Technology

The 5 W’s Behind WiseWear

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Welcome! First and foremost, we are beyond thrilled to launch our blog so you can get know WiseWear on a more personal level. After all, we’d like to think of ourselves as more than just a tech company… but rather, a resource in the community that touches on health, fashion, technology, and more. Our blog will feature a variety of content, ranging from advice on how to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle to exclusive, behind-the-scenes coverage.

We’d like to dedicate our first blog post to the basics – get to know us!

WHO: WiseWear is a fashion tech hybrid company that creates luxury wearables. While we specialize in advanced sensing technologies, we also have a strong focus on fashion, design, and aesthetics – simply put, making things truly wearable. Our experienced team consists of top engineers and scientists, hailing from Caltech, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, and the University of Texas, whose backgrounds include biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, and applied physics. We also collaborate closely with fashion designers, who have consulted for reputable brands such as Coach, Swatch, Rachel Zoe, and Alexis Bittar.

Team WiseWear 1
A few of our team members, including (L to R): David Elam, Bennett Ibey, Brian Anderson, Jerry Wilmink, Ron Barnes, Jason Wilson, Jordan Ramirez, Ed Leahey.

WHAT: We recently launched our first line of luxury smart jewelry called the Socialite Collection (get it here, for an exclusive pre-order price of $299.95). This line consists of three smart bracelet designs, including the Calder, the Duchess, and the Kingston. The bracelets are fully integrated with advanced features such as activity tracking, mobile notifications, and distress messaging. Each bracelet is made of brass and plated in precious metals such as gold and palladium. Such brass material allows the bracelets to be water-resistant, antimicrobial, hypoallergenic, and considerably more durable than other wearables currently offered in the market. We have plans to continue collaborating with top fashion brands & designers to offer more styles, as well as upcoming product lines that will appeal to both men and women.

The three styles of our Socialite Collection, including (L to R): the Calder, the Kingston, the Duchess.

WHERE: Our headquarters are located in the heart of the San Antonio medical district. We also have an office in Austin.

A typical day at our in-house research & development lab, testing sensing and antenna technology.

WHEN: It all began in September 2013 when Dr. Gerald “Jerry” Wilmink founded the company out of his San Antonio garage.

WHY: Health is important to us – it’s the root of all things. Without it, we can’t fuel forward to think, create, and make the world a better place. Dr. Wilmink founded WiseWear on the belief that healthy lifestyles should be easy to achieve and maintain with the ease of technology. That is, technology that is truly wearable and desired to be worn on a day-to-day basis. Our goal is to make healthy a habit so consumers can better understand their bodies, monitor their health & wellness, and ultimately, live a balanced lifestyle. Beyond technology, fashion and design also play a crucial role in the creative ingenuity behind our products. We strive to create wearables that serve a true purpose, without sacrificing style.

So what now? Visit us often and be on the lookout for exciting new content published on a weekly basis. Stay in the loop as we roll out new features, styles, designs, and product updates. And don’t be shy! We’re always happy to hear your thoughts, comments, and suggestions.

The S’s of Socialite – Screenless Connectivity

Socialite Schematic

 

This month, we proudly introduce a multi-post series called, “The S’s of Socialite,” which will guide you through the unique features of the Socialite. This week’s post focuses on the Socialite’s screenless connectivity, written by WiseWear’s Chief Technology Officer, Bennett Ibey.

Have you ever been in deep conversation with someone only to hear the cringe-inducing sound of their mobile phone? As they reach for that phone, you can feel their attention leaving you and the conversational energy drain. As you standby in suspended conversation, you inherently feel less important than that mobile device. As the interruption continues, you begin to resent the device, the person who sent the email, the internet in general, and mobile communication.

Unfortunately, as the conversation resumes, the depth and importance of the conversation, “the moment”, has been lost. While years ago, such actions would have been considered disrespectful and socially impolite, they have now become commonplace and even acceptable. All too often, our mobile devices get priority over people robbing us of face-to-face interaction filled with verbal and nonverbal emotion.

While, our mobile phones have transformed how we connect with each other and the world, they have made it more difficult to “detach” where deep attention and human interaction/intimacy are critical. Therefore, one technical challenge for companies designing wearable electronics is to retain the connectivity of a mobile device, but free the wearer from the mobile tether. We, at WiseWear, have intentionally avoided a “screen” on the Socialite to “de-tech” the user experience without “detaching” them from the world.

Using simple vibration patterns felt only by the user and invisible to bystanders, the wearer is discretely notified of important text, email, phone call, or calendar events allowing them to take action or ignore the notification invisibly. Personal settings within the mobile application can be set to only vibrate when your husband, son or daughter, work, or a close friend contact you avoiding the all-to-common social disruption of spam emails, unimportant texts, or unsolicited phone calls. This simple, yet intuitive connection to the world allows the wearer to truly embrace human interaction without relentless interruption, while knowing they are not missing important communication.

Unfortunately, wrist worn screens do not circumvent this problem, they may actually exacerbate it making interruptions easier to respond to rather than manage. Current screened wearable devices just place another stylish social distraction into the arsenal to sabotage human social engagement. Having been around both mobile phones and smart watch technology for most of my adult life, I can assure you that staring at your wrist to read a text is not less annoying than picking up your phone. Both actions cause immeasurable disruption to human engagement and communicate to whomever you are speaking that they are not as important to you as whatever just happened on their phone. While many may disagree with my assertions regarding social disruption of mobile devices ask yourself this question: How do you feel when someone checks their watch during conversation with you?

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