Meet Startup @TW

Origami Labs from Hong Kong: Hitting off the Screen-Free Revolution with the ORii smart ring

Have you ever encountered the following situation? You are busy doing something important, with both hands tied up in stuff, when that long awaited phone call finally comes in. With no hand free to pick it up, you scramble to find a way to pick your phone up while it just keeps ringing ... If only there were a solution to herald in the age of “screen-free” interaction with your phone. Well, thanks to the ORii smart ring, that time has finally come!

“We want to start the screen-free revolution!” exclaims Kevin Wong, Origami Labs’ youthful CEO. The basic function of ORii is to help people communicate conveniently via the ring - put your phone away and use your hand as a receiver.

Micro assistant

Founded in 2012 in Hong Kong, Origami Labs’ international team consists of 12 tech- savvy specialists from Hong Kong, UK, US, Sweden, and other places. Together they are working hard on ORii.

All users have to do is wear the ORii smart ring, which comes equipped with a voice assistant to take care of the basic communication. More precisely, when wearing the ring, one only has to put the hand closer to the ear to pick up the phone or order ORii to make a call.

What’s more, according to Wong, the ORii is also able to send messages to instant messengers such as WhatsApp, Line, or WeChat. In other words, ORii is set to take on a pivotal role for future communication.

Stay focused!

The ORii can also help you stay focused. For instance, say you are a bookworm who does not want to be distracted once immersed in your literature. With the ORii as your assistant, you can put your phone safely out of sight. Should any calls or messages come in, the smart ring will vibrate to signal a notification indiscreetly.

But what was the inspiration for the ORii? The answer given by Wong is truly an inspiring and touching story: “My father has actually been blind since his youth, since he was 13 to be precise. But he still worked hard and became an expert in voice tech against all odds, and even worked with Bill Gates,” he explains.

Trying to give his father the opportunity to use his smartphone despite his impairment, Wong pushed for the development of the ORii smart ring. Nowadays, his father figures as consultant for Origami Labs, offering his vast experience and industry insights for the young startup.

Next Step: Taiwan

Following the positive reception of the ORii, Origami’s team decided to expand within the region. Similar to many other startups from Hong Kong, they will set up an R&D office in Taiwan this year. “Many thanks to iiiNNO and Appworks for all their help with the procedures required for setting everything up here.” The next step will include recruiting local talents for their new office.

For now, Origami Lab’s ORii is still on Kickstarter, which helps the team to obtain crucial data and figure out the market for their innovative product. According to Wong, they hope to improve people’s daily life through their smart ring. With all the possibilities this tiny assistant offers, Origami Labs is poised to achieve this and much more!

Feliciana Hsu
English journalist and PR for Global Affairs

Feliciana gained her MSc of Media Power and Public Affairs from Royal Holloway, University of London.

After graduating from London, she started her career of being journalist at Business Next Media and Meet Startup @TW Website, and specializes in interviewing about innovation and technology.

Within her career, she has interviewed various experts in their field, including Fleur Pellerin, former French Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Sir Christopher Pissarides, Nobel Prize Laureate in Economic in 2010.