When it comes to smart jewelry, Ringly is a true pioneer. Its smart rings were among the very first wearables to emerge on the scene that were designed specifically for women. Now, Ringly is moving beyond chunky statement rings with the addition of a new collection of smart bracelets. The Aries smart bracelets use the same semi-precious stones and high-quality metals as Ringly’s smart rings, and they are absolutely gorgeous.
If you ran into her on the street, you’d never guess that she was actually rocking smart jewelry.
Two months after the Aries first debuted, Ringly added two silvery stainless steel versions of the bracelet with Snowflake Obsidian and Blue Lace Agate gemstones. For the gold-plated versions, Ringly chose Lapis, Tourmalated Quartz, Rainbow Moonstone, and Labradorite stones. Each stone is hand-cut and has a unique character, which adds to the sensation that you’re wearing real jewelry. Some versions of the bracelet even sport little crystal accents on either side of the gem for added flair.
If you’re into the bracelet, but not a fan of gold or silver, Christina Mercando d’Avignon — the founder and CEO of Ringly — told Digital Trends that the company is considering other metal finishes in the future.
The bracelet itself is bangle style, but it has a clasp right next to the gemstone, making it easy to take on and off. The Aries collection comes in a variety of sizes to fit any wrist, big or small. When I tried the small band on my notoriously dainty wrist, it looked great, but more importantly, it didn’t threaten to dance right off my hand like so many bangles do.
The gemstone on the bracelet is about the same size as the one on the first smart ring, and it looks much more natural on the bracelet. Ringly is definitely a statement ring, which may not suit everyone, but the Aries bracelet looks even more like a normal piece of jewelry that any woman could wear. Mercando paired her Aries bracelet with a number of other gold bangles and, of course, her smart ring. If you ran into her on the street, you’d never guess that she was actually rocking smart jewelry.
Notifications and step tracking
Just like the smart ring before it, the new bracelets buzz with notifications to alert you that your mom just called, you’ve got a meeting in five, or a number of other alerts. Ringly works with more than 100 apps, including the default messaging app on your phone, your calendar, Uber, Slack, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and more. When you’re in the app, you can customize notifications to decide which you want to enable and how many buzzes you want to feel for each alert.
The majority of the apps that Ringly adds are based on user recommendations and usefulness, Mercando told us. After all, the ultimate goal is to distill the noise in your digital life to just the alerts you need most. The company’s community has been incredibly helpful, and Ringly weighs every user suggestion to see if it might be a good idea.
One of the most frequent requests Ringly gets from its users is perhaps the most obvious one: fitness tracking. It took a while, but Ringly will finally support step tracking on the Aries bracelet. Mercando told us that step tracking will hit the next generation of smart rings, too. Big improvements to processing power and battery life made the addition of step counting possible. Before, “it would have killed the battery,” she explained.
Much like the smart ring, the bracelet will probably last most users through a day or two, depending on how many notifications you get. Ringly charges its smart rings in a dedicated jewelry box wirelessly to make it easier on you, but the bracelet will have its own charging stand.
Ringly’s Aries bracelet collection is now up for pre-order on its website for $195. Since there’s a new metal option, if you’re one of the first 500 people who order a silver one, Ringly will put you in its Diamond Club and send you a real diamond on your bracelet where the light shines through for notifications. The Aries collection starts shipping in the summer 2016, though Ringly didn’t give an exact date.
Mobile payments coming soon to the ring
Ringly is also hard at work testing other features that it plans to bring to its smart jewelry collections in the future. Mobile payments and NFC-based controls are among the most intriguing new ideas that the company is working on. Mercando said that tap-to-pay will arrive with a new smart ring in the very near future, which will make it the first jewelry to support payments, unless you count the Apple Watch and Samsung Gear S2.
“I can’t wait to pay with my ring,” Mercando told us. “I was just in a cab, thinking, ‘I wish I could just…'” she said as she mimed tapping a taxi screen to pay for her ride.
It’s unknown if mobile payments will arrive on future versions of the bracelet, but user demand will dictate Ringly’s next moves. Regardless of what Mercando and her team decide, it’s an exciting venture for smart jewelry.