The “GB-V Growth Fund Investment Limited Partnership” managed by Global Brain Corporation, has invested in 16Lab Inc., a developer of ring-shaped next generation wearable interface device “OZON”.

16Lab is a startup company aiming to develop minimal personal computing devices, with a mission to “deliver display-less computing technology to anyone, anywhere in the world.” Currently a ring-shaped wearable interface device “OZON” is being developed as its first product, and is at a final stage of prototyping for mass production.

By wearing OZON on a finger, users can instantly and intuitively control PCs, smartphones, tablets, cameras, televisions, lighting fixtures, and potentially any other electrical appliances. In addition to the very precise gesture recognition, OZON also comes with multiple functions which enhance users’ life experiences, such as a contactless key function for doors at home and offices or server-logins, and an e-wallet function for payment transactions.

“16Lab has a slogan of “useful functionality with superior reliability” as its development policy,” said Ko Kijima, CEO of 16Lab Inc. “In order to ensure outstanding functionalities with superior safety, security and reliability, world’s best talents and partner companies in engineering, manufacturing, and design from all over the world have teamed up to collaborate in an open-innovation style. A partnership with a leading global manufacturer, Alps Electric Co., Ltd., is one great example.”

“We were not only impressed by a working prototype of OZON and its vision, but also impressed by a design management implemented in the company,” said Yasuhiko Yurimoto, CEO of Global Brain. “16Lab has partnered with a world’s leading designer Manabu Tago from MTDO Inc., who is a multiple-awards winner, and is leading industrial design and brand management in 16Lab as a Creative Director. With the ideal combination of multiple talents, we firmly believe that 16Lab will change and design our future lives.”

With this investment, 16Lab will complete the development of the first generation of OZON. 16Lab currently plans to start shipping in 8 countries in the summer of 2015.

About 16Lab, Inc.

16Lab, founded in April 2013, is a startup company aiming to develop minimal personal computing devices, with a mission to “deliver display-less computing technology to anyone, anywhere in the world.” Currently a ring-shaped wearable interface device “OZON” is being developed as its first product, and is at a final stage of prototyping for mass production.

For more information, please visit:http://16lab.net/

About Alps Electric Co., Ltd.

Alps Electric (Tokyo: 6770) is a leading global manufacturer of high-quality electronic components for mobile devices, home electronics, vehicles and industrial equipment. With the philosophy of “Perfecting the Art of Electronics” Alps Electric supplies over 40,000 different components to about 2,000 companies all over the world.

For more information, please visit:http://www.alps.com

About Manabu Tago

Manabu Tago graduated from the Class-II Design Management program of Tokyo Zokei University. He was engaged in the design development of various home electrical appliances and information technology devices at Toshiba Design Center Corporation. Following a career at Toshiba, he served as design management director at REALFEET Co. LTd. Subsequently he launched MTDO, Inc. in 2008 to try to open up new areas up until now. He is currently engaged in design, direction and management throughout the entire process from concept creation to production in a wide range of industries. He received multiple awards including the followings:

  • reddot design award, best of the best 2013
  • iF product design award 2013 Gold
  • International Design Excellence Awards ’14 Bronze

For more information, please refer: http://www.mtdo-ch.com/ManabuTago_portfolio.pdf

About Global Brain Corporation

Global Brain Corporation is a Tokyo-based independent venture capital founded in 1998, which focuses on seed to middle stage IT startup companies. It currently manages 5 funds with total amount of $300 million. It is well known for its intensive hands-on style investments with dedicated in-house business support team, and also known for growth hack assistances utilizing its extensive network with large corporations.

For more information, please visit:http://globalbrains.com/en/