LinkMe is an LED smart bracelet that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and displays SMS and social media updates in text that scrolls across your wrist.
Smartwatches and smart bracelets promise convenience – it’s easier to glance at a device on your wrist than it is to dig out your buzzing smartphone from your tightly fitting jeans. But so far, many of them have had boring, uninspired designs. For example, the Pebble smartwatch has an amazing complement of features. But it looks plastic and boring. I’d never be caught wearing that on my wrist.
LinkMe is unabashedly beautiful. It’s a single chrome ring that clips around your wrist. The smart bracelet has a curved LED display that seamlessly blends in with the rest of the device. The display streams long lines of text in red or blue letters, like one of those big news tickers in Times Square.
LinkMe can display anything that be relayed in a stream of text – SMS, social media updates, flight information, personal reminders and alerts. When it isn’t displaying messages, LinkMe defaults to displaying the time, so you can easily use it as a watch.
But when it comes to functionality, the Pebble outstrips LinkMe in a number of ways. With its e-ink display, the Pebble can offer multiple watch faces and display limited graphics. It also can flash multiple lines of text at once. With LinkMe, you have to wait until the message or alert finishes scrolling across the bracelet.
Still, there’s just something about LinkMe that makes me want to have it around my wrist. Maybe it’s just another case of aesthetics trumping functionality. Maybe this feeling will go away if/when Apple releases a smartwatch that fuses beauty with a healthy complement of features.
But for now? I’m sold.
A LinkMe can be had for a $99 contribution at their KickStarter here. They’re pushing to raise $100,000 by May 5th.