BETWINE: Wearable Social Game for Good Health & Fun
BETWINE: Wearable Social Game for Good Health & Fun
First simulation game merged with a wearable activity tracker to keep you connected with your beloved ones in a healthy and fun way.
First simulation game merged with a wearable activity tracker to keep you connected with your beloved ones in a healthy and fun way. Read more
About this project
BETWINE is the ONLY activity tracker in the world that lets you physically poke other users.
How long has your mom or dad been sitting at their desk? Remind them to get up and be active by sending a poke which turns into a vibration on their wrist or around their neck. BETWINE tracks all your activity and lets you share your progress with those closest to you. It's a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle for you and those you love.
BETWINE was designed for people who suffer from stress-related pains, live a sedentary lifestyle or sit too much. Because the device monitors your level of activity, it can sense when you’re inactive, sitting in one place too long, napping or needing to exercise.
Just as you would do in person if you wanted to encourage someone to be more active, you can send members of your group an electronic “poke” through a vibration in the BETWINE wearable device that reminds them to get up and get some exercise or take a break. A BETWINE poke is a gentle, but effective, personal reminder to be more active or simply just a way of saying you miss someone.
Using BETWINE is a fun way to stay connected to the people who are most important in your life and a new way to show you care for them. It's between you and the people you love and care about.
BETWINE brings the positive energy of simulation game play to the real world. In the virtual world of BETWINE, you can download avatars of your boyfriend/girlfriend, your parents, or anyone else to your mobile phone where you can be close to them at all times without any limitation of time and space.
BETWINE’s comfortable design and easy-to-use mobile app allow you to effect certain aspects of your friends' health via real-time interaction that over time builds good health habits and closer relationships with them.
The Wearable Device
BETWINE is a unique wearable device that was designed to encourage people who suffer from stress-related pains, who live a sedentary lifestyle, and people who sit too much at work to become more active and life a healthier lifestyle. It also is a great way for you to keep in constant contact with a select group of people. It’s the first wearable device that was made for people who want to stay connected to other people they love and care about the most. We took wearable device technology to a new level by introducing a software platform that encourages people to be more active and stay in touch with their closest friends and family members.
It can be worn around your neck, on your wrist, on a zipper pull, or just about anywhere else that’s comfortable. After it has been worn for short time, it will learn your body’s activity habits and produce a status of your activity.
BETWINE utilizes mobile technology in such a way that the content delivered between two individuals creates a real-time interactive channel. This channel creates a playful link between the two individuals, opening a channel for a non-verbal and interactive connection.
The BETWINE wearable device embraces remote tangible communication that creates the sensation of two people who are inter-connected. This connection is something called "bit-intimacy."
The BETWINE mobile application includes a series of avatars that can be assigned to you, your family members and friends. These avatars mimic your movements throughout the day -- they walk when you walk; they sit when you are seated; and they’re idle when you stop moving. When you’ve been working at your desk for too long, your avatar will begin slacking off due to a lack of activity. Only you will be able to see the real-time activity status of your own assigned avatar but not any real-time activity of people in your Friends Network. We've designed our app with a reasonably high level of privacy to protect you from being tracked via your mobile phone.
The BETWINE Experience
There is an energy level bar for every avatar that will decrease as your sedentary activity increases. It will give you a direct view of the energy level of your body and remind you to stand up and move around if your energy level is low. Our system automatically fuels up your energy level bar when it detects sufficient movement. These built-in features make sure your daily activity amount is just right.
The BETWINE Universe
BETWINE is a pioneer in wearable technology that is based on a social network software environment. It combines the fun and fantasy of a virtual digital world with the real world that you live in. In BETWINE’s virtual community, avatars consisting of your friends, family, and lovers can all be downloaded through the social networking system. No matter how far the distance, you will be able to live with the most important people in your life in BETWINE’s digital world, monitoring their energy level and activity status. Additionally, within our simulation game software, you can meet other people who are looking to meet positive, energetic people like yourself.
Steps Competition Game
In the BETWINE virtual world, you can add friends into your Close Friends list, and cultivate good habits by doing fitness everyday with the Steps Competition game. This game revolves around the concept of two people competing in a contest that tracks the amount of steps taken within a certain period of time. Playing this game will help you and your friends develop good health habits and have fun at the same time.
