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

vybe-1

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.

  • 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.

    • Ted

      Vybe Contact:
      Owner: Chris S.
      Cell: 323-893-7297
      Address: 16851 Saybrook Lane, Huntington Beach, CA 92649

  • 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.

    • Ted

      Here’s Vybe’s contact information.
      Vybe Owner: Chris S.
      Cell: 323-893-7297
      Address: 16851 Saybrook Lane, Huntington Beach, CA 92649

  • 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.

  • tom burk

    i ordered this thing and can’t even get someone to answer emails . I’m having second thoughts about this product, messages left on their blog by me get taken off when i even ask why nothing has shipped yet, deadlines have been pushed back several times with one excuse after the other. does CULT OF MAC follow up on these things they rave about on their website? the final shipping date for this item has now been promised a march shipping date, , the february date got pushed back , we will see what the next excuse will be on missing this shipping date the 20th of this month. i really would like to believe this is a real product as I’m hard of hearing and need this. time will tell if a lot of people have been scammed out of their money or not. fingers crossed here. and I’m hoping I’m wrong.

    • tom burk

      well, it happened, vybe has now informed their backers nothing will be shipped until may, 2 months away. somebody jump on this scam, i don’t know how to.

    • Ted

      DO NOT buy this product! It sounds like a SCAM!
      Vybe Contact:

      Owner: Chris S.
      Cell: 323-893-7297
      Address: 16851 Saybrook Lane, Huntington Beach, CA 92649

  • luca t

    well it seem to me that when someone miss a delivery date it becomes automaticlly a scam and thought “ransim” he is right there is already a similar product,
    but Vybe is supposed to vibrates when you receive a call, text, email or leave your phone behind, the BuzzBand ONLY vibrate when you get a call or leave your phone behind, not when you get a message or email, therefore there is a little difference ( I guess thats what u pay for ), furthermore also “Thesixter” wrote it right, and personally do not want a smartwatch that connects to my smartphone and bla bla bla, too many smart-gadgets – furthermore who want to spend 2/3/400 for a smartwatch ?? i do not, Vybe its easy, cheap and modest, good enough for me, and if they are late, shit happens, should be worry when your girlfriend is late, not when a concept gadget its late

    • Gilliansage

      Just filed a dispute with my credit card company. I just wanted something simply to alert me to when my phone was ringing as I cannot hear it at work and don’t feel it vibrate at my side. The band would’ve been perfect. I waited and waited and contacted the company. I ‘ve heard nothing back and today on 5/30/2014 I cannot even access the website. I too didn’t need a smart watch. I just needed an alert that my phone was ringing when I’m out working as I’m a vendor and those grocery stores and other stores are loud.

      • luca t

        I do not know what to say, I have wrote to them in the last few days several times but no answer, i ordered 4 pcs, there is nothing left but to wait I guess, at least for me, lets hope for the best

      • Gilliansage

        I ordered 2 bands and extra bracelets. A total of $88. Was supposed to be a gift for my mom, first for her birthday, than mother’s day and now I just want my money back. I had to find her something else last minute when they didn’t come thru as promised.

      • luca t

        if you need to just to vibrate on calls and to make sure to do not loose your phone buy the BuzzBand – http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Buzz-Band-Incoming-Call-Alarm-Band-Bluetooth-Bracelet-Wristband-Bluetooth-Alert/312184_646444337.html – I got 2 pcs, they work and they are cheap, i was hoping for a bit more from wearvybe, thats all

      • luca t

        if you just need notification when your phone ring buy a Buzz Band Bracelet and with that youļl do fine, it works I got 2 a month ago, they work good ( 18 US each ) I was hoping for more from wearvybe, i have tried to post the link here but apparently they took my note off, google it. take care

      • Gilliansage

        Thanks, after reading all the comments I have already gone online and found something else for like $15. Same thing. Now I just gotta wait on my credit card company to refund my money.

      • luca t

        I got a mail from Wearvybe I am posting it, waiting for Cult of Mac to approved, they are late again, but i’ll stick to it

      • Gilliansage

        Good luck. I have written them like a week ago asking for a full refund. Haven’t heard from them or seen a refund pending.

      • luca t

        ok, Cult of Mac do not let me post the email i got from wearvybe ( very long mail ), however as I wrote earlier they are late, they will postpone the release date for July. Anyway this things happen, only mistake here is, if they thought that they could be ready for May better say August, not every 2 weeks postpone release date. Now, curiosity kills the cat, its not that those money i paid for those 4 bracelet will change my life by asking a refund, so i’ll wait and see, the rest of you, got to do, what you got to do

      • luca t

        I have tried to post this mail several times but no luck, lets try again, this is a mail I received today from Wearvybe -Hi Luca,

        We really apologize that you won’t be
        receiving your order this month. We were really hoping to ship in May as our website stated. We have had a few minor issues which I can elaborate on:
        We are now looking at a July release. Our engineering team is having issues with the software side, integrating into Apple’s software and had to switch out some parts in our module to help with battery life and to make the module smaller. We
        have also had some firmware issues that have lengthened our testing and debugging time.. Also, due to the new features and modifications we have made to the design to bring you the best Vybe possible, our date has been pushed. I hope you realize that this is all being done for our customers benefit. We are expediting all processes to bring you the Vybe as soon as possible.

