The rise of mobile has given me so much: 24/7 connections with friends around the world, information exactly when I need it, the ability to track my fitness and health goals. Unfortunately, it’s also given me a complex about my giant sausage fingers and their constant inability to navigate the tiny keys on my smartphone’s slippery touchscreen. Sometimes I think I should have just bought a BlackBerry.
When I read about Haloband on their Kickstarter page, I felt like the Shanghai-based startup was speaking directly to me: “Everyone has trouble in locking and unlocking smartphones. The frequency usually hurts phones’ screen and keys, as well as our hearts. So we decided it’s time to do something.”
Haloband is a silicone wristband embedded with an NFC chip and lets you operate your choice of functions by tapping your Android smartphone on your wrist. It’s also linked to a cloud account, which means you can save your ID as well as information to share with other mobile devices. After setting up your wristband with the Haloband app, you can use it to unlock your phone, take photos or send emergency alerts, among other options. To get an idea of what Haloband can do, watch their hilarious Kickstarter video embedded above (“I’m from the future. If you scan my wrist, you can get my business card information. This is my information, from my wrist, on your phone. Because I’m from the future.”)
For those of you who think Haloband is pointless (and I’ve seen a few comments saying that), the wristband can be helpful for people with repetitive stress injuries and other issues with their hands. I have RSI that affects my wrists and thumbs, and I can see some of Haloband’s functions making my smartphone use a little easier when I have a flare-up of pain. It looks like there are plenty of people who agree with me about its usefulness–the project has already raised almost double its $10,000 goal on Kickstarter and its early bird specials are closed, but you can still select from several options, starting from just $25 for a black or white Haloband. Funding closes on Jan. 16 and the bands are scheduled to ship in February.
Haloband was developed by a Shanghai-based team that includes a former Intel engineer and focuses on NFC technology. They plan to release an open API so other developers can create their own Haloband apps and help smartphone users wrist easy (rimshot).