22 Best Smart Jewelry Brands 2016 You Didn’t Know Existed
Before the introduction of smart jewelry, humans have been adorning their bodies with shiny things for tens of thousands of years. Until quite recently, though, jewelry had very limited functionality. Watches could tell you the time of day, and conspicuous rings could reveal your relationship status, but for the most part, jewelry equalled flash: a bit of spangle to dress up your look and make you stand out.
But with technological advancements putting more power into smaller spaces, the era of smart jewelry is now upon us, and bling can do all sorts of things. There are fitness trackers, of course, but smart jewelry can also sync with smartphones to alert wearers to new messages or other notifications. NFC payment capabilities are also being built in, mood and body metrics can be regulated from the wrist, and there are even features to keep women safe.
And the best part? You’d never know from just looking that any of these pieces of jewelry has a smart component.
Aiming for the Clutch
With so many products in the tech sector having an unspoken aim at male consumers, it’s almost a relief to finally see products made with women in mind. For the most part, smart jewelry isn’t made for men but OK for women, and it’s not the same old products just colored pink. The majority of smart jewelry is actually designed for women from the ground up in terms of functionality, appearance, and size. It’s all highly functional, and (with some wiggle room for personal tastes) it all looks great.
Anyone with a feminist streak could rightly argue that it took long enough for the tech sector to catch on to the purchasing power that women have. Manufacturers are finally realizing that “controlling the purse strings” isn’t just an outdated saying. An article in Forbes just last year claimed, “Women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing, through a combination of their buying power and influence.”
Women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing
Smart Jewelry is Here to Stay
Smart jewelry is here, and it’s not a tiny niche, either. It’s a bona fide sector of the wearables market, with dozens of products already available and more on the way. What’s available? We’re glad you asked.
Smart Bracelets and Wristlets
The wrist seems like a good place to start, since it’s probably where most people think of placing a wearable. It makes sense: lots of fitness trackers are wristlets, and wrist watches have been more popular than the pocket variety since the mid 20th Century. Here’s a look at some of the products in the largest smart jewelry category.
1. Misfit Swarovski Shine
It does everything that the acclaimed Misfit Shine tracker does (steps, calories, distance, sleep), but the Swarovski Activity Crystal looks a whole lot nicer and makes for a great gift. Misfit’s partnership with Austrian glass manufacturer Swarovski has produced one of the most attractive, feminine, and functional pieces of smart jewelry out there.
2. Polar Loop Crystal
Finland’s Polar has also established a working relationship with Swarovski to provide a more feminine look to its popular Loop fitness tracker. The Loop Crystal is a glittery white bangle with an all-day fitness tracker and smart coach tucked inside. While it may look a bit formal for the running trails, this is one piece of smart jewelry that adds a beautiful and deceptively athletic accent to any woman’s wrist.
The Cuff device fits into a variety of specially designed funky bracelets to connect its female wearer in a few different ways. First, it buzzes with smart notifications from a synced smartphone so that important calls and texts aren’t missed.
More importantly, though, it can send out a safety alerts to specified contacts if the wearer is in trouble or threatened — an extremely useful feature for women to have on their wrists. And, an anticipated firmware upgrade will bring fitness tracking capabilities. Most Cuff jewelry is for the wrist, but the device can fit into Cuff necklaces as well.
4. MICA Smart Bracelet
This piece of smart jewelry from Intel rings up at a whopping $495, making it the most expensive offering on our list. However, for that money, you get a device that operates separately from your smartphone; it has its own number that you can give out at your discretion. There’s a small display on the bracelet’s underside, you get onboard GPS, and it’s made from luxurious materials: snake skin with pearls or tiger’s eye and obsidian. Smart and beautiful? Yes, please.
