We had high hopes for Logbar’s Ring. It’s supposedly a wearable that lets you point and gesture into the air to do things like turn on your lights, change the song in your car or even turn off your TV. After covering their Kickstarter campaign, we were really excited to start using tech magic to relive our childhood fantasies of becoming Matilda, but for right now it looks like Ring made some promises it couldn’t keep.
Even after being honored at CES this year and raising $880 thousand on Kickstarter, people who tried this gadget gave it less than glowing reviews. Quinn Nelson of Snazzy Labs said, “[Gestures work] probably 5-10 percent of the time and even when it works, it’s very, very glitchy.” On top of that, the app has to be running for any gesture to work. While Ring is (hopefully) working out the kinks, we’re going to be over here revisiting some of our favorite wearable rings that we’re really hoping will live up to the hype.
1. Pulse: We’re not sure why more health tracking wearables haven’t hit our hands, but we’re glad this one is in the works. Pulse is a heart-rate monitor that syncs up to a smartphone app. Use it to track your heart rate during intense workouts, moments when you’re stressed or even to keep tabs on a heart problem like palpitations or arrhythmias. An LED indicator on the ring will glow red, white or blue to indicate if your heart rate is too low or too high. When you know your heart rate, you can burn more calories and stay healthy.
2. Siren ($250): This ring doesn’t track your heart rate or your texts. In fact, it doesn’t track anything at all or sync to your phone, which may make it the “dumbest” ring on a list full of syncing wonder wearables, but that doesn’t mean Siren is not totally awesome. This cocktail ring is the perfect statement for a night out and a perfect safety net for your walk home. If you ever feel in danger, just twist the top of this ring and a high-pitched 110 dB siren will blare from it to provide a distraction and some unwanted attention toward an attacker. The alert can be heard as far as 50 feet away. It’s a little accessory that could make a big difference.
3. Fin (pre-order for $120): Rather than syncing with your smartphone (although it does that too), Fin makes your palm into one… kinda. Just put the ring on your thumb and with set gestures like sliding your thumb from the top of your pointer finger to the bottom, you can adjust your car stereo or turn on the TV. It only connects with Bluetooth devices, so older TVs, cars and gadgets need not apply. It’s sort of a step back from the potential of Ring, but if it works, that’s definitely a plus. There’s no official release date, but you can pre-order the ring and/or stay tuned to updates with the project on their Indiegogo page.
4. SmartRing (pre-order for $100): By connecting with your smartphone, SmartRing pushes those push notifications right to your finger. That means when you feel your phone vibrate at the bottom of your bag you know whether it’s a text, call, email or calendar notification without having to dig for it. It even displays a snippet of the message! If you want to put the ring on for priority purposes, you can set it up to only alert you when you get a call from certain contacts. While it may not be the most fashionable choice, it is the only one with a screen. You can pre-order your own right now and get it in June.
5. Mood Metric ($179): This is a mood ring that’s a way bigger deal than the one you got out of the quarter machine back in grade school. Mood Metric detects changes in your skin conductors to record fluctuations in your mood. By measuring your emotional energy you can better track and understand what calms you down and makes you stressed, which means you run your emotions rather than your emotions running you. It’ll even send you prompts to relax you when it finds you getting stressed. You can pre-order Mood Metric throughout the month of January on CrowdedRocket.
6. Ringly (pre-order for $195): We’ve said it before (and please don’t blame us if we say it another time) but we love Ringly. First off, while Mood Metric is a close second, Ringly takes the cake for the most stylish wearable that we’d rock on our fingers. Secondly, while it doesn’t claim to open doors for you (yet), it does sync up with tons of apps and it alerts you to your chosen notifications via a gorgeous app… and a gorgeous ring. Lastly, it really looks like jewelry we’d wear on the daily. The only thing that’s noticeably techy about this ring is the teeny tiny LED light on the side that’s only really noticeable to the wearer. All of this is to say, we’d totally stack this baby with our regular ring lineup.
Before we get too critical of Ring and it’s possible predecessors, it has to be noted that while wearable technology is still progressing insanely fast, that doesn’t mean all of that hardware can easily fit into a piece of jewelry that comfortably slips onto your finger. We’re continually in awe of the potential of wearable prototypes and after the insane lineup of gadgets we saw at CES, we can’t wait to see what techy thing we’ll be wearing next.
What technology would you like to see in a smart ring? Let us know in the comments!