Wearable tech is all the rage at the moment. In the past week no less than 5 new smartwatch devices have been released, alongside new VR headsets, and even some Google Glass-like heads-up displays. The problem with all of this new tech, is that it is far from subtle. Wearables, despite imitating the form factor of traditional pieces of clothing or jewelry, are much more distracting, and rob the user’s attention away from the activity they are actually engaged in.
For this reason, wearables still remain a fringe product, with few customers seeing the difference between being distracted by something on their wrists, or a phone in their pocket. However, within this dynamic, electronics manufacturer Mota is trying something a little different. Their new SmartRing has much of the core functionality of smartwatches, but focuses on minimalism and rapid communication.
The SmartRing unsurprisingly takes the form of a finger-worn ring which shows its wearer updates from their phone through an inbuilt screen. The ring itself is slightly bulky, but not obtrusively so, and comes in either glossy white or black finishes. One side of the watch is taken up by a small screen which utilizes touches and swipes for easy navigation.
The ring connects with your smartphone via the now popular Bluetooth 4.0 standard. With this it can show notifications such as incoming calls, texts and emails, via glowing icons, as well as scrolling text. In the future Mota hopes to add functionality which would allow the device to connect with popular social networks and apps to provide more detailed notifications. While there is no word yet on battery life, the ring itself will come with an inductive charging base station which can be used to wirelessly charge the device.
Mota hopes that the device will be less obtrusive than the more common smartwatch wearables, as our fingers are something which we are naturally looking at during the course of the day regardless of what’s on them. As well, the small size of the device’s screen will make it much less of a distraction to the others, than a brightly lit smartwatch face.
The SmartRing is currently available for pre-order through an IndieGoGo campaign page for $60, and is expected to ship within months.
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