5. Gemio Smart Bracelet
Gemio is an upcoming piece of smart jewelry that aims to keep wearers connected with social networks like Snapchat, Instagram, and others. It can also be synced with friends’ Gemios so that wearers know when their pals are in close proximity. If this sounds like smart jewelry designed for teenage girls, you’re right: it’s highly social, and the look can be customized through the corresponding app with a variety of colors and patterns. The first Gemio bracelets are expected to ship in June 2016.
Wristify may look like a chunky piece of costume jewelry, but it’s actually a brilliant way to keep you feeling comfortable. At the wearer’s control, the bracelet will heat up or cool down to keep your body’s temperature to your liking. It may sound like technological snake oil, but consider how warming your hands by a fire can help you feel less chilly; it’s the same concept. Designed by MIT graduates, Wristify should be available for purchase in the coming months.
7. Beacon & Lively
Beacon & Lively’s Beacon smart bracelet may be one of the more elegantly designed pieces on our list. Its virtue is its aesthetic simplicity: a simple metal cuff bracelet with a stripe that illuminates in different colors, all of which you choose from a color wheel, to let you know that you’ve got a text, an email, or some other detail that requires your attention. Smart notifications never looked so good. Availability is uncertain, though the company is currently taking pre-orders.
8. WiseWear Smart Bracelet
Another sleek and attractive smart bracelet, WiseWear’s smart bracelet collection offers a number of features that any woman will find helpful. First, it’s a complete activity tracker, keeping tabs on steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, and minutes active. Next, it syncs with your smartphone to deliver notifications. Finally, it offers a distress signalling feature that alerts designated contacts that you may be in trouble, even using your phone’s GPS to send your exact location. WiseWear smart bracelets come in both gold and palladium versions, with three designs offered in each material.
Netatmo’s June smart wristlet is a lovely smart device that measures your sun exposure and lets you know when it’s time to perhaps go indoors or apply more sunscreen. With skin cancer affecting over 3.5 million people, and with sun exposure being one of the top skin aging accelerators, the information that June provides can keep you healthy and help you look your best.
Mira is a fitness tracker, or fitness bracelet, rather. It does everything that an everyday tracker would do, like steps, calories, distance, and even elevation. (Sorry, it’s not a sleep tracker.) However, Mira is designed for women, and as such, it’s an attractive stainless steel bracelet with a detachable opal and even an OLED display. And, as with other trackers for women, if you’d rather wear the opal as a clip or a necklace, you can easily do just that.
11. Rebecca Minkoff Notification Bracelet
Don’t want to decide between big-name fashion jewelry and smart wearables? Thanks to the newly announced Rebecca Minkoff smart jewelry collection, you won’t have to make the choice. The company’s notification bracelet acts as a trendy and beautiful extension of your smartphone, giving you a quick buzz when a call or text is coming in. VIP settings in the app can restrict whose messages come through to your wrist, making it a surprisingly versatile piece of fashion tech.
12. Sona Connected Bracelet
The Sona Connected Bracelet by Caeden is a health wearable that tracks activity, measures your heart rate variability, and offers several breathing and meditation exercises to help you regain your center and focus. It’s a simple and attractive tight-fitting bangle, and while it will probably appeal to more women than men, it’s actually designed for both genders. Caeden anticipates shipping for the Sona will commence early summer 2016.
While the Zazzi smart notification device can be worn as a pendant or as a ring, we think it looks best on the wrist. It’s a big device, thanks to its 1.44 inch epaper display, but that screen size offers you a lot of easy-to read information and can also display the image of your choosing. It’s definitely among the more techy-looking pieces of smart jewelry out there, but if you’re not afraid of looking a little less glamorous and a little more connected, Zazzi might be the device for you.
That charm around your neck may add an interesting focal point to an outfit, but what does it actually do? Check out these smart necklaces, all of which have a function besides looking good.
14. Bellabeat Leaf
It looks like an innocent, fun leaf charm on a chain, but the Bellabeat Leaf is a fully-fledged fitness and sleep tracker. Plus, the device can be held against the torso to lead the wearer through several breathing exercises to improve calm and focus. Don’t love to wear a big swinging necklace? The Leaf can also be worn on the wrist or as a clip on any piece clothing.
