Like a jewelry version of Batman’s tech-decked batmobile, Ringly is a Bluetooth-activated, app-synced cocktail ring that vibrates and lights up when messages, calls, or notifications hit the wearer’s iPhone. To prevent the ring from becoming a distraction, you can set up a filtered list of contacts and select the type of alerts displayed. But it isn’t just the smartest piece of jewelry we’ve ever encountered—the assortment of semi-precious gems set into gold-plated brass to hide the ring’s compact technology, also establish it as one of the chicest wearables we’ve tested to date.
Known for habitually not answering her phone, co-founder Christina Mercando began Ringly as a personal project. “I wear a lot of rings and began to wonder if there was a way for my jewelry to solve the problem,” she told InStyle.com. “I also recognized people with the opposite vice—concert-goers, people dining at restaurants who obsessively checked their phones. I realized there was a market.” The weekend endeavor quickly evolved into a full-time job for Mercando, who left her design position at eBay and teamed up with co-founder Logan Munro, a mechanical engineer with a degree from MIT.
The duo has accomplished what many wearable companies still struggle with—the integration of technology and the preservation of aesthetics. If Ringly sat inside your jewelry box, you might never differentiate it from other statement rings. “We wanted people to buy the product for the way it looked just as much for what it can do,” says Mercando. She and Munro are among the minority of wearable tech companies based in New York City rather than Silicon Valley. “Our location has allowed us to access the fashion industry and its resources,” Munro told us. They’ve also managed to keep prices at a minimum; for the month of June, rings can be pre-ordered for $145 (25 percent off) from ringly.com.
In the coming weeks, you can expect app updates that go so far as to alert users when their Uber car has arrived on location and a new feature that causes the ring to vibrate when you’ve left your phone behind. When we slipped Ringly onto our finger for a test run last week, we couldn’t help but feel like the not-so-distant future in Spike Jonze’s tech-laden film Her, might already be here.