Don’t Call This Wearable Device a Smartwatch

Wove / Wove

When attempting to break into the wearable tech market, most companies have modeled their products after the wristwatch. But the flexible electronics startup Polyera followed a different approach by developing a high-tech device that more closely resembles a '90s-era slap bracelet than a conventional timekeeper.

Rather than limiting the interface to a square display, the Wove Band’s 4680-square-millimeter touchscreen wraps around the wearer’s wrist. Polyera has been working on the flexible transistors and display technologies behind their product for a decade, and they’ve recently announced that it's set to hit the market in mid-2016. 

Devices like the Apple Watch and Pebble have popularized the term “smartwatch,” but company CEO and co-founder Phil Inagaki refuses to label their product as such. He prefers names like “device” or “digital canvas,” which is just another way the Wove Band stands out in the fast-growing wearable field. 

The price has yet to be determined, but according to Inagaki, it will cost less than the cheapest Apple Watch. The Wove Band also has the advantage of a screen six times the size of Apple's creation, and preserves battery life by using a low-energy E-Ink frontlayer, which stays on continually. The Android-based device's app-like programs, dubbed “compositions,” are constantly displayed and accessible. The screen is grayscale for now, although the company says they have successfully produced color prototypes.

While there's still room for improvement, the sleek Wove Band could be a huge first step in convincing consumers that wearables can be, well, actually wearable.

[h/t: WIRED]