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Circuit Breaker

Feel the vibes of this screenless wearable

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Fast Company (Somatic Labs)

The Moment is a screenless wearable that its creators designed to experiment with UI. Unlike a wearable with a screen, the band vibrates in specific patterns to signify when you have a notification. So if your mom calls, it might vibrate in a square two times or maybe only the right side of the watch will pulse. The band supposedly relies on something called "tactile illusions" to make the vibrations seem as if they’re moving across a wearer’s wrist as opposed to buzzing in place.

Moment’s creators aren’t limiting what can be done with it, though. They suggest using the band as a metronome or as a GPS for suggesting directions without forcing you to look down at a screen.

The band connects with phones over Bluetooth and through an Android / iOS app. Moment is being crowdfunded on its website and starts at $129.

Earlier wearables attempted to communicate with users through subliminal cueing (see this article from 2003), which displayed notifications but in a way that wearers couldn't consciously recognize. Screens and pop-up notifications can be distracting, so wearables like the Moment try to communicate a message while more or less working in the background of the wearer's mind.