Is it possible to have an all-around gadget that lets you do a variety of things, including the classical phone functions (notifications, caller identification), as well as drawing various shapes and patterns, all through your own sense of touch? That is all possible thanks to the device called Moment, a haptic feedback-powered creation from startup Somatic Labs that should be shipping out later this year.
Moment was originally designed by Somatic Labs founder Shantanu Bala, who, according to the company’s press literature, had studied “the ways haptic feedback could be used to create assistive and rehabilitative technologies” at the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing. The device is a wrist-worn wearable that “turns the movements of real-time data into vibrotactile sensations you feel on your skin.” But why would consumers want a device such as this, and what can it do for them that other gadgets couldn’t?
Somatic Labs says that this is all because people tend to rely on the graphic presentation for viewing real-time data, but such a form factor isn’t always “biologically intuitive” if one’s normal movements are taken into consideration. While LCD displays are the best conventional solution to such a conundrum, Somatic believes that it would be better if a device could turn a person’s skin into a programmable display in its own right. And that, according to the company, is where Moment comes in.
Moment’s specifications and features include a 22mm sweat-resistant silicone watch strap, a water-resistant enclosure, four brushless linear resonant actuators, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that promises a maximum one week of battery life, a micro-USB port for convenient charging, Bluetooth Low Energy support, companion apps on Android and iOS for end users, and an open SDK for developers who want to make their own apps for the device. Somatic will also be launching a Kickstarter campaign for Moment on September 6, 2016, which should allow more potential buyers to find out about the product and ultimately purchase it.