand fabricated with specialty acrylics and LEDs that display pixel art. You can change the LED art designs with our app.

What sets the CAT Clutch apart from other wearables in the space?

Inside the CAT Clutch there is plenty of room for a user’s belongings and a beautiful mirror engraved with the CAT logo installed with a USB port to charge their phone. The clutch has 10–12 hours of continuous use battery life. Other than the fact it’s a functional bag, it’s got a bunch of LEDs, 512 to be exact. With so many LEDs, we can produce some unique animations and also scrolling text. Because the LED display is so eye catching, the bag turns into a natural conversation starter.

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What has been one of the most challenging parts of getting started? How did you overcome this and what did you learn?

I have a full time job as an IT Senior Director and my wife is a full time Mom with our two girls (8 and 11.) So, taking on a project like this is a big challenge. But you always make time for the things you love and are passionate about, that has kept us going.

Where can we buy your product, when is it available, and what is the cost?

The first batch of 100 CAT Clutches is sold out. We are taking pre-orders at our website for the second batch of 100 CAT Clutches (in black sparkle only) which will ship in February 2017.

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What can we expect next from Creative Arts & Technology?

Our vision is to be a wearable LED art platform. The CAT Clutch is our first product but our technology can be suited to other form factors like messenger bags, soft bags, backpacks, etc. We’re now going through a process of interviewing as many people as we can to identify the greatest need. We also see ourselves as an LED art store. Through my previous project and this one, we have quite a network now of pixel artists we collaborate with. Over time we will include the ability to add new art from our mobile apps (both iOS and Android).

Find out more about the CAT Clutch by visiting their website here and watching the video below.

Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave.  Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.

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