The Complete Guide To Smart Jewelry

“Wearable jewelry” today includes a range of devices from those that alert you to important calls and texts to those that are meant to serve as protection for women in peril.

Which of these jewelry-like gadgets will flop? Which will even make it to market? Only time, and Kickstarter fundings, will tell.

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Wearables No Longer Just Plastic-y Fitness Trackers

When the “wearable” category first emerged, the connected devices it included were largely focused on health-tracking functions, like counting steps or sleep patterns.

While the Nike+ FuelBand, Fitbit Flex and Jawbone UP demonstrated the potential in wearable computing with their tracking capabilities and accompanying mobile apps, the devices themselves looked more at home in the gym than in your everyday life.

But today, a new, more female-targeted line of devices are starting to emerge, offering features that extend beyond health and fitness, as well as the look of “real” jewelry made with metals and stones, instead of bulky plastic bands.

“Wearable jewelry” today includes a range of devices from those that alert you to important calls and texts to those that are meant to serve as protection for women in peril.

Which of these jewelry-like gadgets will flop? Which will even make it to market? Only time, and Kickstarter fundings, will tell.

The MEMI

What It Is: An iPhone-connected “smartbracelet”

What It Does: The MEMI alerts you to incoming calls, texts and calendar events with a discreet vibration, allowing you to carry your phone in your purse. You can set it to only alert you to incoming communications from important contacts.

How Much?: $150

Can You Buy It Now?: Yes, MEMI is accepting pre-orders which will ship by August 2014.

Website: www.hellomemi.com

TechCrunch Review: A tad heavier than a similarly styled bracelet we have at home, but still lighter than you’d expect. The weight makes it feel “not so cheap.”

Cuff

What It Is: A line of jewelry wearables, including cuff-like bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and keychains.

What It Does: Each piece of Cuff jewelry has a button you can press in case of emergency. Once pressed, a group of pre-configured contacts are alerted that you need help. You can also program the alert to connect to specific people by tapping twice, or three times for example.

How Much?: Cuff jewelry ranges from $49 for the “sporty” Cuff to $150 for the Metal Cuffs.

Can You Buy It Now?: Yes, Cuff is accepting pre-orders, which will ship this fall.

Website: Cuff.io

TechCrunch Review: “…at this stage the CuffLinc doesn’t yet have the fitness and sleep-tracking capabilities of most wearables on the market. But Cuff has tapped into the aesthetic part of wearable technology that some feel is missing from trackers.”

Tory Birch For Fitbit

What It Is: A collaboration between Fitbit and Tory Burch that will combine wearable jewelry and the technology of the Fitbit Flex. Designs include bracelets and necklaces.

What It Does: Fitbit-like fitness tracking (steps, distance, calories burned and sleep).

How Much?: Unknown

Can You Buy It Now?: No, the collection hasn’t launched yet, but you can sign up for email alerts.

Website: www.toryburch.com/tory-burch-for-fitbit-signup/tory_burch_fitbit_signup.html

TechCrunch Review: N/A

Ringly

What It Is: A connected “smart ring.”

What It Does: Alerts you to phone calls, texts, emails, updates and more, through customized notifications using vibrations and light. Related app supports iOS and Android.

How Much?: $145-$180, depending on the style.

Can You Buy It Now?: Yes, you can pre-order it now at the above discounted prices. Rings will begin shipping this fall.

Website: Ringly.com

TechCrunch Review: “Truly wearable fashion technology in the form of finger jewelry” that “actually buzzes and lights up when you get a phone call or text or even when someone likes your Instagram.”

Misfit Shine

What It Is: An attractive fitness tracker that can be placed into watches, socks, and pendants/necklaces, or magnetically clipped onto lapels, shoes, etc.

What It Does: Tracks steps and sleep patterns, and can be tapped to give you the time of day.

How Much?: The Shine itself is $99. Accessories range from $19.95 for the sports band to $50 for a leather watch band, to $80 for the silver necklace, and so on. A 6-pack of socks is $70.

Can You Buy It Now?: Yes. It is sold online and at Target and Best Buy.

Website: Misfitwearables.com

TechCrunch Review: ..”the Shine can be worn anywhere — as a clip-on to your shoes or your shirt or as a necklace. That form factor has made it surprisingly popular among female consumers, we’ve heard from sources close to the company.”

Smarty Ring

What It Is: A connected “smart ring” with a geeky look than Ringly.

What It Does: Alerts you to incoming calls, texts, emails, app updates and more, as well as remotely controls your phone, alerts you if your phone is lost, and tells time.

How Much?: $275

Can You Buy It Now?: No. The company was raising funds on Indiegogo, but the campaign has ended. Early backers are expected to receive rings this summer. Unclear when the ring will be sold to the public.

Website: SmartyRing.com

TechCrunch Review: N/A

Zazzi

What It Is: A smart jewelry line including bracelets, rings, and pendants. The “Zazzi” piece is interchangeable between the different jewelry items.

What It Does: Alerts you to incoming calls and texts, while you keep your phone in your purse. Offers a number of designs to choose from.

How Much?: $169

Can You Buy It Now?: No, but the company is crowdfunding (again). Indiegogo backers will receive theirs in fall 2014.

