Start up takes a unique view of smartwatches


Two young inventors are launching a watch strap that claims to turn any wristwatch into a fully-featured smartwatch.

The watch strap, called Unique, is aimed at people who own expensive or treasured traditional watches and don’t want to swap them for modern-looking smartwatches. Touted to be being no thicker than a conventional leather watch strap, Unique claims to have a number of features that will appeal to the traditional watch user.

These include using discreet LEDs and vibrations as alerts, and the ability to let users reject a phone call, monitor their fitness levels, control their music player, and know if a text has arrived; and if you’re about to leave your phone behind, Unique will alert you as you walk away from it.

“The only way you could achieve that before now was to have an arm long enough to wear your classic watch as well as a smartwatch, a fitness band and numerous other wearable devices,” says Pawel Karczewski of uBirds, the company behind Unique.

Unique works with smartphones via Bluetooth and a dedicated app for iOS or Android that lets users configure the strap’s functionality to suit their own needs.

Unique is available to back on Kickstarter, with early-bird pledges starting at $139. Details are at