The first wearable tech smart ring vows to keep you connected to your phone. Ringly uses Bluetooth LE to alert wearers to a call, text or even Tinder. The New York-based scientists behind the band say it's designed to help women discreetly stay on top of hectic social and professional engagements without the need to constantly check their phone.
The 18 karat gold-plated gadget inlaid with a choice of four semi-precious stones – black onyx, rainbow moonstone, pink sapphire and emerald stone – features four vibration patterns and five colors that can be assigned to different notifications. Co-founder Christina Mercando tells Metro why women need to have their (ring) finger on the smart technology pulse.
Nowadays, we’re more connected to smart technology than ever before, so why do women need this piece of wearable tech?
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One day after work I was out with some friends and totally lost track of time. My phone was buried in my purse, so I didn’t get any of the texts from my boyfriend, who was telling me that I was late for our dinner reservation. That’s when I realized that women have this huge problem of missing important phone calls and notifications because they, unlike men, don’t keep their phones in their pockets.
Is the functionality of the design more important than its aesthetic?
We are a fashion-first company that packs small and powerful technology into beautiful jewelry. It was important to create a product that women would want to wear even if it didn't have technology inside.
The ring sends an alert if the wearer strays too far from their smartphone. Is this made for the forgetful and absent-minded?
Nowadays we have to worry about so many things: wallets, keys, Metrocards and phones. There have been many occasions when I leave the house without my phone so we decided to build in a feature that would solve this as well. The range of connection to your phone is around 20 feet, and if you walk too far away from your phone or leave it behind Ringly will notify you that you are out of range.
Do you not think that a ring that lights up and vibrates could be distracting?
We wanted to make the technology as discreet as possible, so when your Ringly is sending you a notification through vibrations and light, only the wearer notices because it's so subtle. I've been out many times wearing my Ringly and I'll receive a notification, and no one notices but myself. I like to refer to it as glanceable UI – you can glance at it and know what's going on, but it's unobtrusive.