The Buzzy Vybe Smart Bracelet May More Annoying Than Your Little Brother

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The people behind Vybe are calling it a “smart bracelet,” because it’s missing a key element included in all smartwatches: the screen. Instead of relaying information through a display, Vybe vibrates, nagging you to look at your phone.

A device that repeatedly requires halting your current activity seems to defeat its own purpose — namely, untethering you from your phone. It’s also strange that Vybe’s promotional clip suggests you pick up your phone while driving, which is illegal in many states — including California, where WearVybe, the bracelet’s maker, is based.

Apart from vibrating for messages and calls, it’ll also buzz when it gets too far from its phone — a feature that’s standard on most smart watches. It pairs over low-energy Bluetooth 4.0, which means it’s compatible with any iPhone above the 4s.

So the Vybe seems to cut back drastically on features when compared with a smartwatch. On the other hand, it’ll save you some cash, and maybe let you be more stealthy about wearing technology; it’s available for preorder at $39 — miles cheaper than a smartwatch — and the Vybe can be used with optional extensions that let you wear it on an ankle.

Vybe is expected to ship next year in February.

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  • micrich3

    My phone already vibrates for messages and calls so what exactly is the point of this?

  • Falafelhead

    Possibly the most useless device of all time. Not to mention the size of the thing! A one trick clydesdale.

  • Thesixler

    It’s pretty easy to bash on ‘useless’ new devices. Who needs an “iPod” when my minidisc player works just fine? Seems pretty useless to me.

    I can’t be the only person on the planet who not only misses vibrate calls in his pocket or the only person who gets phantom vibrations when no one has called or texted. This wristband removes all doubt. You’d never have to check a phantom vibration because it’ll show up on the wristband. And you’d never have to worry about missing calls on silent because it’ll show up on the wristband. It seems like the perfect device to solve the problem it was designed to solve.

  • ransim

    Vybe is a scam, what they’re framing as crowd funding for a new product when its actually them merely putting their logo on an existing Chinese product called Buzz Band.

    This was discovered on reddit and drop-kicker.com has done a great write up:

    http://drop-kicker.com/2013/10/vybe-abuses-crowd-funding-to-become-middle-men-and-charge-backers-twice-what-theyd-pay-elsewhere/

    You can get this product for half the price vybe wants with immediate delivery.

  • Mark3785

    Ransim is correct The Vybe is identical, at least visually, to the Buzz Band BT-88. I bought one for just over $16.00 delivered from AliExpress. It’s useful and the price is right, as opposed to the $40 introductory price of the Vybe.

About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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