Smartwatch wearers have to put up with a number of drawbacks. There's the typically crappy battery life, the bulkiness (or ugliness, depending on whose eyes are looking), and the remarks people get when they've been looking at their watch for longer than a passing glance. "Are you in a hurry?" "Is there somewhere else you'd rather be?" "Am I that boring?" Even if the answer to all three questions is yes, that still doesn't explain the situation at hand, or should I say, wrist (pause for groans).
There's a large market for a device like the Vibease wearable smart vibrator, which has been on Indiegogo for all of a day and has already exceeded its $15,000 fundraising goal by a full $10,000. There are the proud independent women who swear they don't need a man. There are the husbands who just want to keep the misses happy, even though they don't really know how. There's the leagues of Fifty Shades of Grey fans who just found out kink is a thing and are now raring to dip their fingers in this brave new world.
My phone spends about two thirds of the day on silent or vibrate mode due to classes, meetings, or other events where it may be inappropriate to have a ringtone going off, so when I heard about ViBe, my interest was already piqued. The problem – until now – with keeping your phone in vibrate mode, is that there is no way to know who exactly is calling or texting without indiscreetly peeking at your screen, which can be almost as distracting as if you had the ringer turned on.
When it comes to haptic feedback, which is a fancy term for the way your smartphone vibrates or physically responds to your actions, smartphone users are not used to much variety. Unlike the complicated haptic motors in console gaming controllers, my EVO has a pretty standard and very basic vibrating motor inside, and the only aspect apps can control is the length of the vibration. Boooring.
The Future Of Haptic Feedback
Earlier this week, I met with marketing execs from Immersion, which makes software for those haptic motors that let your handset vibrate.