Lycos, the search engine and web portal that you may remember from way, way back, is not only still around, it's actually launching a pair of wearables today. Simply called the Band and the Ring, the wearables are primarily being pitched as devices that can be used to replace your password, using NFC to unlock your phone when they're nearby. The band also acts as a fitness monitor, sleep tracker, and alarm. Both devices are fairly ugly and fairly expensive: the Band will sell for $124.99, and the Ring will sell for $59.99. They come in six different colors and are supposed to launch on Monday.
A great conversation piece for web nostalgics
This is obviously an odd announcement from Lycos, which has kind of floundered around for the past decade. The site was launched in the mid-90s and was then among the best known web portals, search engines, and site hosts. It's since been acquired by and passed between a number of companies, most recently landing under Ybrant Digital, which started as an electronic greeting cards site.
Lycos wants these wearables to do a ton of different things, including tracking your heart rate and helping you send messages. Neither has any buttons on it — everything is managed through an Android app called Lycos Life. Lycos also wants developers to be able to tap into the wearables to start doing interesting things with them. The band is water resistant and is supposed to have 10 to 14 days of battery life; the ring doesn't rely on a battery. Lycos also plans to bring support for the Band and Ring to iOS, but it won't be able to do quite as much since Apple doesn't provide access to NFC.
Perhaps the most interesting piece of this launch is that Lycos is also starting something called the Lycos Life Project, a not-for-profit that intends to provide free water sensors and air sensors to households that may not know if they're receiving clean air and water. Five percent of sales from the two devices will fund the project.
Lycos will also be throwing a launch party in Los Angeles, which will apparently be attended by Wayne Brady, Kathy Griffin, Chloe from 24, and the cop from Heroes.