Sara, the chief executive officer, and Brooke, the chief operating officer, created Jewelbots to inspire young girls to get involved with technology and provide a community they can share their innovations with. Jewelbots are unique tech wearables that go beyond a personal tracking device - they are meant to create a community. Girls can customize their Jewelbots with pre-built code, or they can create their own unique features, like making the bracelet flash a certain color when someone likes their photo on Instagram (I've already decided that my color will be purple.)
The company is only two years old, and these ladies already have big plans and things to be excited about. They recently held two hackathons in San Francisco and New York City, both sponsoring Girls Who Code. I had the pleasure of chatting with these two fierce entrepreneurs and learned the inspiration behind this empowering initiative.
CAMBIO: So you gals are besties, and you came up with this amazing product. What was the inspiration behind Jewelbots?
SARA AND BROOKE: Sara has a background as a developer, but I didn't. When I went to start a tech company, I found it really hard not having the kind of tools or literacy to explain what I wanted to try to make or get done - it was really frustrating! Growing up, it didn't occur to me that could be a field that I would like. I know that I would have, it just wasn't on my radar.
One thing that both of us care a lot about is getting more women into tech and tech adjacent roles. The focus is getting and finding something that girls love and giving them the ability code and customize it with technology.
Awesome! Does Jewelbots cater towards a specific age demographic?This particular product is focused on girls aged 9-14, but the tech is fascinating and can lend itself to other use cases. Right now, we are starting on this age group as who we want to target. We really want to inspire girls at that age that are developing their interests so they can get involved at school and in other communities.
After you came up for the idea for Jewelbots - which is amazing, by the way - what were the primary goals you put together for producing and rolling out the product?
The biggest goal - the end goal for us - is to get more women involved in computer science and to eliminate gender disparity in the workforce. Our goal this year is to get the product manufactured and be able to ship the products. It's quite challenging to get things built; hardware is particularly hard! We are doing a Kickstarter campaign right now, and it's doing really well. We're pumped! It shows us that there's demand for what we're building and it's great - we've gotten so much enthusiasm there. Our biggest challenge now is to deliver it and build a product that works and is awesome.
What research did you do to make this an ideal product for young girls?The entire idea for Jewelbots, the functionality and the design, all comes from talking to girls about what they're interested in, why it's important to them and how they use technology. They have been a big part of this the entire (journey). The next step is getting the actual units in girls' hands and watching and observing how they communicate and use the product, seeing what makes sense to them and what doesn't.
How can girls customize the bracelets and innovate?Right out of the box, Jewelbots can be programmed using a smartphone app; this doesn't require any coding. Girls can create different functionality. [For example] when my friend Sara is near me both of our bracelets turn green, or I'm able to send messages to different people from my bracelet to their bracelet. Then, later on they can plug their Jewelbots into the computer and actually program them using open source software.
They can write their own functionality syncing to their own social media accounts, allowing the bracelet to light up when they get an Instagram like, or really anything they want. The sky's the limit! That's the exciting part: All the cool functionality for Jewelbots hasn't been built yet. We're so excited to see what (the girls) come up with.
Jewelbots' website will also have resources for learning new code and have prebuilt code ready to use for beginners. Sara and Brooke stress that they don't want girls to get frustrated and quit – these bracelets should be fun! If you're an expert coder, you can be a power user of Jewelbots and even become an influencer in your community.
Set to change the world by empowering young girls to learn, innovate, and share their creations with a community of like-minded individuals, Jewelbots opens the door for a new kind of wearable. Nothing sounds fiercer to me!
How can you get involved? Simply participate in their Kickstarter today to get updates on the launch. You can also opt-in for updates via Jewelbots' website. Check out the video to learn more!