December 12, 2013
Smarty Ring: One Ring To Rule Your Smartphone
Bryan P. Carpender for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
How often do you check your smartphone?
If you’re like most people, you check your smartphone about every 6 minutes. In a typical day, that can mean reaching for your smartphone as often as 150 times to make sure you haven’t missed an urgent email, Facebook update, Twitter shout out or text message.
Well, there’s a solution at your fingertips – or, more precisely, on your finger: the Smarty Ring.
Made from hypoallergenic surgical steel, this piece of high-tech jewelry is more than just a fashion statement. "Smarty Ring is a high-tech as well as high-fashion wearable jewelry for [people] who love to wear rings and won't wear a watch," said Karthik Kumar, Smarty Ring's head of marketing.
Just slip this tiny powerhouse of technology on your finger and you’ll be able to stay updated as it sends you notifications for incoming and outgoing calls, as well as real time updates from Facebook, Twitter Google Hangout and Skype.
Smarty Ring looks like something that Marshall Flinkman would have designed for Sydney Bristow on “Alias,” but it actually got its start as an Indiegogo campaign that began on November 11, 2013.
The original funding goal of $40,000 was met – and then some. As I write this, it stands at over $300,000, so it’s safe to say that this project is a go. In fact, not only have the funders on Indiegogo made production of the first set of Smarty Rings possible, but now tech junkies can pre-order it with multi-tier options with varying functions.
Claiming that it will reduce the number of smartphone checks by 60%, Smarty Ring does more than just give you notifications; it is also a tiny remote control for your smartphone. It will allow you to accept or reject incoming calls, make outgoing calls to preset numbers, control your music and trigger your smartphone’s camera – all without touching your phone.
It has an LED display (available in either green or blue) that features a clock capable of checking two different time zones, plus it has a stopwatch, countdown timer and alarm. The display has different icons to correspond to the specific type of notification.
More than fashionable, it’s even waterproof. So if you’re on vacation, you can still be alerted to important texts and emails while frolicking in the water – with your smartphone safely back on your towel.
But what exactly are the tech specs of what you’ll be wearing on your finger? Smarty Ring measures 13mm wide with a thickness of 4mm. The flexible 22 mAh battery provides a run time of 24 hours, meaning you will need to charge it daily using the included wireless charging base, which will charge your smartphone and Smarty ring at the same time, via magnetic induction.
Smarty Ring comes with an interactive on screen app for both iOS and Android platforms. The app allows you to manage your smartphone, as well as the ring’s settings; adjust the LED brightness, set the time zones and adjust the clock, adjust the audio alert’s volume level and even assign buttons for speed dial to make calls with just a touch.
One cool and useful feature is its ability to track your phone. If you accidentally leave your smartphone on the table back at the restaurant, you won’t get very far; Smarty Ring will beep with an alert when your phone is more than 30 feet away from you.
It has its benefits, as well as its drawbacks. In the “pro” column, Smarty Ring will liberate you from having to constantly reach for your smartphone to check for new notifications, delivered in real time, thanks to its Bluetooth 4.0 technology.
On the “con” side, Smarty Ring has no text display, so although it alerts you when a new call, text or email comes in, you still have to grab your phone to see it.
A full range of options are available with retail prices ranging from $70 for a single Tracker model to $2,750 for a group pack of 10 Smarty Rings, depending on your individual needs. Pre-ordering will offer substantial savings, with the rings expecting to be delivered in April 2014.
However, will just knowing when a new call, email or text comes in be enough to sway tech savvy consumers to plunk down the cash when they’ll still have to reach for their phone? Or, will this wearable remote control tech jewelry be the hot new gadget tech junkies have been waiting for?
We’ll have to wait and see how many people choose this option to truly have their finger on the pulse.