Connected jewelry is the next big thing in tech-savvy style. You've surely heard of the smartwatch, but did you know you can also stay connected with other accessories including bracelets, rings, necklaces, and even earrings? Not everyone wants the size or style of a watch which can look clunky, so these other jewelry options are perfect to pair with a wider variety of looks and tastes.
Smart jewelry interest has grown among consumers, with research firm Gartner predicting that 30 percent of consumer devices will be “inconspicuous to the eye," unnoticeable by 2017. And at least one insurer saying their looking to offer coverage for these digital fashion items.
Jewelry items are including the features most associate today with other wearable: allowing users to monitor phone calls, texts, fitness goals and other details. But to some, these options are less clunky, perhaps more with stylish. Here at GearBrain we took a look at a few examples that are looking to match fashion with function.
Not veering that far away from the wrist watch model, bracelets do offer more options than the standard device with a band. From leather wraps to lightweight cuffs, styles are as inventive as a fashion designers whims. Yet they all attempt to include the same digital options as their time piece cousins.
Let's face it— the placement of a device on the wrist makes it easy for the wearer to discreetly check their alerts and levels. There's a reason, after all, why the wristwatch has proven successful for several hundred years. In fact, the wristwatch may have been invented for women, according to Guinness World Records — a counter to the pocket watches long-favored by men.
Bracelet devices are often prompted via a Bluetooth connection to their smartphone. Rebecca Minkoff makes a gold and black Notification Bracelet for $120 which pairs well with both casual wear and evening styles. The bracelet alerts the user when a call or text comes in without the need to pull out a cell phone. Swarovski makes the glitzy Shine wristband as well as a studded slake bracelet for prices ranging from $100-$200 to enable users to track their fitness levels and set daily movement goals while connected to the Misfit fitness tracking device.
Misfit almost pioneered the connected necklace space with its Shine and the myriad options that consumers buy. Today the space is growing quickly, with boutique-like jewelry showing up alongside the usual black and chrome tech gear.
Swarovski Shine is one a partnership that's produced a pendant necklace option with the crystal-maker's usual flair. Similarly, the classic American style of Tory Burch pairs a stainless steel pendant with the Fitbit Flex for users to manage their fitness goals, diet, and sleep patterns at prices up to $200.
Bellabeat's Leaf — a pendant that comes in silver and rose-gold colors, measures activity and even stress levels. Cuff's pendant, Lisa, expected to ship in November 2015, will vibrate for calls and texts. (Although it requires the CUFF module to work.)
Some, like Artefact's Purple, is a prototype product that looks to rotate digital images inside a locket worn around the neck. The Momento Pearl is looking to do the same, storing images or even voice recording into a digital pearl embedded with hardware. And Miragi claims its pendant will digitally display information on to your hand, such as incoming caller ID or a text message.
Rings and Earrings
Looking for connectivity at your fingertips? Go for a smart ring such as the Ringly Bluetooth Smart Ring for $260. This sophisticated ring faceted with semiprecious stone connects to any smartphone and vibrates and changes color when the wearer receives a text or phone call or sets an app or calendar alert to their phone.
For those seeking the latest in connected jewelry, the Ear-O-Smart will be music to their ears. It is one of the newer accessories soon to launch in this field, expected to will monitor heart rate, calories, and activity level via a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone. Blinged-out light-weight studs in a variety of colors and shapes are planned for sale in the immediate future.
Jewelry has come far in this tech-charged world. Consumers can deck themselves with bling, while still staying in the loop with alerts, connections, and productivity. Whether you want a bracelet, or some flash at your neck — every option is out there today— for those looking for some cyber-chic