        Some other delays have been caused on the manufacturing side of things. You may have heard of FitBit who just had to recall 100,000 units due to the band giving the user a horrible rash. We would never want to send a product out that would do this to our customer, so we went to extra lengths to test and re-test to make sure Vybe will be perfected and safe.
        I will give you a bit more details that we haven’t published. During our delays we actually received an investment from a VC. This gave us the ability to take the technology we had built and put it in the hands of one of the top electronic engineers in the business. He was a head engineer at Intel for many years. He has been able to make our product smaller, sleeker and more powerful. The battery is projected to last up to 30 days on a single charge. The Vibrating motor has also been tested to the right amount of G’s to notify but not annoy the user.

        Please let me know if you have any other questions. Check out our blog http://www.wearvybe.wordpress.com for the latest updates.

        We are hard at work to bring you a robust “Apple Quality” product. We hope you will hang in there with us.

        I hope this answers your questions about the delays.

        Thanks Exxxxo

      • luca t

        it seems to me that my note vanish from Cult of Mac, anyway I got a mail from Wearvybe saying – Hi Luca,

        We really apologize that you won’t be receiving your order this month. We were really hoping to ship in May as our website stated. We have had a few minor issues which I can elaborate on:

        We are now looking at a July release. Our engineering team is having issues with the software side, integrating into Apple’s software and had to switch out some parts in our module to help with battery life and to make the module smaller. We have also had some firmware issues that have lengthened our testing and debugging time.. Also, due to the new features and modifications we have made to the design to bring you the best Vybe possible, our date has been pushed. I hope you realize that this is all being done for our customers benefit. We are expediting all processes to bring you the Vybe as soon as possible.

        Some other delays have been caused on the manufacturing side of things. You may have heard of FitBit who just had to recall 100,000 units due to the band giving the user a horrible rash. We would never want to send a product out that would do this to our customer, so we went to extra lengths to test and re-test to make sure Vybe will be perfected and safe.

        I will give you a bit more details that we haven’t published. During our delays we actually received an investment from a VC. This gave us the ability to take the technology we had built and put it in the hands of one of the top electronic engineers in the business. He was a head engineer at Intel for many years. He has been able to make our product smaller, sleeker and more powerful. The battery is projected to last up to 30 days on a single charge. The Vibrating motor has also been tested to the right amount of G’s to notify but not annoy the user.

        Please let me know if you have any other questions. Check out our blog http://www.wearvybe.wordpress.com for the latest updates.

        We are hard at work to bring you a robust “Apple Quality” product. We hope you will hang in there with us.

        I hope this answers your questions about the delays.

        Thanks

        Exxxxo – as I said earlier I will wait, cause I really want to see this bracelet

      • Ted

        Here’s Vybe’s contact information to get your money back or file a complaint:
        Vybe Owner: Chris S.
        Cell: 323-893-7297
        Address: 16851 Saybrook Lane, Huntington Beach, CA 92649

  • luca t

    i got a mail just NOW from Wearvybe – Hi Luca,

    We really apologize that you won’t be
    receiving your order this month. We were really hoping to ship in May as
    our website stated. We have had a few minor issues which I can
    elaborate on:

    We are now looking at a July
    release. Our engineering team is having issues with the software side,
    integrating into Apple’s software and had to switch out some parts in
    our module to help with battery life and to make the module smaller. We
    have also had some firmware issues that have lengthened our testing and
    debugging time.. Also, due to the new features and modifications we have
    made to the design to bring you the best Vybe possible, our date has
    been pushed. I hope you realize that this is all being done for our
    customers benefit. We are expediting all processes to bring you the Vybe
    as soon as possible.

    Some other delays have
    been caused on the manufacturing side of things. You may have heard of
    FitBit who just had to recall 100,000 units due to the band giving the
    user a horrible rash. We would never want to send a product out that
    would do this to our customer, so we went to extra lengths to test and
    re-test to make sure Vybe will be perfected and safe.

    I
    will give you a bit more details that we haven’t published. During our
    delays we actually received an investment from a VC. This gave us the
    ability to take the technology we had built and put it in the hands of
    one of the top electronic engineers in the business. He was a head
    engineer at Intel for many years. He has been able to make our product
    smaller, sleeker and more powerful. The battery is projected to last up
    to 30 days on a single charge. The Vibrating motor has also been tested
    to the right amount of G’s to notify but not annoy the user.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions. Check out our blog http://www.wearvybe.wordpress.com for the latest updates.

    We are hard at work to bring you a robust “Apple Quality” product. We hope you will hang in there with us.

    I hope this answers your questions about the delays.

    Thanks Engelo –

    Well I will stick to it, cause I really want to see this bracelet, I already have the Buzz Band Bracelet but it is poor, so I’ll wait

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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