Cicret: Too Good to be True?

Type Cicret bracelet into your Web browser and it will produce lots of hits. Some of these lead to very polished videos that, by now, have been viewed by millions of people. One such video, representative of the lot, is posted at the end of this article. The videos depict what seems like a product that, to paraphrase a claim in the video, could transform your skin into a touchscreen. Cicret (Paris, France), the company behind the bracelet, states that “the bracelet works by projecting the interface onto the user’s arm using a tiny ‘pico projector’. When the wearer places their finger on the display projected on their skin, it interrupts the sensors encased in the bracelet, and this information is then relayed to the processor which responds – thus allowing the user to scroll, answer calls and generally use the screen projected on their wrists as they would their actual phone”.

Cicret bracelet

The company website provides a graphic illustrating details of the bracelet configuration.

The site goes on to state that the bracelet will come with two different storage sizes, either 16GB or 32GB, and will be available in 10 different colors. The presentation concludes that the bracelet will be priced between €300 – €400 and the hope that the bracelet will be ready for mass market by June 2015.

As an aside, one cannot help but wonder how the device might work for people with dark skin or abundant arm hair.

The reality is that the video does not depict a working Cicret bracelet. At this time, the Cicret bracelet does not exist even in prototype form. In fact, if the visitor to the website reads on they will learn that “We need €700,000 to finish the first prototype of the Cicret bracelet”. In asking for donations, the company is offering, in return, to put donor’s names on a “wall of fame”.

The technology to create the proposed highly compact, waterproof Cicret bracelet may or may not be fully available at this time. In any case, should the device ever come to market, it is not clear it would operate as currently conceived by its developers. More pessimistically, it is possible that the concept will be stillborn. As is always the case, caveat emptor. – Arthur Berman