Stay close to the ones you love and care about the most across the miles that separate you from them. One of the features included in our mobile app shows the avatars of you and a close friend in your network that appear in both of your mobile phone screens simultaneously once the step gap between you two is less than 100 steps. We call this "Be Together." This kind of interaction will help build a special bond between you and your close friends found in your BETWINE Friends Network.
BETWINE Virtual Store
Virtual coins can be earned by walking and can be used to purchase custom avatars in the BETWINE virtual store. In the next generation of our mobile software, we will have many new items that you can purchase with our virtual coins that will add more excitement, fun, and enjoyment to our gameplay experience.
In the near future, we will be releasing new avatars for your enjoyment. The avatars below were created by Artists Chu Wang, DN (Yan Tang).
If you're an artist, we invite you to create avatar styles for us to consider adding to our mobile game. This will give the BETWINE community a more unique look and feel direct from you, our friends. If you would like to create an avatar for us, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Birth of BETWINE
On New Year’s Eve in 2012, interaction designer Lei Gao had learned that his father had been sent to the hospital for an emergency treatment. Gao was told by the doctor that his father had some syndromes caused by chronic diseases. Needless to say, Gao was shocked. He realized that he knew so little of his father’s health condition during all the years he was studying and working away from his family. During this time, he found his own health was getting worse due to long hours spent working at his desk. Suddenly, he became aware of how important it was in solving the communication and health problems that plagued his personal life.
By thoroughly investigating families, health examination centers, and community medical system records, Gao started to learn more about chronic disease management and how badly sedentary activity damages people’s health. What he and his team developed is the BETWINE wearable device. BETWINE encourages people suffering from: sore muscles, back pain, arthritis, obesity, and diabetes which all can be attributed to sedentary behavior to change their old habits and develop new ones that can lead to a healthier way of life.
After researching different types of smart devices that adopt quantified self-monitoring, Gao found that the majority of current wearable devices are solely for one person, and their features were not aimed at developing healthy habits to curb chronic diseases, i.e., keeping the body active. Thus, he decided to design a product that combines social network features, game play, and good health habits. Gao and his team decided that BETWINE is not only a health management system that encourages people to develop a healthier lifestyle, but more as a virtual community for users to communicate with their loved ones and show care for their friends, lovers and family members. BETWINE enables people to achieve changes in their health through caring and encouraging each other without the barrier of distance.
From Maker to Entrepreneur
We are a team of global makers, designers, researchers, and entrepreneurs who hail from Keio University, Michigan State University, Georgia Tech University, and Yale University. Although we are from the USA, China and Japan, forming a dynamic international team is the result of our enthusiasm for hardware entrepreneurialism, as well as our passion for improving and innovating wearable technology.
From Open Source Hardware to Product
Seeed Studio is a well-known open-source hardware company, aimed at providing makers with development tools and consultancy for product creation and commercialization. Seeed Studio has helped ImLab to finish the Alpha and Beta testing of BETWINE and improved the product design substantially. Recently, Seeed exhibited BETWINE as their favorite case study at both the Rome and Bay Area Maker Faires. After one year of development and testing, BETWINE decided to move on to the mass production phase with Seeed and InnoConn.
InnoConn is a new hardware startup incubator organization that supports hardware entrepreneurs through a new platform called KICK2real. KICK2real’s team of manufacturing specialists will examine project ideas and allow other registered members to give opinions. The platform will then select the projects and help startups manufacture their product. With InnoConn’s assistance on NPI assessment, we adjusted our product design according to the requirements of large scale production. Innoconn also helped us optimize our product system design, and made extraordinary high-precision molds. Contributions from InnoConn have brought us improved quality control services which previously were only available to big companies, and ensured the successful delivery of a high-quality final product.
We completed our beta testing phase earlier this year and sold over 1,000 units. Since then, we’ve been working with one of the largest global manufacturers in the world to prepare us for large scale production. The science of our product was validated after we were selected by two manufacturing icons to join them as their first customer in their new startup program.
BETWINE was chosen as the very first hardware project to be mentored and managed by Seeed Studio and InnoConn who are working together to develop a brand new method of manufacturing our product. Therefore, we are shouldering the responsibility of testing a brand new eco-system and exploring a thoroughly innovative supply chain method that is lean and fast for our strategic partners. Hopefully, this brand new supply chain model will prove to be a big success and greatly benefit startups and makers all over the world who wish to create global brands. This is why your support is so important. When you support our Kickstarter campaign, you’re indirectly supporting the maker community.
Product Production Schedule
Where the funds will go?
