How much would you pay for an implanted watch?

edited March 2015 in Implants
As we are currently making good progress on our implanted watch (There are a few things we have yet to fully flesh out before we move to the next stage, mostly funding) we want to know how much you would be willing to pay for one? Naturally we will be selling them above our own cost price, as that is how we will be able to afford the prototyping phase, as well as fund the next project after this one.

We want to know, how much would you be willing to pay? If everyone just wants cheap and nasty, thats easy enough and the price would be according. But if you would prefer something that is intended to last 10+ years, totally bioproof and reliable, thats another matter.

Quick rundown, it will be an analog display, rather simple and easy to read, will come with a charging station and inbuilt battery display. It will shine through your skin when a soft button in the center is pressed.

So everyone, have your say:

<50
50-100
100-200
200-300
300+
«1

Comments

  • It sounds really cool and honestly I would probably pay anywhere from 100-250 for it at the moment (little low on cash now but it would definitely be something I would save up for).
  • (I'm answering under the assumption that you're talking about U.S. dollars.)  It comes down to quality, I suppose, and profile.  If it's big and fat and raises the tissue a bunch, I will pass entirely.  Now, if it's thin, well made, and reasonably safe to implant, I'd be game for 300+.

    Analog display...  Interesting...
  • Ahh, Yes, the specifics.

    As for material, our current design is titanium and sapphire. The exact sizes are still TBA, because we still only in the design phase. Naturally our major concern is thickness as it is our belief that the biohacking movement suffers from things that look too extreme. I have utmost respect for the guys at Grindhouse Wetware for pushing the boundaries, and I hope to use some of their knowledge, but as for ourselves, we want to produce things of minimal aesthetic interruption to the natural body.

    The current size we are working with is 30mmx40mmx4mm and would last around 2 weeks on a charge, but that is subject to change as we explore options.
  • I'd be willing to fork over the 300+ if it means quality, but it'll also depend on the procedure to implant it. If I'm looking at a $500 round trip ticked to get to an implanter and another $500 for the procedure on top of the $300+ cost, well that would be significantly less feasible. Even during tax return season.
  • We will be doing our test subjects in-house, with video documentation. Naturally our official policy will be that you should not do it yourself, even if our videos do provide step by step instruction. Optimally, after prototype manufacture is complete we will do a 6 month trial implant before we open sales. 
  • Also, are there any features you would like to see in one?
  • Considering the price of quality watches or smartwatches, I'd be expecting something to last at least a decade and be rather "convenient". Like, not a massive bulge, not something that's going to cause injury if I hit my arm on a countertop, and actually good at keeping time and holding a charge. I wouldn't care for any more advanced features, every tech company in the business is on that scene and this should pick up where they leave off and just be a good, perfectly reliable timepiece that you always have with you for when you need just the basics.

    For something like that, I'd be comfortable paying four figures, but if it's anything less than 100% precise and reliable, I wouldn't pay a dime for it. This isn't something that should be half-assed, it has to be perfect or it's worthless.
  • I agree, with the low power bluetooth devices available we are looking at including a bluetooth module to allow the device to sync to your phone, because a large concern we have is if it does lose its time. Also, if you live in a location with daylight savings.

    One thing I forgot to mention, but its a biggie, our current displays (as you will all be familiar with the difficulty of shining through the skin) is that it will only show to the nearest 5 minutes. A digital display requires significantly more power and will reduce the amount of time you can run off one charge. A digital display, from our experiments at least, is also significantly larger (requiring a larger implant) and without making the thing massive, has to be stacked on top of other components, which means extra thickness.

    One idea we are toying with is making it a little wider and longer, but sloping the edges so that rather than pushing the skin up sharply, it has a gradual rise.

    How does everyone feel about a thickness of 4mm?
  • 4mm doesn't sound unreasonable. A gently-convex shape may help depending on arm placement, personally I'm kind of a skinny dude and wouldn't put it near my wrist and would go for an inner forearm install. Thickness would be less of an issue somewhere like that (where there's more soft tissue), but shape/contours would be vital. Sharp edges, bulges, and angles are the enemy.

    You say that it will display time to the nearest 5 minutes, and have a battery indicator, and will light on a press. What makes this desirable over, say, a Misfit Shine? It also tracks time to the nearest 5 minutes, lights on a tap, and notifies on low battery via the app. It also has the usual slew of fitness crapola and a budding smarthome expansion they're working on.

