A new piece of “smart jewelry” that connects to a smartphone aims to cut down on the time women spend checking their phones. Made by the New York-based Ringly, the matte gold ring with an opaque stone lights up in different colors and vibrates when the wearer’s smartphone receives a text, email, call, or social media alert.
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Co-founded by Christina Mercando and Logan Munro, Ringly’s products are currently available online only, and will begin to ship in the fall. Pre-orders for the ring price between $145 and $180.
The ring’s market is primarily women between the ages of 25 and 35, “who are well-connected, living in urban environments, working, and very social,” according to Mercando. While they don’t have a line for men right now, they say they have requests for a male-friendly accessory.
The connected ring joins a growing market of wearable technology that includes Google Glass and fitness-oriented products like the Jawbone Up.
“How many times do you hear your phone ring and you wish you could tell the caller, ‘Hold on, I’ll be there in a minute?’ That’s a very specific need,” said Karen Kornblum Berntsen, a professor of design at Carnegie Mellon University.
“The trend is that we are bound to our mobile phones and that it’s increasing and increasing,” Bernsten said. “It’s a whole little evolution to liberate ourselves from having to use our hands.”