Meet WearWorks®, a haptic platform company that builds products and experiences that communicate information through touch.
Co-Founder, Keith Kirkland is joined by Paralympic athlete Markeith Price to share the amazing story behind this startup.
Check out an audio-described version of their story below.
[00:08 – 01:26] Keith Kirkland
Haptics is touch and touch is the future of digital communications.
My name is Keith Kirkland and I’m the co-founder of WearWorks. WearWorks is a haptic platform company. We built products that use the skin to deliver information in a more intuitive way. And our first product Wayband is a haptic navigation app that gently guides you to your end destination using only vibration.
It’s a 360 degree experience that gives you accurate vibrations based on which way you’re facing relative to where you’re going. So when you’re facing the right way, you feel no vibration at all for about ten or 20 degrees left to right, kind of like Pac-Man’s open mouth. After that, as you turn, you get a slight vibration and that vibration gets stronger the wronger you are until you’re 180 degrees the wrong way. Essentially, it’s like a haptic compass that lets you know when you’re walking off the pathway and gently nudges you to stay focused on where you’re going.
Navigation is inherently visual, and visual based navigation, it isn’t always safe. It’s not practical. And for 285 million people worldwide living with a visual impairment, it’s a real problem.
[01:26 – 02:14] Markeith Price
My name’s Markeith Price. I am a Paralympian and I’m visually impaired. Sounds are how we as visually impaired people navigate the world. And so super loud sounds can be very distracting and also can cause me to just get confused in the moment.
WearWorks definitely has transformed my ability to be able to navigate walking around, getting around. It’s just amazing. Like to be able to feel where you’re going.
[02:14 – 02:34] Keith Kirkland
We’ve tested this with thousands of people and most people can figure out the right way to go within seconds and they don’t even know what the word haptic means. It’s that intuitive. It makes me feel amazing knowing that the work that we’re doing is going to impact the lives of people in ways that we can’t even predict at this moment. Who knows? Maybe for generations to come.