    An implanted watch needs to stand apart from everything currently out there in some way, to make it worthwhile as an addition to a smartwatch, not a replacement for them. Implanted devices by their nature cannot keep up with such a rapidly-evolving industry as wearables or smartphones, and need to be kept to things that will hold their value long-term. I was looking at implanting a Shine for a little while, to free up my wrist for other better gadgets as the industry evolves - but I canned the idea because tracking time to the nearest five minutes isn't useful enough to be a built-in feature. If I'm only concerned with a "best guess" telling of time, looking at the sky is good enough - watches are for when precision is important. An implanted watch should be something that is useful when you're stranded naked in the middle of nowhere, because that's when it will be the only device you have. You won't have a phone to use the app, you won't have a GPS receiver, you'll just have the watch inside your arm. Good wristwatches can be a lifesaver in land navigation, communication, and various practical "real world" skills that become really important in non-ideal circumstances. This should fill that role and do away with any unnecessary tech wizardry that will already be covered by Apple, Google, Motorola, LG, Microsoft, and everyone else who wants a piece of the wearable pie, and that will really only be best used when you're in ideal circumstances such as in a city, with your usual clothing and gadgets available and a support network in case something fails. An implanted watch will be the one device that sticks around when all of that is taken away, and needs to be useful in that exact scenario in order to "earn its keep".

    The above is all just my take on it, other people almost certainly have other intentions and ideas for an implanted watch. But this is what I want out of a $1000+ implantable wristwatch, and I have zero interest in a $50-500 implanted Misfit Shine.
  • edited March 2015
    Re-reading my wallotext above, it seems my head is kind of all over the place right now. The basic idea I'm trying to get at, is that I think an implanted watch needs to be able to immediately and confidently answer one question: "Why would I want to commit to this inside my body for the next decade, rather than buying 2-3 iterations of ?"

    It should provide something they don't, otherwise it will be an expensive, unpleasant redundancy that will fall into disuse and become a liability. Right now, smartwatches really suck at being good watches, and people are getting sick and tired of the fitness wearable market. Find a way to use that to your advantage and make a watch that makes no bones about being a superior watch, and implanting it becomes something awesome you can do to always have your kickass, useful-on-a-daily-basis watch with you while everybody else makes the novel toys that you change on a yearly basis and take off when you feel like it.
  • I personally favour the inner arm implant as well.

    The bluetooth connector is not a part of its day to day functioning, but is to make sure that the time will in fact be right. If for example you change time zones, move to the other side of the world, or there is some weird ass glitch in the device. Down the line as things get a little smaller we might look into making a multifunction watch, but for now this is solely a "it will tell you the time" device.

    How close would you personally prefer to see the time go? Would you be happy with the nearest minute?
  • Also, its important to realise that for now, these type of devices are going to be a niche market for people like us. While I would like to sell 100 000 of these, 100 is a more realistic number
  • I'd be interested in one that only told (somewhat accurate) time.  My phone does everything else already, so all I'd really want is 1. something I can't lose  2. something I don't have to dig around in my pocket to find the time
  • To the nearest 5m is the 'easiest' way (At most its 2.5 minutes out), to the nearest minute is possible but might be a little harder to read properly, seconds is probably equally as possible. Will put the suggestions forward to the team, see what ends up coming out of it.
  • edited March 2015
    I don't need seconds, but I need to a displayable accuracy of single minutes.  If I'm paying money for it and implanting it, it needs to be at least as accurate for me as the time displayed on my smartphone.

    Size-wise, everything you said above sounds fine with me.  Sloped edges would be nice.  Bluetooth to set time would be great.

    As for what other features I'd like to see, well, an alarm function of some kind would be fantastic.  No sound needed.  Vibration or electrical stimulation.  Really super snazzy would be an hourly ping of some kind...  something that would work as a sort of internal haptic-like feedback that would (hopefully) better attune the implantee's natural timesense.  Alarm and a toggle for the hourly ping would ideally be controlled via the aforementioned smartphone app.  Sure it would eat battery power to run an alarm or hourly ping, but that's why you'd want to be able to disable them via bluetooth.

