Unique – could there be a better name for this special invention? I guess no. It is certain on the other hand that students who graduated at WUT have designed a smartwatch strap and their innovative invention is getting many awards. Will it conquer the market? We have to wait and see.
The watch is getting smart.
A revolutionary strap that turns any wristwatch into a fully-featured smartwatch is an idea of two alumni of the Faculty of Mechatronics – Paweł Karczewski and Patryk Lamprecht.
Being fans of classic watches and new technology we highly value joining these two and preserving what is most valuable about them. The watch producers share our ideas and so we already have a few of them interested in cooperation with our company. – say the founders of uBirds company responsible for Unique.
Originally, the idea was to create a fitness band but because of quite a big competition on the market it evolved into a wrist watch strap. It was hard at the beginning as working on the invention took longer than we expected. We overcame the initial obstacles and did not give up. The result was that this Autumn, we could present our prototype at the Techcrunch Disrupt in San Francisco – the biggest start up fairs in the World says Paweł Karczewski.
The uBirds company got many awards for its product so far. Recently the Unique watch strap was awarded at the InfoShare 2015 for its simplicity and business model.
Advanced and made of leather
The Unique strap is only a little bit thicker than an ordinary wristwatch strap. It has a tiny multicolour LED, it can vibrate and recognize gestures. Moreover, it monitors activities and selects information it receives. Unique allows to reject a call with one tap, access your music player with two taps, and choose how you want to interact with your smart strap. It will vibrate to let you know you’re in danger of leaving your mobile behind when you walk away from it. – describes Paweł Karczewski. The information that come from Unique are displayed on your smartphone but also on the strap with a multicould LED. It means less energy is needed and therefore it can work longer without additional charging. – adds Patryk Lamprecht.
Unique works with smartphones via Bluetooth and a dedicated app for iOS or Android that lets users configure the strap’s functionality to suit their own needs. The users are able to design their own watch strap via the website. You can choose leather as well thread type and colour, number of loops and type of buckle. The creators from uBirds are not planning to concentrate solely on individual orders. Our business is based mainly on the cooperation with watch producers and therefore, the price range of our watch straps will be wider. We are offering 100% personalized hand-made smart straps and that is why they are not the cheapest. – explain the Founders of the company.
Smart watch strap for sale
The Company uBirds was founded in March 2014 and ever since then it has been developing Unique. Currently, it is crowdfunding its initial production run through Kickstarter by offering backers the chance to own the first Unique straps and, in some cases, to design their own bespoke versions.
Patryk Lamprecht, Co-Founder of uBirds, says: We’re excited about bringing Unique to the Kickstarter community, and we hope that, with their help, we can bring Unique to their wrists.
Unique is available to back on Kickstarter, with early-bird pledges starting at $139. There is a very positive feedback from the internet users and already 60% of planned funding was gathered during the first week of the crowdfunding campaign.
WUT and Unique
Would Unique come to existence if there was no Warsaw University of Technology?
WUT gave us the knowledge and skills which enabled us to come with the idea and make a prototype of the smart watch strap. We probably would have not met if we did not study together. From year one, we were in the same group at the Faculty of Mechatronics – underline Paweł and Patryk.
We hope that most of WUT alumni one day will choose to wear Unique all around the World!
Key features of Unique include:
• Notifications – using the built-in strap vibration and multi-colour LED, you can receive discreet notifications for phone calls, text messages, e-mails or calendar reminders without having to look at your phone
• NFC (Near-Field Communication) – the programmable NFC tag takes the place of any one of your electronic passes to the fitness club, office or hotel room, or transport passes like the Oyster Card on the London Underground.
• InfoShare 2015 – Unique can measure steps, distance travelled, speed and calories burned, as well as monitoring your fitness goals
• User Response Detection – reject a call with one tap, access your music player with two taps, and choose how you want to interact with your smart strap
• Loss Prevention – when you walk away from your phone, Unique will vibrate to let you know you’re in danger of leaving it behind.
More information about Unique is available at the uBirds website.