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This start-up promises to give coffee lovers their caffeine fix … on their wrists.
Joule (which since our interview has been renamed Perk) claims to be the world's first caffeinated bracelet — giving users a boost of energy through their skin over a four-hour period.
"[Because of its] slow release, the Joule doesn't cause jitters and crashes," co-founder Alex Kryuk told CNBC.
The energy bracelet is made up of a hard silicone material, similar to a FitBit, and uses an adhesive transdermal caffeine patch that sticks to the bracelet and delivers caffeine through your skin when you wear it.
The starter kit (bracelet and 30 patches) retails for $29.99 on the company's website.
Kryuk says the target customer is someone who really likes coffee and is looking for a boost throughout the day but does not have the time to buy another cup of coffee or energy drink.
The company hasn't conducted any studies on the effectiveness of the product and told CNBC "since this is not a medical drug, we are not planning to do clinical trials for the product."
According to NBC News Medical Correspondent Dr. Natalie Azar, many drugs can be given through the skin. Known as the transdermal route, medicines can bypass metabolism by the liver to start circulating more of the drug. Depending on how the drug is formulated, it can be absorbed slowly and deliver a steady dose. Azar did not personally test the product.
There are currently multiple transdermal caffeine patches on the market, including the Clean Energy Patch, which contains 35 mg of caffeine and other natural ingredients applied to kinesiology tape (commonly known as "KT tape"), which does not require users to wear a bracelet.
The founders of Joule would not disclose to CNBC how much caffeine is in their product, but they do say there is a higher concentration of caffeine through the patch than in a single cup of coffee.
According to the FDA, caffeine is classified as "safe for human consumption." But Azar warns that anything in excess can be harmful. "Most experts agree that anything greater than 400 mg of caffeine or more each day is too much," she said.
Headquartered in Toronto, Joule was founded in 2015. The company has five employees and, to date, has raised more than $77,000 in crowdfunding. It has presold more than 2,600 units via Indiegogo.
— By CNBC's Christopher DiLella | @cdilella
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