Design submitted by Sam from Germany.
Sam says: There are two trends that inspired me to make the concept for L|NK. Tokyoflash once commented this on one of my designs and pointed towards an exciting future: “…it would work well in e-paper. There is a monochrome variety (e.g.: black/red, black/blue, black/pink) which we are working hard to develop into watches. It can’t come soon enough as far as we are concerned as it will really open up possibilities.” Watches that are connected to your phone or computer, are becoming more and more popular so I gave another smartwatch a chance.
L|NK is short for Live E-ink, which already subtly hints the usage of the watch and the technology. It also means, that it is a link between watch and phone using bluetooth.
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The watch has a simple bracelet style that is cut in two bands. The narrow left one contains arrow shaped LEDs that flash when something new happens and point at the direction or the item you might want to check. But first, a vibration or a sound signal gets your attention. The wider band on the right carries an E-ink display that shows your notifications like sms, calls, emails, social network events etc. as well as time, date and setting options. The two bands were made to contrast. I like the combination of black and a single color. The material color of the E-ink band can be easily matched in the (light grey) E-ink display and the (white) LEDs by the usage of a color film. There are many color and material options possible. I’m suggesting so keep a certain monochrome appeal.
The E-ink display uses different segments to display icons and characters to keep you informed. There is a limitation in what such a display can show, so I created differently shaped elements to make it look cool. If you look at the display for the first time, it looks pretty busy. But it’s actually very simple. There are different areas that are separated by thin lines. The narrow area on the right side says where you are right now. The central square area adjacent to it is the Focus Area and it shows the details of your notifications. The areas above and below the Focus Area show other notifier icons or setting icons that you can highlight in the Focus Area by scrolling up or down. That’s about it. The other elements are permanently present and not necessarily made in E-ink.
On the right side of the watch is a scroll wheel that’s also a button, just like PC mouses have. It lets you easily browse through your notifications and set anything you want. Classic Up/Down and Enter buttons would work too but I like the sleek multifunction of the scroll wheel. Using the scroll wheel as button by pressing it once or twice or holding it down allows many options like entering/leaving elements, moving or changing them. On the left side of the watch is the light button so you can check your important news every time.
The L|NK is many things combined in a simple form. It orients itself between an expensive high-tech device and a simple time teller. It’s an LED/E-ink hybrid, a bracelet and a watch, an accessory and a gadget. It is fashionable and functional, artistic and informative.