Who can honestly say they have never dropped their phone while trying to answer it? Have you ever lost the wireless headphones, only to then find the wired headphones tangled in your pocket?
These unfortunate events could be a thing of the past with the new bracelet, named SGNL, invented by Innomdle Lab, a young Korean start-up and spin-off of the Samsung Innovation Laboratory.
This smart bracelet, which tightens around your wrist, uses the bone-conduction principle to transmit sound to your ear through your finger. An actuator (Body Conduction Unit (BCU)) is hidden in the bracelet, and transforms the vocal signals into vibrations.
The internal bone conduction is the reason why the voice of a person seems to them different when it is recorded and played back. Due to the bones of the skull transmitting better at lower frequencies compared to when in the air, people perceive their own voice to be lower and deeper than the others. One of the first to use this principle was the famous musician and composer Ludwig van Beethoven, who despite being virtually deaf, wished to continue to play and produce music. He placed a conductive stalk on his piano which he squeezed between his teeth in order to feel the vibrations that were transmitted in his jaw and it allowed him to continue to hear and compose music.
Nowadays, bone-conduction is used in some audio headsets, with the benefit of listening to your music while still hearing the surrounding environment. People affected by deafness relating to inner ear failure can also benefit from such a device.
The idea of a connected bracelet was born out of seeing people use their smartwatch to have phone conversations through the use of integrated loudspeakers according to Hahn Ryu, business development director of the firm.
The SGNL bracelet is connected via Bluetooth to iOS or Android smartphones enabling it to broadcast music or a phone conversation. You just have to press your finger against your ear, like you did when you were a child and pretending to have an important call!
This connected bracelet can be used as an independent device, but is more thought of as a bracelet that is compatible with Apple Watches and Samsung’s Gear S3. A microphone is integrated internally to pick up the vocals, and a pedometer allow the system to track your physical activity. The 200 mA Lithium battery is charged in two hours, and lasts four days in stand-by mode, and four hours in call mode. The starting price will be around $149.
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