Frequently Asked Questions
1When will the gestr be ready to purchase by the general public?
We're shooting for a pilot run in the April 2019 time frame.
2Gesture recognition systems are not known for their reliability, especially with a lot of motion. What makes the gestr different?
Most gesture recognition systems are passive, whereas gestr requires an active element, namely, the magnetic ring. The necessity of having this extra part is more than compensated by accuracy, repeatability and the lack of false positives.
3The alpha prototype had wireless charging, why not the production version?
Lots of reasons but the 3 main ones are: cost, size and reliability. And with the charging case, there wasn't much of an advantage, it will still be drop-and-charge.
4Will your app have support for both iOS and Android?
Yes, but while we have not encountered any yet, there may be differences in capability due to the closed nature of the Apple software and hardware.
5What if I’ve got gloves and 3 layers of wet clothes on?
No problem, this is actually what the gest’r is made for.
6How much will a gestr unit cost?
It looks like we can get the retail price under $100 for the simple version and just a bit over $100 for the deluxe version (with the charging case).
7How rugged or flimsy will the gestr module be?
Because there is no need for a mechanical switch (the magnet will be used to turn the power on and off) we can make it hermetically sealed, which basically means everything-proof.
8How good is the user experience? Will I get frustrated?
We've been using ours for several months now and the UX is great, and no you won't get frustrated. That's not to say that there isn't a little bit of training involved but most become proficient in 5 minutes or less. We fully intend that by the time it reaches mass market, the gestr will pass the Turing test for the 6 navigation gestures (swipe left, right, up, down, tap and double-tap), meaning that if a human can discriminate the gesture, then so can the gestr.
9What about speech recognition?
Speech recognition is awesome and is getting better all the time. BUT, it's still plagued by latency and it still requires conditions of low ambient noise and a really good data connection to be reliable. This is of course not the case in many situations. Furthermore, when using speech you're not just telling your phone what you want it to do, you're telling everybody around you as well. We know from experience that once you get comfortable with the gestr, you'll use its capabilities all the time, and nobody wants to jabber at their phone.
10I'm afraid this gizmo will encourage my kids to be wired in when they should be paying attention while snowboarding or riding their bike.
This is a legitimate concern, and we'll be addressing this in an upcoming blog post. In short, safety is not just about hearing, it's also about seeing and just general vigilance - we would never advocate using noise-cancelling headphones or deafening volume levels in heavy traffic. Just using common sense, literally millions of people safely enhance their rides and runs with audio every day. For those people, the gestr actually enhances safety by making it easier than taking a sip from your bite valve to instantly mute the audio when necessary, and by obviating the need to look at a screen of any kind. And we have tons of ideas about how technology can do even better though active means to make your commute even safer than if you didn't have earbuds in at all. We are already starting to find talent to pull this off, and think that it's reasonable to expect that in tomorrow's "smart" cities, headphones will actually be required equipment for urban commuters that continue to use human-powered means of transport - stay tuned...
11Where can I get help?
Please fill out the form below and/or drop us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you ASAP.
12If I can put it anywhere, why do you have accessories?
The orientation and position of the gestr electronics module matters because while it "knows" which direction the magnet is going, it does not "know" its' own orientation. So, or example, swiping forward could mean the opposite of what's intended if the gestr module is rotated 180 degrees from "normal". So the accessories ensure a repeatable orientation.