Business & Real Estate

Wearing the world

Photo By: Photos by Elliott Burr/Town Crier
Photo Photos By Elliott Burr/Town Crier Los Altos-based Wimm Labs’ leadership team – including Tim Twerdahl, from left, vice president of product marketing Michael Giffords, vice president of product development and CEO Dave Mooring – is marketing the WIMM One, a time-saving device that allows users to access cellphone data on their wrists.
Los Altos company looks to shrink info into little modules

The folks at WIMM Labs in Los Altos have figured out a way to get the information on your cellphone onto your wrist, saving the user seconds in a world where people can’t seem to get their news, text messages and other updates fast enough.

Because cellphones typically live in your pocket or purse, checking your data “means taking the phone out, unlocking it, etc.,” said Los Altos resident Tim Twerdahl, the company’s vice president of product marketing, “and it becomes more time consuming than the task you wanted to accomplish.”

But WIMM is on it.

With its relatively new 1-inch-by-1-inch device, WIMM One – which company representatives bill as a “wearable” information-deliverer synched with your phone via Bluetooth – users can glance quickly at their wrists to, say, inspect an incoming call or Facebook message rather than fumbling through their pants or purse for the phone.

And because WIMM is betting that most people these days check the time on their phones rather than their watches, the market is rife with potential, as “data is taking the same path as time,” Twerdahl added.

Each WIMM One, similar in size to an iPod nano but thicker, houses its own operating system so that it can function as a standalone device with a host of Android-based apps offered in its ever-growing app store. Since opening the store in November, the company has already attracted approximately 3,000 third-party developers.

Twerdahl is quick to clarify, however, that the company isn’t striving only to dominate people’s wrists. Although marketing as a “smartwatch” is the simplest way to debut, business productivity, sports and health care are areas WIMM is trying to conquer.

Company spokeswoman Lori Malm said WIMM would begin developing a case for the module best suited for the activity at hand. For example, using the device while cycling to monitor performance would be better contained in a handlebar-top mount than on a wrist.

Company literature calls the move toward even smaller, streamlined devices an “inevitable trend.” You’ve already seen it: TVs have taken a back seat to PCs, which in turn have bowed to mobile smartphones and tablets.

“We have a strong belief in a new category of devices emerging,” said Twerdahl, who’s marketed for Netflix, Motorola and Palm in the past. “The tablet blew the door off.”

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