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.