I remember seeing similar tech years ago in a show on Discovery. Now at CES 2018, the tech has finally come to reality, made possible by a wristwatch strap called SGNL. It doubles up as an activity tracker and seems comfortable to use until people catch you putting a finger in your ear for hours.
SGNL, when connected over Bluetooth to a smartphone, allows people to listen to phone calls using their fingertips and speaking through the microphone embedded in the strap. What makes the wriststrap convenient is it’s compatible with many popular smartwatches including Apple Watch, Samsung Gear, Pebble Time, etc., as well as traditional watches. It can be worn without a watch also.
Now, the question about how the tech works is not rocket science. When hearing a sound, our eardrums vibrate at the same frequency as of the sound emitted by some device or person. SGNL does the same by producing vibration, using a Body Conduction Unit present in the strap, which passes through your finger to reach your eardrum.
Calls can be taken by tapping on the strap. So, you don’t even have to take out your smartphone. It’s possible to listen to songs with a finger in your ear; I don’t think many would prefer that.
The tech is created by a Korean company called Innomdle (pronounced “i-num-dul”) Lab that sprung out of Samsung in 2015. While in development for a few years, they’ve done tests to make sure that the sound quality doesn’t get compromised.
Interested people can back SGNL on Kickstarter where the creators have already crossed their goal of $50,000. The first lot of SGNL units for backers are planned for delivery in March 2018.
Know more about such amazing stuff in our CES 2018 coverage.