Website: FashionTEQ.com

TechCrunch Review: N/A

Ringblingz

What It Is: A connected smart ring.

What It Does: Aimed at teens, the ring alerts you to incoming calls, texts and other notifications with lights.

How Much?: $40-$60, retail

Can You Buy It Now?: No. Company was supposed to open pre-orders this spring but didn’t. The website is still accepting email sign-ups, however.

Website: Ringblingz.com

TechCrunch Review: “RingBlingz has a good chance of grabbing the attention of teenagers for several reasons. First, a ring is more affordable…and less obtrusive than a wristband. Its alerts lets users watch for social media updates, texts, and calls from their best friends, crushes, parents, and other important people without having to keep their smartphone out.”

Vybe

What It Is: A unisex “smartband”

What It Does: Vibrates when you receive a call, text, email or leave your phone behind. Bands are interchangeable and come in white, black, yellow, pink, red, blue and green.

How Much?: $49.99; extra bands are $8.00

Can You Buy It Now?: Yes.

Website: Wearvybe.com

TechCrunch Review: N/A

Ring

What It Is: A unisex smart ring.

What It Does: Lets you control anything — send texts, control home appliances, make payments, and more.

How Much?: $165

Can You Buy It Now?: No. The company was raising on Kickstarter, but the campaign has ended, and backers are receiving devices this summer. It is not yet available to public.

Website: Logbar.jp/ring

TechCrunch Review: Device “resembles an ordinary (if slightly chunky) ring. And “sensors on board can detect even the smallest finger movements, according to Ring’s creators, and the gadget works with preset gestures for common controls (calling up messages, playing music or activating the camera), plus you can configure your own custom gestures using the companion app. “

Fin

What It Is: A connected thumb ring.

What It Does: Detects gestures and touches, turning your palm into a gesture interface. Bluetooth-enabled to work with digital devices like smartphones, TVs, cars, etc. Can help visually impaired people especially interact with technology, as it can be programmed to dial numbers, text, interact with social media, take notes, change channels on TV, navigate maps, receive calls, read messages, and much more.

How Much?: $120

Can You Buy It Now?: Yes, you can pre-order Fin for $120 plus $10 in shipping.

Website: WearFin.com

TechCrunch Review: “Swiping your thumb down your index finger, for example, could turn your phone’s volume down. Want to turn it back up? Just swipe back up across the same finger. Want to skip the current track? Swipe your thumb across the palm of the opposite hand.

In future iterations, they hope to use biometrics to distinguish each segment of each finger. This would allow them to assign each segment a different behavior, essentially turning each section of your hand into a different button

First Sign

What It Is: A smart hair clip.

What It Does: Designed specifically for alerting a security team when there has been a violent crime. The clip’s accelerometer and gyroscope detects impacts. Bluetooth connects to your phone to retrieve GPS, camera and microphone data, including any pictures you quickly record. A monitoring station calls first responders and alerts your own emergency contacts.

How Much?: $50 to alert contacts; $75 with the monitoring services

Can You Buy It Now?: Yes. Delivery planned for fall 2014.

Website: FirstSign.us

TechCrunch Review: N/A

Guardian Angel

What It Is: A connected device worn as a bracelet or necklace.

What It Does: Press the device to activate a fake call, thereby getting you out of uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situations.

How Much?: $120 for the pendent; additional bracelet accessories are $30-$60.

Can You Buy It Now?: Yes, shipping takes 8-12 weeks.

Website: The-GuardianAngel.com

TechCrunch Review: N/A

Netatmo JUNE

What It Is: A connected smart bracelet.

What It Does: Measures your sun exposure throughout the day, and communicates that data to your smartphone to help you determine the appropriate SPF cream, and to remind you when to move into the shade. Jewels come in gold, platinum and gunmetal.

How Much?: $99

Can You Buy It Now?: Not quite. The website says it was available as of June 20, but instead of offering an online shop, it’s still accepting email sign-ups.

Website: Netatmo.com

TechCrunch Review: N/A

Artemis Fashion

What It Is: A line of smart jewelry products.

What It Does: You can press to alert an emergency operator who can then listen and record evidence. The devices will also alert your emergency contacts that you need help.

How Much?: TBD

Can You Buy It Now?: No, but the company allows you to sign up for product announcements.

Website: ArtemisFashion.com

TechCrunch Review: N/A

CSR Smart Jewelry

What It Is: Smart, Bluetooth-connected necklaces.

What It Does: Alert users to notifications on their phones, like calls and texts. You can also adjust the color and brightness emitted to suit your mood.

How Much?: TBD

Can You Buy It Now?: No. The company showed prototypes at CES, and announced that it collaborated with boutique jeweller Cellini on its design, but does not have a way to purchase these yet. (It seems to be more of a demo of CSR tech).

Website: CSR.com

TechCrunch Review: N/A

Beacon & Lively

What It Is: A smart bracelet

What It Does: Alerts you to calls and text with ambient colors and slight vibrations. A flick of the wrist shuts it off.

How Much?: $145 for the earliest Kickstarter backers. Later backers will pay $165 or $185.

Can You Buy It Now?: No, you can pre-order on Kickstarter with delivery estimated for February 2015.

Website: BeaconandLively.com

TechCrunch Review: N/A