Wearable WyOki myOki uses light to communicate, socialize with others

Wearable devices can be used for multiple applications, running the gamut from fitness tracking to taking photos and videos. The Brussels-based maker of the new WyOki myOki have added communication with light to the list.

The wearable myOki device can be worn around the wrist like a watch, around the neck like a necklace, or even worn like a button or badge on clothing or on a backpack. There are 16 customizable light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on the device. Users can choose and customize colored rings on the device that fit the mood or situation they are in at a particular moment. As part of the device’s social functionality, the wearer can potentially meet new people by bumping into others wearing the device if they are displaying similar looking rings.

The accompanying WyOki app for iOS, Android, and Windows smartphones enables users to organize different social media profiles to display them on the myOki device in an organized and uncluttered fashion. For example, the user’s favorite shade of blue can be used for Facebook notifications, or red can be used to remind the user of an important email. Potentially, all the fans of a sports team can program their devices to display the same color at the same time as a show of support for the team. Backers of the device’s Indiegogo campaign can get a device at $115 when it ships in May. The device’s makers are looking to raise $160,000 on Indiegogo to help bring the device to market. The hardware is nearly done, with most of the functional and product design work already finalized. A successful campaign will enable the device’s makers to start ordering tools and parts that are still needed.

There is no denying that the device features an original and intriguing user interface. But it’s questionable whether many consumers will be willing to pay more than $100 for a device that doesn’t have a heavily in-demand application like fitness tracking. The social functionality is potentially appealing to many consumers, but only when and if a significant number of other people are using the device.