Currently, we’re looking to raise money through Kickstarter to underwrite the cost of inventory of products that will be sold during our crowdfunding campaign. We are not looking for funding to underwrite any costs for development of our product or for prototyping since our product is no longer in beta phase. We only seek funding to pay for our pilot production order. After our pilot production run, we will need to re-tool our production mold to produce products that meet FCC & CE standards in order to enter the international market, which requires a great deal of money to do.
To save on operating costs, we currently employ only four full-time employees. This greatly influences the efficiency and effectiveness of our work productivity, which include: hardware and software design, development, and APK software updates.
We wish to acquire sufficient funds through Kickstarter so that we can hire more full-time employees to work on improving BETWINE’s software platform, and focus on business and product development and global branding.
We’ll release an Android version of our app so the rest of the world can enjoy our social game.
Phase II of our Mobile App
We will develop the BETWINE mobile game on one of the most popular game engines in the world. Doing this will make our game more enjoyable, robust, and accessible through other mobile operating systems. We are preparing to open our API to other device makers which will enable users to acquire more information such as BMI, body fat percentage, heart rate, etc. Doing this requires a large amount of time, manpower, and money.
After our Kickstarter campaign, we will produce more BETWINE wearable devices to satisfy all our customer orders. We will also create more device styles and shapes, along with offering many more color choices.
Plus, we plan on creating many other fun and exciting software features in our mobile app, continue developing our software platform, and developing new hardware devices that we just can't share just yet. Of course, we need your feedback to help us further improve our product. We always appreciate your support and feedback.
You can contact us with any questions or suggestions you may have at email@example.com
$75,000 - Develop Android version.
$100,000 - Complete Phase II of our Mobile App and begin development of our business software platform.
$125,000 - Enhance our current wearable products and design new ones.
We've already sold over 1,000 beta versions of the BETWINE wearable. Here's what some of our beta version customers are saying about our product.
"After purchasing many of the fitness trackers available in the market, I found BETWINE to be a pleasant experience. It brought me closer to my family and friends in a fun and exciting way."
"The best thing about BETWINE is the Poke feature. It allows me to keep in touch with my friends so easily."
"When I was young, I used to play with the Tamagotchi virtual pet toy. Now I have fun playing with the next generation of simulation games from BETWINE.
You can follow us online at:
Each BETWINE has a textured plastic black case, with an anti-reflective coating and a comfortable TPU strap. Our product is water-resistant, so you can easily wash it without the worry of ruining it. You'll also receive a special USB charger that recharges the device.
How does it work?
BETWINE connects by Bluetooth to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Setting up BETWINE is as easy as downloading the BETWINE app onto your phone. All software updates are wirelessly transmitted to your BETWINE.
BETWINE hardware supports any iOS device with Bluetooth 4.0, including iPhone 5s / iPhone 5c / iPhone 4s / iPod Touch 5. Other iOS devices including iPad Air / iPad 4 / iPad 3 /iPad mini 2 / iPad mini can also work with BETWINE in the compatible mode. BETWINE supports both iOS6 and iOS7 mobile operating systems.
Unfortunately, BETWINE does not work with Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, or Palm phones at this time.
How long will the battery last on a full charge? BETWINE hardware can be charged via the attached charger converter. 2 hours charging on any USB port can support 100 hours of regular usage once fully charged.
Is the BETWINE wearable waterproof? No, but it is water-resistant. This means you can take a shower with it on, wash your hands with it on wrist, or exercise with it. Note: We suggest that you wash your BETWINE with a wet cloth towel and not directly under running water.
If you have any questions about our product, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Risks and challenges
When conducting the Alpha and Beta tests, we found that some product features were affected by a defect in the structural design. With the help from Seeed and InnoConn, we redesigned our product structure and retooled it with high quality molds. With their professional services, we were able to develop a high quality product after six months of testing.
During the FCC & CE verification process, if any re-tooled molds fail to pass the verification test then they will need more modifications. Good thing is that we already invited InnoConn and Seeed Studio to get prepared two months ahead in an effort to avoid the risk.
We have witnessed many hardware projects that were plagued with product and production problems, so we started preparing our production plan even before launching our Kickstarter funding campaign in hopes of avoiding the risk of production delays. This will definitely aid in our effort to produce an "on-time delivery" of our product.
For small teams like us, producing product in advance requires a large amount of capital which puts an increased strain on our daily lives. That’s why we have sought out crowd funding through Kickstarter. Your contributions in making our dream a reality will be greatly appreciated.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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