About this project
Our Kickstarter campaign has ended, but you can pre-order a MEMI from our website, www.helloMEMI.com.
Never Miss An Important Phone Call Again
How many times have you missed a call because you don’t have a convenient place to store your phone? MEMI (pronounced MEM-ee) set out to solve this problem by creating a chic iPhone-compatible smartbracelet that discretely vibrates when you receive an important phone call, text message or calendar alert. The best part is you can customize the people – like your boss, babysitter, parents, or significant other – who “break through” to your bracelet via an app so that you can put your phone away without worrying you’re going to miss something important.
Stay Connected in Style
We believe that fashion and function are equally important. Our friends don’t want to wear big, black, bulky tech devices. If fact, they don’t wear “devices,” they wear jewelry. So we set out to create a bracelet that is both stylish and functional. We’ve gone to great lengths to disguise our technology in fashion jewelry so MEMI can easily be incorporated into any wardrobe.
Unplug, Just Enough
We live an always-on life, bombarded by constant digital distractions. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to put your phone away and fully engage at work, at home, with friends—or recharge your own batteries every now and then? With MEMI, you can unplug just enough and still have peace of mind that those who need you can still get through.
Women miss phone calls all the time because, unlike men, we don’t have a convenient place to store our phones. Our purses are like black holes – they make it impossible to hear the ringer or feel the vibration when our phones are on silent.
MEMI allows you to put your phone away and be 100% in the moment without worrying you’re going to miss something important—while still looking stylish. Gone are the days of apologizing because your phone is out on the dinner table or visible during a business meeting.
What does MEMI do?
MEMI will notify you of the following:
- All incoming calls or incoming calls from select people
- All text messages or text messages from select people
- Reminders for calendar events
How does MEMI work?
MEMI uses Bluetooth technology to communicate with your iPhone. With our MEMI app, you can customize who “breaks through” to your bracelet. For example, your bracelet can vibrate for all calls or for select callers that are important to you – like your boss, babysitter, parents, or significant other. In addition, you can set notifications for calendar events so your MEMI can let you know when to wrap up a meeting or when to head to the next one. You can easily change your settings at any time.
- Three distinct vibrations - a different vibration is assigned for calls, texts, and calendar alerts
- Discrete side button - a small button to turn your MEMI on and off. Additionally, to confirm your MEMI is on and connected to your phone, simply press and release the button; MEMI's LED will light up.
- LED light - a tiny light located next to the button to indicate when you turn your MEMI on and off, when you go in and out of range, and when it is charging
- Double tap motion sensing- to quickly stop vibrations from an incoming call, simply tap MEMI twice; MEMI’s LED will light up
- Hidden Micro-USB port - a micro USB port hidden within the clasp for charging and software updates
- Long battery life - your MEMI will hold a charge for five days, on average, depending on how many calls and texts you receive each day
- Compatibility - iPhone 4S and up (MEMI is not compatible with Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, or Palm phones at this time.)
How did you choose the first MEMI design?
We conducted a survey and determined that women were most interested in having a MEMI they could wear everyday – dressed up or dressed down. Therefore, our first bracelet features a simple and classic design.
The MEMI is a polished (mostly) metal bracelet with a tapered clamshell design and a hinged closure. Three small plastic “breaks” lie across the top to ensure a strong Bluetooth connection with your phone (each break is .05 inches or 1.27mm). The interior surface, not visible when worn, is also made of plastic to accommodate the technology inside the bracelet.
What will MEMI be made of?
The MEMI you see here on Kickstarter is a prototype made of polished aluminum with white plastic “breaks” and a matching white plastic interior.
In production, the MEMI Classic bracelet will be made of rhodium-plated metal and will have the same white plastic “breaks” and a white plastic interior as the prototype you see here – unless, you choose to customize the interior plastic (see pledge options).
Are there more designs?
Yes. We have lots of ideas to make MEMI even more special and unique. Visit us at www.hellomemi.com to participate in selecting the designs we’ll produce and be a part of creating the very first MEMI collection.
What are we going to do with your money?
Build MEMI bracelets for as many backers as possible!
The funding we generate on Kickstarter will take MEMI from the prototype phase, into production, and ultimately onto your wrist. We need your help to create a new category of wearable technology, made for women, that focuses on simplifying functionality and maximizing aesthetics. Select the reward level that best suits you, and we’ll send you a MEMI by summer 2014.
Design, Production and Manufacturing (the “techie” stuff…)
Over the past year, we have made significant progress in bringing MEMI to life. When we first embarked on this journey, we utilized Bluetooth Classic despite the significant design challenge it posed due to its size. At the time, iOS did not provide the Caller ID information over Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) needed to customize the people who could “break through” to the bracelet.
Given the size constraints of Bluetooth Classic, our first few prototypes felt big and clunky. The prototypes did not adequately represent the dream we had for MEMI or deliver on our promise to deliver a chic, truly wearable smartbracelet.
