Smart ring Motiv is acquired by Proxy

GearBrain's pick for Best of CES 2019 is now set to be folded into the digital identity company

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Smart ring Motiv, is getting scooped up by San Francisco-based Proxy, a company that creates digital identities for security, both companies announced today, April 27. The Motiv ring is known as a smart wearable — like a smartwatch — that collect data from those who wears it on their hand. And while not the first smart ring on the market, Motiv certainly packed a punch in what it could track, including fitness, sleeping and heart data, as well as details that help to identify the wearer. It's this last piece that may have made the device, and the company, so attractive to Proxy.

"As my team and I began to explore expanding into smart rings, we surveyed the landscape," said Proxy's CEO Denis Mars on the company's blog. "We knew about Motiv, and I've been a big fan of Motiv's technology for years, so through mutual friends I got to know the Motiv team and technical co-founders where we began a conversation around a possible partnership."

Smart rings take a back seat to other wearables from pins, necklaces and even smartwatches. One of the early smart rings included Ringly, now sold out, which initially sent vibrations to someone's hand via the ring when they received an email, text or other message. Each ring featured a big semi-precious gemstone, making the device feel more cocktail attire than gear.

Motiv takes a more streamlined approach, with a clean titanium outer layer, it's a solid, simple design without a bauble in sight. GearBrain named it one of our top devices from CES 2019, noting as well Motiv's gait analysis system called WalkID, a biometric ID which enabled the ring — with more than 90 percent accuracy — to identify the person wearing the device just from the way they walked.

RinglyWhile less popular than smartwatches, smart rings are smaller and may have more appeal for some uses, such as identificationRingly

At the time, Motiv said this system could play a role in a two-factor authentication system when its wearer was logging into online services, and could also be used to make NFC payments. And using the ring as part of two-step verification is now a working feature of Motiv.

The Motiv ring, however, is no longer for sale, said the company in announcing the acquisition by Proxy. And Motiv also wanted to assure its current users that while the company has been scooped up — their data remains their own. In fact, any data stored on a Motiv ring by users, including details about their health and sleep, will not be put into Proxy's servers, and can also still be ported into a customer's Apple Health and Google Fit accounts.

Proxy has not only acquired Motiv, but also hired "a majority of their employees," said Mars. But Proxy also is looking at Motiv as a device that can act as a conduit for its digital identity signals.

"Over the past year, while we had started to do preliminary work to integrate Proxy into Motiv's existing ring, we concluded that the best way for Proxy to accelerate its move into wearables is to bring the technology under our roof," said Mars, on the blog. "When the opportunity to acquire Motiv presented itself earlier this year, we knew it was the right path to advance our smart ring efforts."

Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Activity Tracker, Graphite/Black, One Size (S and L Bands Included)

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