Would you wear a smart ring instead of a smartwatch?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
It was never going to stop at smartwatches. Just like any other niche market, if we give it any amount of attention and money, it's going to blow up and expand. We should have always known the moment we seemed even remotely excited about the wearable technology segment that we'd start seeing more devices, and not all of them would be shoved into our watches.
It wasn't going to just be glasses, either. What we've seen already out there in the wild, or what we've seen just talked about with amazing looking concept images, is going to get a little crazier as time goes on. We should see plenty of interesting devices and designs in 2014, but the truth is, beyond that it's going to get even more interesting. Maybe even a little whacky. As the technology for the segment gets better, more advanced --and ultimately cheaper-- then we'll start to see the crazier ideas start to populate with more regularity.
Or, we could already be there.
Even if Dick Tracy hadn't made smartwatches famous all those years ago, I think we would have made it happen anyway. Honestly, it feels like a pretty natural progression from our phones, and other pieces of smart technology. Our life is a connected life, and the more gadgets we have that help us stay connected the better. (Until it's time to disconnect.) Watches have been around a long time, and while that particular industry may not have been disrupted quite yet with seriously amazing (and useful!) technology, it could happen sooner rather than later. Once a company figures out the smartwatch, and really gets it right.
A ring, though? I can say that I wasn't expecting that just yet. It may not be a terrible idea, though. Having a piece of wearable technology doesn't mean it has to have a complication set-up process, or be hard to use. It could just be a simple circular design, with a screen strapped on and some buttons for good measure.
It's a bit more refined than that. It's called Smarty Ring, and it's a project that's listed on the crowdfunding site IndieGoGo. As of the time of this writing, the company behind the newfangled piece of wearable technology (also named Smarty Ring) has already amassed a total of $183,193 of their $40,000 goal. The new ring is expected to start shipping in April of 2014, and with it bring plenty of the same features we've seen in our smartwatches.
That means you'll be able to control your music, get notifications for incoming phone calls and text messages, as well as get realtime updates from your favorite social networks like Facebook and Twitter. You can also trigger the camera on your smartphone, use preset numbers to make outgoing calls, and ignore incoming calls.
It'll also tell you the time. But, that's weird. Just throwing that out there.
You'll also be able to charge the Smarty Ring wirelessly, which is a nice touch. Actually, based on the idea, what they want this piece of wearable technology to do, and the concept images (minus the clock feature), I can't help but be pretty excited about it. You probably know by now that I love new technology, and something that boasts a flexible battery inside plus everything else it can do sounds pretty cool. I can't wait to see if a "smartring" can take off in the growing wearable technology market. It's getting busy out there, and it's only going to get worse next year. Can the Smarty Ring make enough waves to leave a mark on the industry?
Of course, it's all just a concept right now and nothing more than a crowdfunded project that could potentially never see the light of day. However, I'd honestly love to see new gadgets hit the market, and keep that competition going between companies. Besides, a smartring is off-the-wall enough that I could see Samsung creating their own device just because they can.
What do you think about the Smarty Ring, or just wearable technology in general? Do you think a "smartring" can make it? Or is it an idea that will never really catch on? Let me know what you think!