If you’re into both fashion and technology, then you’re going to love the Beam Authentic smart button. What is it exactly? Well, it’s a button that you can wear (like a brooch), but instead of only showing one look – which is where the fashion aspect comes in – you can wear a small AMOLED screen and display things. What things, you ask? GIFs, as an example. The big question you might have is why would you need one of these? The answer to that question is relatively simple – you don’t need one. But if you want to switch up what you’re wearing on your body, then this might be your answer.
Beam is promising that this button can play still and moving images, as well as custom messages on its 400 x 400 AMOLED screen. This smart wearable button has an ambient light, accelerator sensors, and a Micro USB port. It attaches via magnet, so there’s no need to break a hole through your jacket. Beam Authentic also claims the button gets 24 hours of battery life on a single charge. Here’s where it gets interesting. The button costs a whopping $99! That’s insane, right? Yes, and no. Jewellery can be expensive, so think of it that way. Not to mention, $3 from each purchase will go towards one of the following charities: Amnesty International, We.org or charity: water.
Each of the Beam wearable buttons will feature a round AMOLED display, with a 24-bit color, that allows the digital device to be the modern-day version of a static, button that people would put on their hats and backpacks. But at the same time making a statement. With the Beam app, you can upload a single picture, or dynamic rotating content, slide shows and GIFs courtesy of the company’s partnership with GIPHY.
Andrew Zenoff, CEO of Beam Authentic suggests that the intent for this is to help show support for causes. Instead of posting something on Facebook, or attending a charity event, you can show off your support via one of these buttons. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great idea. But that idea on its own doesn’t seem like a viable option for spending the money. I will ask you for feedback on this one – is this something you would purchase? I don’t think it’s something that I would wear, regardless of what kind of charity I would be supporting. I would find another way to support that charity.
That said, this is really cool from a technology perspective. This is the first digital dynamic button in the world. Ever. So I am definitely on board with it from that perspective. But how it gets applied is another matter altogether. That said, Zenoff is really excited about the button and had this to say:
“We are very rapidly losing the art of meaningful, human conversation. With all the backlash over social media bullying, ‘screen time’ and ‘screenagers,’ Beam demonstrates that people can use technology to not hide behind, but to start conversations in the real world that break the ice, discover common interests, and help people engage and get to know each other for productive purposes.”