SEOUL, May 23 (Korea Bizwire) – Innomdle Lab, a local spin-off of Samsung Electronics, is scheduled to start production later this year of smart straps for smartwatches that enable one to make calls by pressing a finger to the ear, company officials said Monday.
Mass production is expected to begin some time in October, officials said, including a separate model for Apple products.
The technology involved in smart straps was shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show 2016 in Las Vegas in January. Connectable to smartphones, the strap sends audio from the wrist to the finger through body vibrations. By pressing a finger to the ear, a user can engage in phone conversations unhindered by external noise — especially handy when on a subway ride, in concerts or at sports games.
“I landed on the idea when an older acquaintance of mine was showing off his smartwatch but said he felt a bit ill at ease because people around him could hear his phone conversations,” Choi Hyun-chul, CEO of Innomdle Lab, said.
The company is the first spin-off from South Korea’s tech mammoth Samsung Electronics. The team that invented the smart strap was initially a part of C-Lab, or Creative Lab, a project by the tech giant to incubate startups by helping turn novel ideas into marketable products. The team became an independent venture in September last year with seed investment from Samsung Venture Investment Corp.
The smart strap works on both Android and iOS and connects to smartphones via Bluetooth.