Wearable Style News recently chatted with Uri Keren, CEO and co-founder of Hermes Innovation, makers of SAY™, a new wearable item that brings social media, fashion, and technology together in a hyper-customizable wearable.
What is SAY?
SAY™ is a revolutionary concept that combines Technology, Fashion and Social to create the world’s first social network that was specifically designed for wearables. SAY™ incorporates a wearable device and a dedicated social network.
WSN: Can you describe Say? If I knew nothing about it, what would you tell me about the product?
Uri Keren: Say is the first-ever wearable social experience. SAY™ is built of a wearable computer with a screen that fashion companies design into their fashion accessories and jewelry. SAY™ is connected to a mobile application that on one hand controls the device’s functionality and display, and on the other hand connects to the SAY social networks and to other social networks, such as Instagram and Facebook.
And what is a wearable social experience?
We all wear jewelry, clothes and accessories that convey, “This is me!” and reflect how we want the world to perceive us. With the SAY™, we basically allow people to create a digital saying that they can actually wear, or tap into their social network to wear any content they select. Next, through the SAY social network people can follow, comment on what others are saying, and even exchange wearable sayings.
How does the wearer personalize the SAY?
There are two ways: first, accessories and jewelry allow the wearer to use SAY as a necklace, pin, wristband, and more. In addition, the accessories can be customized by designers, fashion and consumer brands. Second, using the mobile App, people can create, share and wear their own selected content: their “SAY.” So, for instance, the wearer can display an image from their Instagram or the logo of their favorite sports team.
One of the big criticisms, at least in the fashion industry so far, has been that wearables, even the Apple Watch, are clunky, geeky, gadgety, devices. Can you talk a little about the design evolution?
When it comes to wearables, it needs to be fashionable first. The wearables industry is beginning to understand that now. We allow brands and fashion and jewelry companies to develop their own designs around our core technology, thus enabling them to excel in what they do best.
It’s unusual and perhaps unprecedented in the jewelry business to have a line that appeals to both men and women, and I’m curious how you expect that to work. Is the SAY™ unisex, or do you have a separate line for women versus men?
Well, we are involved in some of these discussions, and the design will be, of course, designed by the fashion companies and they can design either unisex designs or they can design a line for men and for women. So, it depends on the fashion company.
Can you talk a little bit about your partnership with Richline and why you believe this is a good partnership for you and for them?
Oh, absolutely. Richline is proof of our model because Hermes Innovation is a technology company and Richline is in the jewelry business, so the idea of partnering with the largest jewelry manufacturer in the US and a company that channels their products to market through the largest retailers in the US is basically a great partnership for both parties.
One of the interesting differences between the jewelry market and the tech market is that tech tends to go obsolete in two to three years and you have to replace it whereas, particularly in women’s jewelry, they’ll buy a piece and the more expensive it is they’ll wear it for years. Is your device sort of updatable and perhaps has some longer usage life than the typical tech product?
Yes, what an excellent question. First, if the technology becomes obsolete, you can actually pop it out of your jewelry and plug in a more recent device with more advanced technology. That’s one way of looking at it.
And certainly because we’re not only selling jewelry, but we are also connecting all of these devices socially, we are creating something which we believe has an evergreen element. I mean, you might change your phone every year, but you’re not gonna change your Facebook or your Instagram or your Twitter! You’re still going to have the same account. So we are creating a social community that, even if you change your SAY device, you are still going to be connected to your social network.