15. Vinaya Altruis
The Vinaya Altruis collection comes in necklaces, bracelets, and rings, but we’ve included it in our necklace category because it’s such an elegant pendant. A smart notification pendant, the goal of the Altruis is to get you away from screens and help you be more present in your everyday life. You can set up filters so that your necklace alerts you only if messages from select contacts are received, keeping you connected while also keeping you engaged with the real world.
The problem with most smart jewelry is that there’s no display; you get a notification, but you still have to pull out your smartphone to see what’s going on. With Miragii, that issue is mostly resolved. There’s still no display on this cool-looking smart pendant, but there is a small embedded projector; hold up your hand, and the incoming text or call will be projected onto it. Miragii also includes a BlueTooth earpiece for both calls and music. Unfortunately though, their Kickstarter campaign failed to raise the desired $75,000.
Sure, rings are small, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be wired for functionality. If you prefer your adornments on the minimal side, take a look at one of these smart rings.
Notification functionality is the raison d’être of Ringly. Using the corresponding app, you can set up this chunky smart ring to alert you through lights and buzzes when you get a new text, email, phone call, or any other notification. The company’s new Aires collection puts the same functionality plus step tracking on the wrist, but it’s tough to beat the discreetness of a smart finger adornment.
18. Neyya Smart Ring
Neyya’s device offers a function that no other piece of smart jewelry can deliver: it helps you give presentations because it acts as a remote control. True, it’s probably not a piece of bling that you’d wear all day, every day, but if your job demands lots of public speaking and Powerpoint-type communications, it might be a good investment in your performance and polish.
The NFC power of the Kerv smart ring is fantastic. The ability to make contactless payments is its big selling point, but it can do much more: store information for contacts, emergency personnel, and medical details, work as a key for NFC-enabled locks, and, if you live in London, get you on and off the Tube faster. It’s a plain, sleek black or white band for men and women. Kerv looks like an nonmetallic wedding ring, but the only thing it marries you to is the freedom from carrying around too much stuff. Pre-orders are currently being accepted, with initial shipments going out in summer 2016.
20. The Oura Ring
A simple-looking androgynous wellness ring, Oura mostly offers you information on your sleep and how it affects you during the day. It monitors metrics like heart rate and body temperature to factor in its assessments of your performance. It’s waterproof, scratch resistant, and comfortable, though sleeping with it may take a little getting used to. At $299, it’s pricey, but if you like to keep a close eye on your health, sleep, and performance, it may be a worthwhile investment.
21. Moodmetric Ring
The Moodmetric is a mood ring that’s all grown up and designed for the 21st Century to help wearers gain a better understanding of their emotions. It measures your skin conductance, which is related to emotional response, and the corresponding app tracks and analyzes all of your data. The ring itself is attractive and unassuming, and while it’s probably best suited for women’s fingers, that isn’t to say that men can’t wear it as well.
Upcoming Smart Rings from Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung
While there’s nothing specific to report just yet, we’d be leaving out a big detail if we didn’t let you know that these three tech giants recently filed patents for their own smart rings. Nothing is in immediate production, and we don’t have any other specifics, but as always, watch this space.
Smart earrings? The ear has always been the domain of personal audio devices, but maybe there’s some potential here.
Now this is smart: a fitness tracker, complete with heart rate monitor, tucked into a fashionable pair of large stud earrings. It sounds almost too good to be true — nothing bound to your wrist, clipped to your clothes, or dangling from your neck? — but the Ear-o-Smart smart earrings will make it happen. The project is still in the formative stages, but look for pre-orders to go live soon.
With many devices on the market and even more slated for release in the coming year, the future for smart jewelry looks shiny and bright. Will women respond to these more glitzy devices? The early outlook suggests that they will, and it will be interesting to watch how the wearable tech market shifts as more smart jewelry, especially smart jewelry designed for women, is developed and offered to consumers.