For those unfamiliar with Ringly, a New York-based maker of internet-connected bangles and baubles, it’s all too easy to dismiss its smart jewelry as a gimmick. But unlike much of its competition, Ringly puts design on a pedestal: technology plays second fiddle to aesthetics. For proof, you needn’t look further than the Dive Bar Ringly from its 2014 Winter Collection, which features a rhodium-plated finish, a tourmalated quartz stone, and gunmetal-plated stainless steel. If that didn’t convince you, though, Ringly’s new Holiday 2016 collection certainly will.
The Aries bracelet comes in six unique, “handcrafted” styles, each featuring a different gemstone and sporting 14k gold plating, a polished stainless steel finish, and a crystal or pyramid stud detail. They’re available in two sizes, a 6.5-inch small and a 7.5-inch large.
The Aries ring, meanwhile, ships in five different styles with semi-precious gemstones. The ring bases are available in 18k gold or gunmetal plated stainless steel varieties, and they ship in ring sizes of 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.
In terms of connectivity, both feature much the same. The rings and bracelets pair to your smartphone and, when you receive an incoming text message, phone call, or other alert, vibrate and glow. Ringly said that both are capable of four unique vibration patterns and five light colors, and that they sync with “over 100” apps including the default messaging app on your phone, your calendar, Slack, Uber, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and more.
That’s only scratching the surface of what the bands are capable of, however. They track fitness — specifically, the number of steps you’ve taken, distance you’ve traveled, and calories you’ve burned. And with the help of Ringly’s companion app, they keep track of activity benchmarks: they’ll alert you when you’ve reached a step goal or burned a certain number of calories.
That smartphone companion app, speaking of, has been significantly streamlined over the past few weeks. Once you’ve paired a piece of Ringly jewelry, it’ll prompt you to select only the notifications — messages, apps, people, or calls — that you want to come through. From there, you’ll have the option of assigning the aforementioned vibration and light patterns to each individual notification, and setting fitness and activity goals.
One function the Aries collection isn’t able to perform, unfortunately, is contactless payments. Christina Mercando d’Avignon, Ringly’s founder and CEO, told Digital Trends in May that the company was working with processor MasterCard on future jewelry that supports mobile tap-and-pay — specifically, an NFC-enabled ring that’ll allow you to tap a supported terminal to complete a transaction. That will have to wait for a future collection.
The Aries Holiday 2016 series rings and bracelets last two to three days on a charge and have a range of 20 to 30 feet. They start at $195 and $245, respectively, and ship from Ringly’s website.