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Handy Sgnl watchband turns your fingers into a phone

Kickstarter that transmits calls through your hand using vibrations smashes funding goal

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Feel like James Bond next time you take a call with the Sgnl, which works by placing your fingertip on your ear. However, the Sgnl is not another Bluetooth headset or earpiece, it’s actually a wristband that transmits audio through your hand to your ear as vibrations. When you place your fingertip to your head, the vibration echoes to create amplified sound within the closed space of your ear. A mic is built into the band, so you can talk back.

The gadget might actually come in handy for wannabe secret agents. The Sgnl’s creators Inomodle Lab say this tech means that you hear calls clearly even in loud places, as your finger doesn’t just transmit the voice to your ear, it also blocks out background noise. If you’re worried about critical intel being intercepted, the Sgnl’s sound is solely contained in your ear, so only you can hear the caller. Though – if you really want to get your paranoid tinfoil hat on – that’s not to say someone couldn’t hijack the Bluetooth signal that’s relaying the call from your actual phone to the wristband to listen in on the call.

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While the Sgnl is perhaps the first time calls have been transmitted through the finger to your ear as vibrations, there are already lots of bone-conductive headphones out there. For instance, the wireless AfterShokz Bluesz 2S have pads on either side that rattle your cheekbones to transmit audio to your inner ears through vibrations. The idea is that this allows joggers to listen to music while they run, but still keep their situational awareness as their ears are unobstructed.

However, the Sgnl also has another trick up its sleeve (or rather, your sleeve). The Sgnl is essentially just a strap with sensors built in, so you can either wear it as it is or attach it to your existing watch or smartwatch (including Apple Watch, Samsung Gear or Pebble Time) for an instant upgrade. The Sgnl recently smashed it’s $50,000 Kickstarter campaign, offering wristbands to backers for $139 (around £106), promising to deliver them by February next year.

For more Kickstarter news and explanations of how tech works, pick up the latest issue of Gadget, click here.

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