Innomdle Lab, an official spin-off of Samsung Electronics, has developed the technology to relay a phone call through your fingertip and into your ear, no visible phone—and no harmful ultrasonic or electromagnetic waves, the company promises—required. Sgnl is now in production thanks to an enthusiastic response to its Indiegogo campaign and is expected to start shipping in August.
Sgnl connects to your phone via Bluetooth and “generates vibration through its Body Conduction Unit (BCU), which transmits the vibration through the user’s hand to their fingertip,” explain its developers. “As transmission is made through vibrations, there is no risk of harm to the human body. When users place their fingertip to their ear, the vibration echoes to create amplified sound within the closed space of their ear and they can speak through the microphone embedded in the Sgnl strap.”
The “strap” in question is a smartband that can be worn by itself or attached to your old watch. It’s compatible with classic and smartwatches alike and comes in a variety of colors. As the company says, “Make your classic watch a hybrid, or make your smartwatch smarter!”
So what are the benefits of the Sgnl system? According to the tech team, “Sgnl can transform the user’s classic watch into a hybrid smart watch, providing it with Fingertip Communication, Fitness tracker, and Smart Alert features.” Current smartwatch wearers, on the other hand, will be able to enjoy an added sense of privacy: “Users can have complete call privacy through fingertip communication, instead of having to speak through the speaker phone.” Of course, the device is also equipped with several benefits that everyone will be able to appreciate. For instance, all Sgnl owners will be able to answer calls simply by tapping the band and lifting a finger to their ear, rather than having to rifle through their bag or pockets for the actual phone. This feature will especially come in handy for runners and cyclists.
Using Sgnl, you’ll be able to hear your phone conversations anywhere, even in the noisiest of places. Your “phone” finger will block out everything but the voice you’re listening to. When it’s your turn to speak, a microphone inside the strap will pick up your voice and relay it back to the caller. When you’re not on the phone, Sgnl’s companion app will send notifications to the band to remind you when you haven’t called your parents in a while (you’re welcome, Mom) and when you receive texts, emails, and other communications. The app also allows Sgnl to monitor your health and activity. The system takes note of all of your exercises and uses a built-in pedometer to keep track of all of your daily movement. If you’re ever feeling lazy, just pull up the app and take a look at your fitness stats for the day. Your subsequent guilt will be more than enough to inspire a quick workout!
Convenience and an accountability monitor combined in one nifty wristband. What more could you ask for?