While wearables such as fitness trackers and smartwatches edge their way toward the mainstream, smart rings might be next in line. These bits of connected jewelry allow consumers to control gadgets with gestures, and even check smartphone notifications from the same plot of real estate that might house a wedding ring. And while many smart rings are simply the pipe dreams of ill-faded crowdfunding projects, there are a few real offerings out there. We’ve put together a list highlighting the three best smart rings, all of which we’ve personally seen or tested in real life. All three are real products that you can buy, or pre-order, right now.
Ringly Aries Smart Ring ($195)
Ringly makes the best smart rings in the business. Its first offering was undeniably fashionable and incredibly smart, especially given it could alert you with customizable notifications. Its second smart ring, however, is even better. The Ringly Aries not only buzzes when you recieve notifications, but tracks your activity.
Using the companion app, you can see your activity metrics and set your notification preferences. Ringly lets you decided how many buzzes you want for each type of notification and set different lights that correspond with certain alerts for more than 100 apps.
The best thing about Ringly’s Aries, though, is that it’s absolutely gorgeous. You can choose from a variety of semi-precious gemstones and metal finishes, and Ringly offers several versions with 18K gold plating and others with a gunmetal-plated, stainless-steel finish. The bases of the gunmetal rings are paired with black onyx or tourmalated quartz stones, while the gold-plated ones come with lapis, black onyx, or rainbow moonstones.
If you want to save some money — and don’t care for activity tracking in your smart ring — you can always opt for the first Ringly smart ring for $125. We recommend the new one with activity tracking, however, because you get more bang for your buck.
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NFC Ring ($50+)
The NFC Ring has been around for a while, but now, through a partnership with Visa, one version brings mobile payments to the mix. The no-frills ring looks like a simple black band that could blend in with pretty much anything. It’s waterproof up to 50 meters, too, so it is fairly durable. What the NFC Ring lacks in style, it makes up for in substance.
Since the ring has NFC built in, it can make mobile payments using Visa’s Token Service. So just like the Apple Watch, iPhone, and some Android phones, this little ring can pay for your latte at any cafe that accepts NFC payments. The ring was handed to a select number of Olympians during the 2016 summer Olympics for testing, and is now set to launch sometime in 2017. The company also currently has a number of other rings that will allow you to unlock your Android phone, unlock smart locks, and transfer info to other NFC-enabled devices. Nonetheless, we would hold out for the Visa model that can do payments.
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Oura Ring ($300)
The Oura Ring is another futuristic-looking smart ring with special powers. Like any fitness tracker, the Oura counts steps, tracks calories burned, and alerts you if you’re sitting still for too long. You can also set daily targets using the company’s official mobile app, so you can better meet your activity goals. The ring keeps tabs on your rest habits at night by measuring your heart rate, breathing, body temperature, and movement. It’ll automatically detect when you’re sleeping, monitor light and deep stages, and notice when you wake up at night.
Based on aforementioned data, the Oura calculates a “Readiness Score” to determine how prepared you are to tackle various situations in life, based on projected stress levels and your overall wellness.
The ring comes in Mirror Black, Arctic White, and Stealth Black. It’s also water-resistant and last three days on a single charge. It’s not cheap, but at least it’s now shipping, so you can get it on your finger soon.
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