MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Orii changes the game of wearable market

Origami Lab's smart wireless wearable voice assisting ring uses bone conduction technology.

With the help of smartphone voice assistants such as Siri or Google Now, Orii enables users to make and take phone calls, send text messages, and handle daily tasks just by touching their ear. “It is the only wearable that puts the power of the smartphone on your finger,” says Kevin Johan Wong, co-founder and chief executive of Origami Group Limited.

The inspiration for the product was his visually impaired father. Wong hoped to create a product for visually impaired people so they can operate their phone through voice assistance. Orii is a current Cyberport on-site incubatee of the Cyberport Incubation Programme.

According to Wong, Orii is the first device to ever use bone conduction in a ring to transfer high quality sound into the user’s ear. “Orii changes the way we interact with our devices,” he notes. “Orii breaks us away from our screens: almost all our interactions with technology involve a screen. We are screen addicts, distracting us from our environment and from people around us. Orii is the first device to deliver screen-free technology in a wearable,” comments Wong.

He says there are compelling reasons why this is the right time for Orii to enter the market. Wong explains, “Wearable adoption is accelerating: what was considered a "fad" just a few years ago has become a global movement. Today in the US alone, 21% of online adults use a wearable device.”

With the wireless audio device or ‘hearables’ market forecast to exceed US$5b by 2018, Wong believes voice interface is coming. “Advances in voice interfaces means that we are on the cusp of a voice interface revolution.”

Other co-founders are Marcus Leung-Shea, chief operating officer of Origami Group, and Yan Shun Li who is the chief technology officer.

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