Episode 38: Peripherii Co-Founders, Sonal Budhiraja and Priti Moudgill
Have you heard of “hearables”? Well, now you have. We are joined by the co-founders of “hearable” startup, Peripherii. Their first product is a “smart earring” with built in virtual personal assistants like Siri and Google Assistant to add amazing functionality to jewelery. Not only can these earrings take and make calls and whisper alerts, it can respond to voice commands, call an Uber, or dim the lights in your room. Co-founders Priti Moudgill and Sonal Budhiraja tell us how it all started and where it’s going.
Peripherii is a NY-based hearable company whose first product is a smart earring that brings smart assistants like Siri/Google to the wearer’s ear, but subtly in the form of a piece of jewelry. Not only can our earring take and make calls and whisper alerts, it can respond to voice commands and call Uber, dictate a text, set a timer, etc. Calling our earring just a headset is fine too, because that simple fact of hiding an earphone in an earring causes an orbital jump in its utility and accessibility.
For women, an earring is a natural accessory. Wearing a smart earring will not require much of a behavior change, and yet it will give them full access to the audio functionality of their phones. It is hard to overstate the convenience factor of this small change: that the voice-activated functions of the phone will always be available, without having to have the phone in hand, and without having to rummage for earbuds. And then there is the secret agent aspect: a piece of jewelry that is a lot more than meets the eye! It’s also the answer to every woman’s evening-out quandary: how to stay within ear-shot, in a manner of speaking, of their loved ones, without having to wear earbuds with a party dress or having to hold the phone in their hand all evening.
Our broader vision is a world where electronics are minimally invasive, almost invisible, and we interact with them in an instinctual manner so we can focus on what matters without fumbling or fussing with gadgets. Advances in AI are leading up to emotionally savvy smart assistants. In such a future, it will not always be the user who initiates the interaction. Our smart earring, anticipating your tiredness at the end of day, might whisper in your ear if you would like the lights dimmed or white noise played or a pizza ordered. Our smart earring is a first step in that direction.
For more, including how to get involved in their Indiegogo, visit www.peripherii.com.
About Sonal Budhiraja
Sonal has a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from LSU and B.Tech from NITK, India. For her second Master’s thesis in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers, Sonal tinkered with programming a glove for use in a virtual surgery. Sonal has also worked as a developer and writer at various software companies such as SAP and IBM.
About Priti Moudgill
Priti’s engineering background includes degrees from IIT (Kanpur, India) & Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), and research/engineering positions at IBM. She has a strong product instinct with consumer inventions licensed to Conair and Rubbermaid. She has also worked in the fashion industry designing and manufacturing accessories for clients such as Bergdorfs, Holt Renfrew, Tsum, Gilt, etc.