In this halcyon age of tech innovation, you might be fooled into believing that all of the coolest inventions and innovations are all coming from men, for men. The STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) are still largely dominated by dudes who continue to either erase or subtly push out women. But, maybe the heart of it is that they’re just super jealous of teen girl tech?
Enter: Jewelbots, which a (male) Wired writer called “the most interesting wearable [he’s] seen all year.” Their premise is super simple, both in what they do on the surface and what they look like— essentially, they’re friendship bracelets for the digital age. Unlike the complicated gadgetry found in smart watches (as well as the tech bro-baiting designs and features) Jewelbots tap into the two things that teen girls are generally most interested in: friendship (or rather, the maelstrom of love and competition surrounding friendship), and communication that transcends digital roots and turns into IRL connecting.
Stripping back the jargon, what do Jewelbots actually do? Well, kids (and adults, let’s be real) using the tech can use a smartphone app to assign colors to Jewelbots-donning friends. Then, when they’re close to each other, both bracelets start vibrating and flashing their respective friends’ colors. Additionally, the Jewelbots charms can send Morse code messages, which can even be targeted to specific friends.
But what makes Jewelbots really important lies deeper within its functionality: It was co-founded by programmers and techies Sara Chipps, Brooke Moreland, and Maria Paula Saba for the express purpose of teaching girls how to code. Jewelbots are open source, which means that savvy users can dive into the code behind the bracelets to teach their jewelry to do so much more. Some examples Chipps gives: A color alert that shows when a girl gets a new Instagram follower! A buzz when a parent is going to pick them up! Controlling drones! (Um, the future is ridiculous.)