As technology shrinks in size and increases in power, making smart wearable accessories that’s are worn on your fingers is becoming less of a challenge.
Research suggests that we check our phone every six and a half minutes and many of these result from notifications that least interest us or can wait for us to attend to them later. With your cellular device tucked away in your pocket or bag, you can now use a smart ring to attend to only those notifications that deserve your attention. The rest can wait.
Because your fingers have easy-to-sense arteries, some of these devices are also able to gather precise data of your body’s vital signals. Then there are others that can be used to unlock your doors or smartphones or even send SOS messages.
Indistinguishable from regular jewelry in looks, smart rings are gradually edging their way into the mainstream. This is our pick of devices that combine fashion and technology into some seriously smart wearables.
Announced at CES 2017, Motiv is a lightweight ring, designed to monitor your heart rate, track activity and sleep.
Measuring only 8mm in width, the device manages to pack a custom lithium ion battery that delivers a battery life up to 5 days, a three-axis accelerometer, an optical heart rate sensor, Bluetooth for syncing and try-colored LED indication for charging and syncing.
The full feature-set is rather impressive. The ring monitors activity, sleep, active heart rate, resting heart rate, calories burned, distance and steps. The app establishes weekly goals and adjusts daily targets based on user’s activity. With a 3-5 day battery life and water resistance, the device covers all the bases.
The Motiv ring, which retails for $199, is open for pre-order now on the manufacturer’s website. We should have more information on the product as its Spring 2017 date approaches.
Ringly is a pioneer in the smart jewelry space. Its first generation range was fashionable and worked very well. Ringly has built on this and added fitness tracking features to the second generation rings and bracelets.
There is no obvious clue that the wearable differs from traditional jewelry. Crafted with semi-precious gemstones and a beautifully designed setting, the ring connects to your phone and discreetly buzzes and lights up when you receive a notification.
You control what comes through and for added convenience you can even customize your notifications with four different vibration patterns and five light colors. In addition to standard smartphone messages, Ringly allows notifications from over 100 popular productivity, wellness and messaging apps. This means you can keep your phone tucked away, confident that you will not be missing any important messages.
The second generation wearables also track your physical activity. This includes steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned. To create goals and view your progress, head over to the accompanying smartphone app.
There is a range of smart rings and smart bracelets to choose from. They come in a variety of semi-precious gemstones and metal finishes, and there are several versions with 18K gold plating.
The award winning Ōura is one of the first rings that continuously tracks your vitals. The result is a total body output of information.
The wearable puts great emphasis on sleep. With no buttons to push, Ōura automatically detects and analyzes the quality of your rest and recovery by measuring your heart rate, pulse wave form, respiration rate, body temperature, movement and more.
You will get information on deep sleep, REM sleep, light sleep, and periods of wakefulness, as well as a ‘Readiness Score’. This is displayed as a percentage, and tells you whether you need to adjust the intensity and duration of your day’s activities. It can also uncover actionable insights for changes to your daily activities that can help you sleep better.
While you are awake, the Ōurs ring automatically measures all your physical activity and time spent sitting. The ring counts your daily steps and total distance traveled. It also estimates the calories burned per day.
Just like Ringly, there are various designs to choose from. The company originally raised funds via Kickstarter to launch the product. The rings are now available for retail sale on their website.
The Ares range consists of beautifully crafted smart rings made from 925 sterling silver which also act as a notification hub for your finger, delivering updates when you have new text messages, email, calendar events and incoming calls.
There are versions for both men and women. They allow you to color code your notifications so that you know when you get a specific notification without having to pull your cellular device out of your pocket.
Ares once connected via Bluetooth, vibrates or flickers every time your smartphone/tablet goes beyond the range of 10 meters and reminds you that you have a gadget to take care of. Finally, you also get a Simple-Tap SOS feature which lets you reach out to your loved ones with just a few simple taps on the Ring. This is a feature not offered by other products covered in this article.
The Ares range of Smart rings is IP67 dust & waterproof, letting you carry it with you into your shower, a quick dip in the pool or a rainy day on you way back home from office.
The NFC Ring is a different animal altogether. The original device launched on Kickstarter in 2013. It successfully delivered a smart ring that can be used to unlock doors, computers and smartphones, transfer information and link people. The company has followed this up with another Kickstarter campaign earlier this year to launch second generation version.
The wearable is designed with two independent NFC tags, one on the upper surface and one on the lower. This is key to its operation: the upper tag is programmed with information you frequently want to share with others such as you email address or telephone number. The lower tag holds data you’d rather keep private such as your payment information.
The 2016 design does away with the metal of the first-generation model in favour of a high-tech ceramic specifically developed to work in tandem with the inlaid NFC tags. It also provides a much greater operating range than the original and allows for storing more complex data.
You’ll be happy to know, this ring does not use Bluetooth to connect which means it never needs recharging. There are different designs to choose from for both men and women, and you can take the ring with you in the shower or pool thanks to water resistance up to a depth of 50 meters.
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