When last month Beam announced about its OLED smart button, it seemed to be a fun new feature. In fact, what you get is a progressive button that you can wear on clothes or attach to your purse. Instead of a fixed message on metal, you get an AMOLED screen with a volume of 400×400 pixels where you can see everything you need.
To Look and to Experience
The button is available in black or white colors. It measures two inches across, 0.4 inches wide – a bit thinner than the Apple Watch series. The screen itself is 1.4-inches in diameter. The plastic surroundings are glossy in front and matte in back. The badge contains an iron plate with the Beam logo. There are two buttons: the power button in the 10 o’clock position and the combined function/panic button at 3 o’clock. In the end, there is a micro USB charging port in the 6 o’clock position. Plastic framed screen looks a little cheaper, but an OLED-screen is of real quality. It displays a colorful and bright image, but the brightness is controlled by the application.
Along with Beam Authentic, you get a pin holder, two tags, and two magnetic mounts. The pin holder is quite large. But, fortunately, the magnetic holders are pretty strong, so that a badge can be attached to the clothes.
Beam allows you to show a picture or a static graphic, a GIF or a slideshow of all the images stored in it. For a slideshow, you can choose a break from the range of options:
- 5 seconds
- 10 seconds
- 20 seconds
- 30 seconds
- 1 minute
- 5 minutes
- 20 minutes
- 1 hour
- 2 hours
The beam can store up to 100 images at any one time. There are a lot of techniques for creating your icons. First, you can see what the other people did in the updated feed. Access to it is executed from the icon in the form of the keyboard on the left side of the application ration line. Secondly, you can press the “Create” (brush) icon to select between different sources:
- GIFs (searchable)
- Web image search
In case you draw a personal icon, you can select the background paint, faces, and graphic patterns, and then apply the drawing tools with a pencil, brush, and markers. You can still install your news by selecting between 15 different fonts.
In the application, there is really an impressive amount of options. For example, you can choose the alignment and opacity of the word as well as options for reflecting the word in a square or circle.
From within GIF, there are 15 various categories, covering Memes and Trending. But you can find any item with a keyword. I tried various keywords from Elf to iPhone X, and it always came up with matches.
Static images take only a few seconds to appear, and GIF takes more. Any single frame is asking for within 2-3 seconds. You cannot create anything else in the application, while the GIF is transmitted. As a result, you need to be convinced of your own choice before you run it.
The application is the least instinctive than it could be. There was a lot of times when I noticed that I was looking for a specific function, but this was due to the fact that a lot of functionality was integrated into it. I would somehow reduce the options in order to make an application more simple.
The image quality is amazing. I would say that this is worth to be compared to the Apple Watch, but it is likely that a lower resolution permits a more lurid look. At the highest brightness, it is even brighter than my iPhone X which may involve battery problems.
Pricing & Conclusions
The beam is a product that nobody needs indeed: this is pure fun. $99 is a relatively high price for something with quite specific functionality. But there is a large number of devices at this price level. I believe that it will actually be applied in the leading sphere to reflect the cheerful images being the equivalent to Apple Watch. But I believe that this is a high-quality product. If you like this idea and have $99, I do not think that you will be disappointed.