Snaplet: E-Ink Bracelet

Touchscreen devices are everywhere, but the Human Media Lab is developing an interesting device that wraps around your wrist.

The Lab, based at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, is working on the Snaplet, a portable device that’s based on E-Ink, the same super-sharp display technology that powers the Amazon Kindle.


The display is flexible rather than being encased in a hard shell like an iPhone or any other kind of portable device. The Snaplet currently looks very primitive. It looks like a bare prototype, just a screen with a cable running out of it.

You wear the Snaplet on your wrist and it takes the shape of your arm. You can listen to music, surf the Web, or make calls on this device. A YouTube video released by the Human Design Lab shows someone demonstrating a media player, manipulating the controls by touch.

The device can sense which context it’s in. When you take it off, it opens a notebook application that lets you use a stylus to jot down your important to-do items, grocery lists, ideas for Walyou articles, and other things.

Bending the shape of the E-Ink bracelet into a phone lets you take calls on the device.

Bending as a form of input seems interesting. People have been flipping through pages for years, and it could be easy for users to bring this action to their interaction with electronic devices. The flexibility of the Snaplet will also make it durable. Anyone who’s ever had their beloved device collide with the hard ground will definitely appreciate something like the Snaplet. If they keep developing it and put the Snaplet in an attractively-designed case, it could compete with the iPhone and Android devices.

You might also be interested in our post on a concept for a tablet from 1994 and the M Pad touch tablet PC.

Via: Human Media Lab