Want a wearable companion for your smartphone but don’t want to dish out $299 for a Samsung Galaxy Gear? The new Vybe wristband provides a unique middle ground. The Bluetooth bracelet, coming in February 2014 for $39, syncs with your smartphone to give gentle reminders whenever you receive a text or call.
Vybe is powered by a small Bluetooth chip that attaches to a thin rubber wristband. Once the wristband is synced with your handset over Bluetooth, it will automatically connect whenever your phone is in range, which Vybe claims to be more than 50 feet. The device vibrates once for text messages, and vibrates in steady one-second intervals when you receive a phone call.
If you want to silence Vybe when you get a call, you can simply press down on the chip. The Vybe chip charges via USB, and is designed to last 4 days on a single charge. The device is compatible with iPhone 4s and up, as well as any Android, Windows or Blackberry handset that supports Bluetooth 4.0.
Vybe bracelets will be available in green, blue, yellow, pink, white, red and black when it arrives between winter 2013 and early 2014. Vybe is crowdfunding the bracelet via pre-orders, with three core packages available to help fund its one-month goal of $43,000. A single Vybe and wristband pack costs $39, while the Trifecta package includes one Vybe and three interchangeable wristbands for $49. The bigger Rainbow pack includes one Vybe and all seven color bands for $74.50. You can also pick up additional bands for $8 each, as well as an ankle extension for $3.
While smartwatches place a plethora of smartphone features right on your wrist, the Vybe is worth considering for those who want a cheaper, more subtle tech bracelet. And could be perfect if you prefer to keep your smartphone in your pocket unless you actually get a message.