    As features would increase, what I'd pay would increase.  I'd go four digits on the price if it's feature rich and reliable.
  • For the first version of the Chronos Module (Thats its name) we will be leaving most features out in favour of just getting the basics right. Once thats been sorted comfortably we can move onto more feature rich versions. A little vibration module for alarms and notifications would probably be on the start of the to-do list.
  • If it's gonna last and it's not inconvenient in my everyday life I would be willing to put down 300+ for one plus the implant procedure.
  • I'm wondering what you planned on using for the battery in this device. Frankly, battery life is my biggest concern for an implant like this, because having to charge a device that's inside of me every few hours is, at the very least, inconvenient. If possible, using supercapacitors with self-healing features would be very attractive.

    As far as implant life, unless it's extremely large, >4mm thick, and longer than 40-50 mm on a side, I'd be fine with reimplanting every 2-3 years. As far as cost, I'd pay $500-$600 US dollars at most.
  • I personallyou would only pay $100-$200 for this. Look at a cheap Casio watch, how thick is it? The answer, not very. If you take off all that plastic you will see a circuit board smaller then a postage stamp. An this thing keeps time just as good as any higher priced watch.

    Now of course you would be messing with larger leds to shine through the skin, a battery that can hold such a charge for said leds, bioproofing the whole thing, and production cost. But seriously, it's not that complicated. Your traces and actual pcb (probably partially flexboard) should be under a mm in hight, smd parts should be only about 2 mm in hight depending on the part. The high bits will probably be that button and the leds. I find the idea of shoving a 4 mm tall device under my skin pretty unappealing, that bulge is going to be quite noticeable in a place like your arm where the skin is rather tight.

    If you have this made by an electronics company they usually have a minimum order number to have a first time design built, figure out how much that minimum order will cost, then add a little to make it worth your wile to sell these things, divide that by how many are in the order and BAM, price.

    As for features, on this first Gen I would stick to your basics, but I do want a 1 minute interval. 5 minutes is way to long, but seconds are overkill for telling time, it's a watch not a timer. But as it's updated I would like to see more functions added. An alarm would be nice, or a timer, the ability to program the time from your phone is a big bonus. But depending on the features and the size they take up, I would probably opt for a larger battery instead of more features. Don't loose sight of what this is, it's a watch, and sometimes it's best to embrace the kiss motto.

  • I'm wondering what you planned on using for the battery in this device. Frankly, battery life is my biggest concern for an implant like this, because having to charge a device that's inside of me every few hours is, at the very least, inconvenient. If possible, using supercapacitors with self-healing features would be very attractive. 

    As I mentioned earlier, the current expected time between charges is around 2 weeks, depending on use. If you only check your watch ten times a day it might last a few months, depending on drain.


    Now of course you would be messing with larger leds to shine through the skin, a battery that can hold such a charge for said leds, bioproofing the whole thing, and production cost. But seriously, it's not that complicated. Your traces and actual pcb (probably partially flexboard) should be under a mm in hight, smd parts should be only about 2 mm in hight depending on the part. The high bits will probably be that button and the leds. I find the idea of shoving a 4 mm tall device under my skin pretty unappealing, that bulge is going to be quite noticeable in a place like your arm where the skin is rather tight.

    While it is not as complicated as it could be, its a whole lot more complicated than some think. Its not a case of getting something that works, anyone can do that. We are far past the stage of coating with Sugru and sterilizing with vodka. The highest part is not the circuit board or any of that, we can fit that in the spare room that we have just laying around inside the case, its actually the battery. Of course we can go thinner with the battery, but that causes other run on problems. This isn't something we want to be rushing along, as I am sure you guys appreciate.


    If you have this made by an electronics company they usually have a minimum order number to have a first time design built, figure out how much that minimum order will cost, then add a little to make it worth your wile to sell these things, divide that by how many are in the order and BAM, price.

    Its easy to say figure out the minimum order, but we aren't keen on killing people for cost. The stages are a little more complicated. First is the primary design stage, where we work out what our needs are. Then comes the secondary stage, when our partners work out how to fit it all together. Then is the testing phase where the prototype is implanted in the test subject. Eventually the implant is removed to check for anything that might present a problem, changes are made to the design, and repeat, until the design functions as intended, the product gets pumped out, and we sell it on. The reason I was asking about peoples price ranges is that gives us an idea of what quality people are after. I personally want nothing but the best, but if everyone wanted a piece of crap they can pull out and replace every 24 months, thats what the customer wants, right?

