E Ink comes to fashion with the Tago Arc bracelet
Tago Arc is an E Ink fashion accessory that can be customized to look exactly as the user desires, and never needs to be charged. It connects to a smartphone companion app, allowing the wearer to create their own designs, or purchase from a library of images.
Aside from its obvious application in e-Readers, we’ve seen E Ink technology used for various purposes. From integration in smartphones and cases, to its use in store shelf tags, there’s a lot of demand for the low-powered tech.
Using E Ink to change the aesthetic of a wearable isn’t a new idea – we saw it late last year in Sony’s undercover concept watch – but the Tago Arc’s focus on fashion, alongside its promise for consumers to actually get their hands on it in the not-too-distant future, makes it worth a look.
The first thing to note about the device is that it packs zero smart functionality. It might fall into the wearable tech category, but the bracelet is all about looks, allowing users to create or buy designs, changing the aesthetic significantly.
The display offers 150 pixels per inch and displays images in greyscale. The device relies on an NFC-equipped smartphone for switching images. It’ll work with any Android 4+ smartphone carrying the tech, but isn’t compatible with the iPhone 6/6 Plus, as their NFC functionality is currently locked to work only with Apple Pay.
In order to switch designs on the E Ink display, users touch and hold their smartphone to the bracelet. At present, the transfer process takes around 18 seconds, but the company has promised to streamline things, lowering wait times to around the five-second mark.
You won’t have to worry about keeping track of a charger for the accessory, as it draws all the required power from the smartphone via the NFC connection during the image transfer.
Backers will have a choice of gold, silver or matte black finishes for the bezel of the device, and can create their own designs or purchase them through the companion app. It'll also be possible to load smartphone photos into the app, using them to create designs to transfer onto the bracelet.
You'll want to note that the bracelet is a crowdfunding project, so isn’t available for direct purchase just yet. The project has already exceeded its US$40,000 funding goal, and if you’re interested in owning one, you can make an Indiegogo pledge, with prices starting at $259. An early bird price of $159 was available for a brief time, but is now sold out.
Check out the video below for the Tago Arc crowdfunding pitch.