The crowdfunding sites of Kickstarter and Indiegogo are places where the strangest ideas can be pitched to the public, but we’ve seen few devices as unusual as the Portal. This “wearable smartphone” is currently looking for $300,000 in funding on Indiegogo and features a flexible 6-inch TFT display that wraps around your lower arm.
That’s right — if you find the Apple Watch and the Moto 360 just too small to get anything useful done, then you can turn to this large strap-on screen instead. Its developers say the device will feature 2GB of RAM, 64GB of storage space and a customized version of Android. Cough up $349 or more and you can have a Portal of your own when they appear this time next year.
“A category once synonymous with innovation and technological advancement has been replaced with minor yearly ‘upgrades,’ uninspired design and a lack of uniqueness,” says the Portal manifesto. “The Portal is a smartphone designed for tech enthusiasts, active individuals and on-the-go professionals who are frustrated with bulky, cluttered, non-durable phones that constantly get in the way of their dynamic lifestyles.” If the project attracts enough funding, the plan is to start mass production next July.
It’s certainly different. The team behind Portal speaks about wanting to combine the advanced technology of a smartphone with the convenience of a wearable: A phone, smartwatch and fitness tracker in one. The prototype hardware is button-free, water-resistant and Kevlar-protected, and it comes with four cameras and a proprietary flexible 3200mAh battery. Wireless charging is another specification mentioned in the product listing.
“No longer will you need to carry and connect a smartwatch, fitness tracker and smartphone all at once,” promises the Indiegogo campaign site. “Portal offers you the best of those devices at the times you choose.” Based on the mock-up images put together by the developers, it’s certainly going to turn more heads than the Apple Watch and anything running Android Wear.