The Only Hardware You Need Is a Watch Strap
Well, that and an actual smartphone—but let's be real, you already own that. Just attach the Sgnl strap to your watch, high-tech or old-fashioned, and connect it to your phone via Bluetooth. Now you'll be free to answer your phone without even having to take it out of your pocket.
And the Way It Works Sounds Like Science Fiction
Here's where it gets kind of crazy. "Sgnl's key technology lies in its patented Body Conduction Unit (BCU)," says project manager Saemi Kim, "which is capable of transmitting vibrations through the body, which are then converted to sound." So, in effect, your finger becomes a crucial part of the phone.
"Sgnl communicates with the user's phone through Bluetooth, and when a call signal is received, Sgnl generates vibrations through its BCU. When users place their fingertip to their ear, the vibration creates amplified sound within the closed space of their ear. They can speak through a microphone embedded in the Sgnl strap." Now, when you need to get out of an awkward situation, you can simply put your finger to your ear—for all anyone else knows, you might really be taking a call!
It Was Developed as a *Smarter* Smartwatch
When CEO Hyunchul Choi developed Sgnl, he noticed a problem with normal smartwatches. "'A colleague was boasting about his smartwatch," Choi says, "but was embarrassed by the fact that everyone around him could hear the conversations he was having. As the number of smartwatch users increases, they'll all face the same problem." With the help of Samsung, he brought the idea of Sgnl into fruition after winning the tech company's C-Lab Space competition in 2014. Is that Apple Watch really looking so innovative now?
It's Not Just for Phone Calls, Either
With the help of its partner app (available for iOS and Android), Sgnl also allows users to customize their experience. They can schedule alerts for important events, track their fitness, and even set call reminders—because no matter how high-tech our world becomes, we will always need a reminder to call our parents.
Sgnl has currently surpassed its Kickstarter goal by over 200 percent, with just over a week left for backing. To get in on the early-bird deals, visit mysgnl.com and pre-order the strap for $139.