Wired Covered Our Product Name. Here’s Why We Still Decided To Change It.

Sam Shames
Sep 7, 2017 · 3 min read

For the past four years, I’ve been working on a product called Wristify that’s been fortunate enough to get press coverage from Wired, Popular Science, and The Today Show. Despite the name recognition and millions of impressions, our team decided to kill the name Wristify.

In this blog post, I’d like to tell you the story of the name ‘Wristify’ from birth to death and the product name that arose from its ashes.

That product is launching this September, but let’s start at the beginning.

The name ‘Wristify’ was born in 2013 on the MIT campus.

My co-founders and I had gathered at the Muddy Charles Pub to come up with a team name for our MADMEC project idea to help buildings save energy by heating and cooling people directly. Our prototype would be worn on your wrist, so we cheekily decided to call it Wristify.

In the nearly four years since we gathered at that pub, Wristify has evolved so much that we realized it is essentially a new species. A new species requires a new name.

Back when the Wristify project won the MADMEC competition, bloggers and journalists wrote stories about how Wristify would replace air conditioning. As a result, most people who’ve heard of Wristify still think that this is what our wristband is designed to do. Meanwhile, the name ‘Wristify’ didn’t convey much useful information to people who are hearing about it for the first time, except that it’s worn on the wrist.

Meanwhile, we discovered that our localized heating and cooling technology solves a much more personal problem than helping builds save energy: it helps you be comfortable when you’re feeling hotter or colder than everyone else around you.

It’s this benefit that we spent the last two years designing and engineering our product around. We began working with experts in the field of comfort science and fell in love with alliesthesia, and the resulting product provides personalized thermal relief on demand — a long way from the original idea for Wristify.

Once we realized that the product we were making wasn’t what people were calling Wristify, we knew we had to change the name.

Naming a product is like naming a child (which my co-founder David did with his first son in April), so the first thing we did was make a list of product name ideas.

We reviewed our list in meetings, had off-site brainstorms to create new ideas, and asked our friends, family, and significant others for feedback.

Ultimately, the answer was right in front of us, and we’d already been using it for years:

Embr Wave.

Embr Wave is what we have been calling our localized heating and cooling technology internally for the last two years. It brings to mind both the warmth of an ember and the soothing rhythm of waves. It also reminds me of the refreshing sensation of dipping your toes in the ocean on a hot day.

The name ‘Embr Wave’ felt right as soon as we said it out loud, and on August 16th, 2017 at 10:57 am EST the name Wristify passed on. We will always remember it as the MADMEC student project and prototype that gave birth to Embr Labs and the Embr Wave.

With the death of the name ‘Wristify’ comes the birth of Embr Wave.

We’re so excited to help everyone experience the power of personalized thermal relief on-demand with the Embr Wave.

We’re launching Embr Wave this September.

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Sam Shames

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MIT ’14 | All opinions are my own

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