Vinaya CEO Kate Unsworth creates wearable technology that encourages face-to-face interaction.
In the tech industry, connectivity is a term usually reserved for devices, but to Kate Unsworth, founder and CEO of VINAYA, “the most fundamental aspect of being human is connecting with other humans.” At her London-based headquarters, this radical idea is coming to life in the unexpected form of wearable technology.
Technology should be used to create situations where people can connect with each other in a more meaningful way, and up until this point, technology has actually been doing the opposite.
The concept for VINAYA was born when Unsworth realized that her smartphone and its constant stream of messages had disconnected her from real living. In response, she and her team of designers, coders, and philosophers launched the company’s first line of wearable jewellery ALTRUIS, which filters messages down to the absolute essentials using an app, and notifies users with nonintrusive vibrations via Bluetooth. The intelligent rings, necklaces and bracelets allow users to only look at a screen when it becomes necessary—keeping them simultaneously informed and disconnected.
Unsworth believes that the shift away from hyperconnectivity is the first step towards a healthier society, but she’s not stopping there. Only months after ALTRUIS’s launch, VINAYA is already blazing forward with ZENTA—a wearable designed to lower stress and improve happiness through health tracking. Unsworth managed to launch ALTRUIS, exceed ZENTA’s crowdfunding goals by twofold, travel the globe, and disrupt the multi-billion-dollar wearable industry, all without being distracted by her buzzing phone.
Though her philosophy of minimal technological dependency can make Unsworth hard to get a hold of, She’s Mercedes managed to meet the Game Changer offline to learn about her vision of harnessing technology for a more human world.