In April, we embarked on a search to find an engineering firm capable of supporting MEMI throughout the production and manufacturing process. We looked for a firm capable of supporting our various needs from soup to nuts. We were thrilled to find LS Research, a world-class engineering and manufacturing firm with extensive expertise in advanced wireless systems. They specialize in Bluetooth and Radio Frequency product design, two core components of our bracelet. We have found true partners who are as committed as we are to bringing MEMI to life.
When we joined forces with LS Research, our primary goal was to radically reduce MEMI’s size and shape. By Summer 2013, it was clear the tech community believed Apple would release an update to iOS that would support providing the Caller ID information we needed over Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This was a game-changer for us.
Confident that iOS7 would support Caller ID over BLE, we could dramatically improve MEMI's size and begin to explore the metal form factor we hoped for. By July 2013, we were able to produce our first prototype, with a much slimmer form factor. In fact, using BLE allowed us to reduce the overall dimensions by almost half. Our next challenge was to create a (mostly) metal design that could still accommodate our antenna. In September, we began building a working prototype to test our design.
Currently, our design is undergoing a few tweaks. For example, we recently elongated the hinge to make the latch more secure. Additionally, hardware and software verification testing will be completed to verify that all design requirements are met. With the funds from Kickstarter, we will be able to convert our prototype into a production-ready model to begin line production.
Here is what we plan to tackle this Fall/Winter:
- Optimize the beta design and verify that performance, design and specifications requirements are met
- Complete design validation testing
- Complete final software testing and integration
- Finalize iOS application testing
- Complete global certification
- Finalize package design
- Identify fulfillment partner
As production continues, we have been actively pursuing the best manufacturing partners for MEMI. With our unique form factor, our product requires the expertise of both an electronics manufacturer and a top-notch jewelry or watch manufacturer to ensure the fit and finish we are looking for.
Our engineers and jewelry consultant have, collectively, worked with dozens of reputable manufacturers over the years. Through their previous experience, we have identified some highly sophisticated and innovative manufacturers to mitigate our risk and strengthen our position. We are looking for manufacturing partners who are equally capable of handling small batch runs (under 1,000 units) and larger scale production depending on what we achieve on Kickstarter. Additionally, our manufacturing partners must exemplify high quality standards and ethical production standards.
MEMI requires a high level of precision and sophistication. We have established contact with a few select manufacturers to better evaluate their capabilities and to determine who is best equipped to handle the intricacies of MEMI. We are currently in the process of receiving samples to help us make this decision. Specifically, we are speaking with contract manufacturers who have produced electronics for Epson, SOUNDCAST and Magtek and jewelry manufacturers who have produced for Marc Jacobs, Alexis Bittar and Kate Spade, just to name a few. Given the recent explosion of wearable technology and its projected growth, we’re pleased to report that these manufacturers are motivated to work with us to forge a path towards success.
What’s Our Story?
Leslie and Margaux started MEMI over a year ago. The idea was born out of Leslie’s frustration over not having a convenient place to store her iPhone. She routinely missed phone calls because she didn’t hear her phone ringing or feel it vibrating in her purse. She resorted to having her phone out in meetings or on the dinner table because she could not afford to miss a call from her family. Feeling RUDE, ANXIOUS, AND DISTRACTED all of the time, Leslie decided there had to be a way to solve this problem! Leslie’s strengths lay in strategic planning, and she sought out Margaux, with a background in luxury marketing, to bring MEMI to life.
Find us here:
We will follow up with you via email, at the end of our campaign, to collect metal, custom interior and/or engraving details. Please note: engraving space is limited.
Risks and challenges
It is important to us that our backers feel we are being open and honest about the challenges we face. Given our innovative form factor, we have identified the following:
1. Getting the quality of fit and finish we require from vendors – we have developed prototypes and are working to identify the vendors who have experience manufacturing precision designs.
2. Ensuring the maximum range from the antenna – our antenna designer has been performing extensive testing on our prototype designs.
3. Being able to properly communicate with the Apple Notification Center Service in iOS7 – our software designer is performing testing and has been carefully reviewing information posted on Apple’s Bluetooth Developers Forum
4. The double tap sense reliability testing has not yet begun. This is a priority for October/November 2013.
While we want to be transparent about the potential challenges, we are confident we will overcome them and deliver MEMI to you by summer 2014. Leslie and Margaux, MEMI's founders, conducted a thorough search and carefully selected LS Research to develop the first MEMI bracelet. LS Research stood out among many other potential partners as a world-class engineering and manufacturing firm with extensive expertise in advanced wireless systems. They have been instrumental in finding solutions to the challenges along the way and are collaborating closely with Cynthia Meyer, MEMI's jewelry design expert, to ensure MEMI's high quality standards. The diverse backgrounds of the entire MEMI team - product development, jewelry design, manufacturing, marketing and strategic planning - are the key to MEMI's success.
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