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Bond is a smart wristband designed to save your long-distance relationship

Hip girlfriend not included.
By Christopher Mims
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The internet, with its capacity to connect people from afar, has just met its touch-based analog. It’s called Bond, and though it’s still at the crowd-funding stage, it’s so simple it just might work. Bond is a small, white rectangle, and when you touch it, it causes its companion Bond to vibrate, wherever it is in the world.

Most wearable devices fail because, like Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smart watch, they try to do too much. The most successful, by volume at least, are activity trackers, which require only that a person wear them.

Making Bond more capable is as easy as adding (forthcoming) modules to its chain of magnetic white rectangles.

Bond is in the same mold. It works by connecting wirelessly to an iPhone or Android smartphone, and its makers claim that despite its tiny size, it will have a 7 day battery life. Bond has two modes: In one, touching it causes its companion Bond to vibrate, letting the wearer of the companion Bond feel a small vibration—the touch equivalent of a text.

Bond’s single-touch interface captures a surprising amount of information: time, place and sentiment.

But Bond has a second capability that may ultimately prove even more interesting: It’s possible to switch off Bond’s ability to send vibrations to someone else, and simply use Bond as a way to log exactly what you are feeling at any point in time or space. Touching Bond for one second logs a positive emotion, while touching it for five seconds logs a negative emotion, and it’s possible to log any emotion between those two states simply by touching it for between one and five seconds.

Bond could also be used to track your emotional state through time and space.

The result is an “emotional heat map” of the world, one you can keep private or share with everyone and anyone. Perhaps a corner restaurant has exceptionally good or bad service—the way patrons feel at that spot could be logged by Bond as surely as it’s rated on Yelp. Bond is made by four affiliated engineers and designers who are part of KwameCorp, which is also contributing to a device called FairPhone, which claims to be the world’s first environmentally and socially responsible smartphone. Currently, KwameCorp is shaking the cup for Bond on Indiegogo.

The team behind Bond.

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