The pitch behind most new wearable devices is that they can free you from your smartphone obsession, but at the end of the day that usually means just another screen serving up notifications to your wrist or right in front of your face. So what if there was a gadget that could actually keep you tethered to your smartphone without adding even more distractions to your life? Now there is thanks to Ditto, an “anti-gadget” that promises to do just that.
You don’t need to charge Ditto, and that’s what hooked me in initially. In a world of countless cords, wires and battery packs this thing just works with no need to plug it in overnight. Instead it packs a simple lithium battery that promises to keep your device powered for anywhere from four to six months. Once the battery dies you should be able to swap it out for a new one without too much cost or effort. Of course, Ditto isn’t just a long-lasting battery in a plastic case. It does a lot more.
Ditto gets your attention by vibrating, and you can match different types of vibrations with various types of notifications or even specific people. Using a free app for Android or iOS you can specify which notifications are important and which should be ignored. You can even set an alarm, and if you walk too far away from your smartphone Ditto will buzz so you don’t leave it behind
The design is simple above all else. It’s a small plastic pebble with no buttons, lights or screen that comes in white, black or clear variants. Ditto features a built-on clip for attaching itself to your clothing. It also ships with a wristband, and there’s even a super-slim “coin door” module that fits into the smallest pockets.
Once it hits the market Ditto will cost $49.99, but you can pre-order one on Kickstarter for $29 today and receive it by March 2015. The company is also offering the option to reserve two for $49 or three for $69. Either way you can choose what combination of colors you want.
At this point Ditto is ready for production, though that doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to do. Using the money raised on Kickstarter the company plans to cover manufacturing costs, finish development of the accompanying mobile app, finalize packaging, pay for marketing and ship the actual device. It’s certainly possible the device could be delayed, or that the company could run into trouble on the software side of things. Still, Ditto’s creators seem confident they can get the job done.