Trellie, the Kansas City-based startup behind the smart jewellery "nugget" which was launched in early 2015, is making a stylish exit from the world of wearable tech.
Co-founders Jason Reid and Claude Aldridge, who Wareable spoke to back in February, have announced that after a series of engineering and expansion problems, they are winding up operations on the smart jewellery startup. That doesn't spell the end for the 10mm x 15mm Trellie module, though. Reid and Aldridge are looking to sell Trellie's wearable tech IP to technology manufacturers or a fashion brand in three to five years.
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Licensing the tech to brands was always part of Trellie's gameplan after the proprietary tech inside its LED charm for women's handbags was reworked into a standalone module that could power pretty smart bracelets, rings and necklaces. Trellie created its own line of chunky costume jewellery, compatible with both iOS and Android, but there was always the sense that this was more of a calling card than a business plan.
The module contained Bluetooth LE, battery, vibration motor and LEDs and had a battery life of one to two days. Gold-plated and silver-plated rings were available to buy as a Trellie starter kit.
The founders have mentioned that a large jewellery manufacturer was, at one stage, interested in buying the company. It also raised $1.65 million from angel investors. "We decided with our shareholders that the best path forward was — instead of dumping more money into this — to take our (intellectual property), the patent we hold and others in process to monetise it down the road either through licensing or through a sale," said Aldridge.
Watch this space for designer jewels with Trellie technology inside, then, but in the meantime there's plenty of innovative smart jewellery devices incoming from Fossil, Gemio, Ungaro and maybe even an Apple smart ring.
Source: Startland News