Wearable tech is what the entire tech industry is convinced is the next iPod; a massive popular consumer product that everyone wants. The jury’s still out on that, but in the meantime, we’ve got plenty of toys to play with, like the Iris.
The Iris actually takes its cues, display-wise, from the watch that started this craze, the Pebble; it uses e-paper as a flexible display, in both senses of the word. In a nice touch, though, the display wraps entirely around the wrist, and used the bottom half to add more information. For example, one of the demonstrations shows a playlist circling your wrist and letting you tweak and edit accordingly.
Another nice touch is that the battery itself is flexible as well, meaning that you’ll be better able to use the Iris as a fashion accessory. The most interesting aspect of the battery, though, is the fact that it can last for a while. E-paper is inherently a “power-sipping” medium, and as a result, the Iris can go for weeks without needing to be plugged into the wall. It’s a smart idea that addresses a fairly serious usability problem with smartwatches, namely having another gadget to charge in our already crowded walls.
Fit For All
Needless to say, the Iris is packed with the usual health sensors that these all come with. It’ll track heart rate, blood oxygen level, and respiration. But most importantly, it looks cool, it lasts a long time, and it actually has some good ideas. In a market where we’re about to be flooded with wearables, that’s some pretty good news.
Currently, there’s no price, but we should probably expect to see more news about the Iris later this year. Mayhap, ladies and gentlemen, you could fire up a Kickstarter?
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.