Spotlight: Rufus Labs Focuses on Wearables for Businesses

rufus labs wearables

The wearables market has been gaining a lot of attention lately. But the majority of the products are aimed at individual consumers who just want to own even more cool mobile gadgets. But Rufus Labs decided to focus its wearable product, the Rufus Cuff on a different type of consumer — businesses. Read more about Rufus Labs and its idea of creating wearables for businesses in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What Rufus Labs Does

Provides wearable computing devices for businesses.

Gabe Grifoni, CEO and co-founder of Rufus Labs told Small Business Trends, “The Rufus Cuff allows workers to operate hands-free with voice control, audio and video and a full keyboard for messaging, allowing workers to do their job more safely and efficiently. Connecting to smartphones via Bluetooth as well as working as a standalone device using built-in WiFi, workers will never be out of touch no matter what environment they are working in. The Rufus Cuff incorporates technology allowing location based alerts and task assignment using WiFi and BT.”

Business Niche

Focusing on business customers.

Grifoni explains, “Many wearables currently on the market are concentrating on the consumer sector and developing their products to be an extension of the mobile phone. We are developing a completely standalone device for the enterprise sector.”

rufus cuff from Rufus Labs

How the Business Got Started

Because of an interest in wearables.

Grifoni says, “Wearables have always been a huge interest for me. When I saw early on wrist wearables, I felt they weren’t being built to their full potential. They took a form factor from the late 1800s and put a glass screen on it, with some of them you could touch. Wearables needed to evolve into a different form factor that made them relevant — they didn’t have enough of a “why” to exist. I have my mobile phone and my smartwatch, which has notifications and some fitness elements on it, which is great for the consumer but for me, and the company, the longer vision of wearables is to replace everything in our pockets. Why do we need a wallet, keys and smartphone in our bag or pants when wearable technology is becoming so seamless and small? Properly designed wearables would not only eliminate the need for so many devices but could help up disconnect in a way and become more human as wearables can tell us things without being locked into a screen. That allows us to be a little more present and focus on the world around us. Wearables started the migration of everything out of the pocket. Wearables should be the only device you need.”

Biggest Win

Running a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Grifoni says, “We quickly raised half a million dollars with several thousand interested customers. Within that B2C customer subset, we started really seeing a lot of B2B customers: warehouse workers, hotel admins, restaurants, retailers, and huge corporations. Our crowdfunding campaign was such a big win because not only did it give us enough revenue to start the company and validate the concept, but it opened our eyes to a larger customer market (Enterprise) with a dire need.”

How Rufus Labs Would Spend an Extra $100,000

Growing the team.

Grifoni explains, “We have a lot of customer interest and the only thing that is hindering us from taking advantage of it is we need a bigger team to help us move faster.”

rufus labs worker

Favorite Quote

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Images: Rufus Labs, Top Image: Gabe Grifoni, CEO and founder; Marty Spanjers, Special Operations; Easton Fier, Director of Brand Strategy

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.