    As for features, on this first Gen I would stick to your basics, but I do want a 1 minute interval. 5 minutes is way to long, but seconds are overkill for telling time, it's a watch not a timer. But as it's updated I would like to see more functions added. An alarm would be nice, or a timer, the ability to program the time from your phone is a big bonus. But depending on the features and the size they take up, I would probably opt for a larger battery instead of more features. Don't loose sight of what this is, it's a watch, and sometimes it's best to embrace the kiss motto.

    Given that minutes simply increase the number of LED's required on an analogue style watch, if we do minutes we will do seconds as well (Because it takes nothing extra), however as we didn't anticipate people wanting specific minutes so strongly, we are taking a step back and considering the digital display again. The bluetooth module, to me at least, is a vital component. Without it, your watch is stuck on the one time forever.
  • Why would you put this in a hard case? If you don't match the curve of the arm exactly you will have a hard edge pressing upon your skin. Why not instead just use a flex pcb and coat the whole assembly in some flexible bioproof coating like silicone ( I don't know if that's the best option, it's just the first one that comes to mind). Although I would use a hard bit of pcb to mount your crystal, button, and whatever display method you choose.

    And as to the longevity of it, I want something that's going to last upwards of ten years, not 24 months. People want everything at the cheapest price possible, but that doesn't mean you have to provide some cheap piece of junk. It is true, $150 is lowballing it, but when you ask someone what they want to pay for an item they'll give you the price they WANT to pay, not what they will pay. Most people on here are saying what they WILL pay, I was just different and said what I wanted to pay.
  • Sorry if anything I said sounded narky, that wasn't my intention, on the internet its very easy to come across different to how you meant to. (The bolding of my own comments wouldn't help haha)

    As for why we are going a hard case, firstly, it allows us to go a lot thinner than we can if we were to silicone it. Silicone adds bulk far more than titanium. As soon as you start adding flex to an item you start adding extra wear and tear on the components. 


  • Would you care to talk a bit more about your envisioned case construction?  Titanium with a sapphire window for the LEDs?  I'm curious about a couple things, though.

    A quick readthrough of the MSDS for sapphire makes it seem pretty biocompatible, but have any tests been done regarding fouling where sapphire is concerned?  A quick search turned up many mentions of porosity in synthetic white (transparent) sapphire.  Maybe it's a non-issue, but I'd be interested in seeing some fouling analysis on sapphire.  Maybe SfM has looked at sapphire in this regard?  @glims@Cassox?

    Also, I'm wondering about the seams the design will have.  Even if you've got a single piece of titanium with no seams, there has to be a seam for the window.  Seams introduce places where bacteria and detritus could collect.  How will this be addressed?
  • Seams are one of our outstanding issues, and we would highly value any input you guys have on solving it
  • I would definitely be interested. $150 - $250
  • Is it possible to have the case plated in TiN? But you would still run into the problem of the seams around your viewing area. Would a clear resin/epoxy coating work? Now that I think about it, that could be a good option. And it should be just as strong, if not stronger, than the case. I know I've heard whispers about some work in that area being posted soon, let's see what happens!
  • @jimsmith1 This is a completely unrelated necro thanks for making this forum a better place!
  • If it worked, really worked. Was barely noticeable when not lit, and didnt require a phone or other device to set the time, easily $1000. It'd be important to me to not require something like a phone to set the time. Also, I'd happily trade battery life away for thinner design if that helps. 2 mm would be my preference to ensure it's next to invisible when implanted. I'm not particularly skinny, but definitely below average body density. (Male). A 4 mm implant would definitely show.
  • I recently stumbled across some super cheap led watches at a local mall. Typical china product but its simplicity is a prime example for how to approach an implantable watch (which requires eyes to read, lame but hey if that's what you want)
    check out  for some inspiration
  • I would pay $300+ for such a watch, but only if it has the haptic feedback that @aviin mentioned above. In fact, that's more valuable to me than the watch itself. Vibration alarm would be very cool too. 
    I don't like it to last 10+ years, 5-7 years would be more than enough for me. By that time, there would be new technologies that I want to try.  

    About the battery, how do you charge it? I see your comment about charging station, but would it be like keeping your hand still on the station for couple of hours? 

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