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Smart rings: The good, the bad and the ugly in smart jewellery

Connected tech moves to the finger but the results aren't always perfect, Introducing smart ring your fitness tracker in your finger. #Smart Ring

Saturday, 15 July 2017

/ by Ravi Chaubey
While Apple, Fitbit and Xiaomi have ensured that smartwatches and fitness trackers create the most buzz in the wearable tech space, smart jewellery is quietly building up a solid following by offering a more fashionable and discreet alternative for both women and men.
Due to their small size, smart rings in particular are tricky AF to get right. And many startups are running into legal or financial trouble too.
Pic:Smart ring in fingers
We've trawled the world of wearables to seek out the most interesting smart rings - the good, the bad and the very, very ugly…
The Good

  • Motiv ring
This new iPhone-compatible smart ring, Motiv, turned heads at CES and it's not hard to see why. It's sleek, just 8mm wide and comes in rose gold or slate grey finishes of titanium. Plus, there are seven sizes to fit both male and female fingers. 
Pic:Motive ring
Inside it's a fitness tracker that will monitor steps, distance, active minutes and so on as well as heart rate thanks to an optical heart rate monitor. The battery will last five days and it's even waterproof to 50m. Look out for a review very soon.

  • Oura Ring
This sleep tracking and analysing smart ring raised a ton of money on Kickstarter and actually shipped to backers. Some users have reported woes with things like connectivity but there's a lot here to like.
Pic:Oura ring
The app uses data on how well you've slept and does something useful with it - Oura provides you with a readiness score for the day. Plus, it makes personalised suggestions and can show you trends over time. It comes in three colours and ring sizes 6 - 13. We're looking to test the Oura Ring in an in-depth review soon.
The Bad

  • Loop
We quite liked the idea behind Loop, a $75 'silent guardian', safety focused smart ring that hit Kickstarter in early May. But alas the project was cancelled by the end of that month.
Pic:Loop ring
The costume ring hides a panic button sends a text message to a friend or family member with a map of your location. Sure it's oversized and a bit garish but the price was spot on, smart jewellery needs to become more affordable. We'll update this story if Loop reappears.

  • Kerv
Kerv, the Kickstarted NFC contactless payment ring safely passed its campaign target last year but the product seems to have run into trouble. Its Kickstarter page still reads: "Kerv - the world's first contactless payment ring is the subject of an intellectual property dispute and is currently unavailable."
Pic:A range of Curve ring
Available in seven colours, the simple and affordable piece of smart jewellery - for men and women - was designed to allow you to make payments, validate you on public transport and unlock smart locks. There are no alerts or fitness tracking - Kerv is focused on just a few key features - payments and ID. 
Initially we thought this could be the device to achieve what the bPay rangehas so far failed to do - bring wearables into contactless payments in an intuitive and accessible way. But we'll have to check back in with Kerv's legal woes.
The Ugly

  • Ring
The most simply named smart ring possible got less than favourable reviews on its release – in fact it was dubbed one of the ' worst wearables in history'. We think that's a little unfair - we've seen worse.
Pic:Smart ring
Crowdfunded on Kickstarter by makers Logbar, the Ring uses gesture controls to perform numerous useful tasks like controlling your smart home gadgets to some not-so-useful ones, like controlling your smartphone (when it's right in front of you). Manufacturing and testing delays followed by a less-than-perfect product meant that backers weren't happy with the final product but we have to admire the ambition of the makers who have since built a wearable translation device named ili.
Source:NDTV Gadgets

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