There’s a new kind of wearable device on the market, but this one aims to bring you closer to people you love, not to your email. Magnet, created by Boston-based startup Headtalk, plans to bridge the gap between intimacy and distance using personal touch.
If your friends, parents or significant other live far away, you’re probably used to the stream of texts and calls that eventually start to feel impersonal. Magnet aims to solve this problem by allowing users to communicate nonverbally through a small stoned-shaped device. Whether you wear Magnet as a bracelet, hold it in your hand, or rest it on the table, it works the same way — when you touch your Magnet, your partner’s matching stone vibrates and lights up in the same pattern. The taps are conveyed in real-time, using Bluetooth technology on an Android- or iOS-based device and Headtalk’s online platform. For this reason, Magnet pieces are only sold in pairs.
Headtalk, which is taking part in Techstars Boston’s 2014 class, launched a Kickstarter campaign on Tuesday, with the goal of raising $60,000 by Nov. 21. Magnet pairs are currently available for Kickstarter supporters for 30 percent off and will sell for $190 per set after the campaign.
MIT Media Lab and Sloan School alumni Alexander List and Harish Kamath, founders of Headtalk, started working on Magnet this past February. Although List has been in several long-distance relationships in the past, he said they weren’t his inspiration for c0-founding Headtalk. “Even in the same city with somebody, the person who you care about can still feel distant from you,” List said in an interview with BostInno.
In a market overcrowded with the newest piece of wearable tech, List says Headtalk is working towards a new kind of wearable focused on connecting loved ones in new, personal ways.
“We’re making [wearable devices] so simple that people can feel connected to them,” List said. “I think we’re doing something in a very special way as a company.”
Headtalk has appreciated the level of mentorship they’ve received at Techstars Boston, and List mentions Tom Hughes, chief design officer at Idealab, as being particularly helpful.
“Magnet delivers a feeling, something that’s truly impossible to define, but something unmistakably recognized when it’s offered by the sender and felt by the receiver,” Hughes said in a news release. “It is an elegantly simple and beautiful manifestation of an idea: ‘I was just thinking about you.’”