The 5 Best Smart Rings

Updated January 16, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

5 Best Smart Rings
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
Just when you thought electronic devices couldn't get any smaller, along comes the smart ring. Although still in their technological infancy, they can already let you receive mobile notifications, send messages, transfer files, control apps, lock and unlock your smartphone, and more. Impress your friends and enjoy life on the cutting edge with any one of our top choices. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best smart ring on Amazon.

5. Timer Smart Multifunction

The Timer Smart Multifunction has a sleek, subtle design that doesn't attract too much attention, but it still has a refined and elegant feel. It's available in white or black, and seems like a perfect mix of tech and style for locking or unlocking Android phones.
  • can act as a digital business card
  • programmable to share information
  • short wireless connection range
Brand TiMER
Model MiB02
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. 7 Ares

Available in three styles, the 7 Ares has much of the functionality of a smartwatch in the compact and durable format of a sterling silver ring. It delivers subtle notifications with color-coded flashes of light, and can also be used to make emergency calls discreetly.
  • comes with a dedicated phone app
  • notifies you when it's out of range
  • difficult to sync
Brand 7
Model 7 Ares Smart Ring W2 Si
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. Jakcom R3

The Jakcom R3 has a black exterior that won't clash with your favorite outfits, no matter how bright and busy they may be. It can interact with any device that features NFC technology, like smartphones and the Raspberry Pi, as well as many RFID access keypads.
  • dust-resistant housing
  • made from durable tungsten
  • some find it a little too thick
Brand Jakcom
Model R3
Weight 0.8 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. ChiTronic Magic

The ChiTronic Magic can be coordinated with multiple applications on your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to complete actions with nothing but a touch. It has an attractive glossy finish with a simple diamond ornament that makes it a stylish accessory.
  • supports windows and android phones
  • has a premium feel to it
  • great value for its price
Brand ChiTronic
Model 83212_2
Weight 1.4 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. NFC Ceramic Eclipse

The NFC Ceramic Eclipse is lightweight and water-resistant, so you can wear it anywhere from the office to the gym without worrying about damage. It can be programmed to share and transfer information, unlock devices, and control apps.
  • available in sizes up to 16
  • zero charging required
  • can be used as key for smart locks
Brand NFC Ring
Model NTAG203-V1-NORMAL-$
Weight 1.1 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

History Of Wearable Technology

Wearable technology made its first appearance in human history over 700 years ago when the eyeglasses were invented in Italy. While eyeglasses may not seem very impressive when compared to the cutting edge technology being developed today, it was a stunning feat of engineering and ingenuity at the time. A few hundred years later in Qing Dynasty China, a wearable abacus in the form of a ring was developed. This could potentially be considered the first ever smart ring.

All throughout human history, people have worked to develop wearable devices capable of improving or making possible a range of activities. GoPro was by no means the first ever wearable camera. This distinction belongs to German apothecary, Julius Neubronner and dates back to 1907, when he invented the pigeon photography technique. In it, a small time-delayed camera was attached to a pigeon fitted with a simple aluminum breast harness. It was used by the German military to catch aerial photographs from behind enemy lines.

The first wearable computer was created in the 1960s by two MIT professors. Claude Shannon and Edward Thorp invented a device that allowed them to predict the outcome of roulette games. This first wearable computer had three components: a data-taker to measure the roulette wheel's speed, a computer to send the data, and a hearing aid that received the data and relayed it to the user.

In the 1975, wearable computers took the form of calculator watches, with the first one being released by Pulsar and costing $550. When inflation is taken into account, the first calculator watches cost considerably more than Apple's smartwatches today. The 80s and 90s saw the advent of a number of of additional wearable technologies like the mBracelet, which was the first contactless payment solution and the head-mounted Private Eye, which could be considered a precursor to Google Glass.

Many of the wearable technologies of the 90s were commercial flops, but in the first and second decade of the 2000s smaller and more stylish wearables such as smartwatches and fitness trackers have been experiencing huge consumer demand and are paving the way into the future where wearable technology will become more and more a part of everyday life.

The Many Features Of Smart Rings

More smart rings are hitting the market every day, each with their own set of features. The basic feature one can expect in every smart ring is incoming call and e-mail notifications. Many smart rings will allow you to customize your notifications based on who is calling. For example, you may able to set the notification from your husband or wife to vibrate three times and flash a blue light, while calls from your mother vibrate twice and flash a yellow light. Another option is to set the notification style based on the type of contact. All work contacts can have one notification style and social friends can have another.

As you get into more advanced models, a range of additional features may be included. Some smart ring models include activity trackers and sleep pattern monitors, helping you to keep better tabs on your health. Alarm clocks are often integrated into the slimmer smart rings that are designed for all day wear, while some of the bulkier models include activity specific functions and are designed to be put on and taken off before and after that activity. One can also find models that are able to control music playback from smartphones.

Additional features such as the ability to swipe through movies on Netflix or execute commands on touch screen monitors are becoming more common place. Models designed for use on the boardroom can even control Powerpoint presentations.

A range of additional features are currently in the works with some companies developing models that allow you to text by writing in the air, unlock a front door that utilizes a smart lock, transfer information to other people's devices via NFC, and even function as a bus pass.

Balancing Form And Function

As more advanced smart rings are created, capable of a wider range of features, many developers are coming up against the challenge of balancing form and function. On one hand, it seems obvious that consumers would want a smart ring that can do more, on the other hand, the more features that are included, the larger and more unwieldy a smart ring becomes to the wearer.

The small size or lack of screens on smart rings is presenting another problem when additional functions are added to the device. It becomes difficult to convey the necessary information to the user. Too many different notification styles can quickly become confusing and many people may forget which gesture controls a specific function.

Each developer is tackling these problems in their own way. Some companies are choosing to make activity specific smart rings that may be a bit too bulky for all day use, but would be perfectly suited when performing a specific task. Other companies are looking for ways to keep the build of the unit small, while still being able to incorporate a wide range of features, making them more marketable to the general public.

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Last updated on January 16, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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