The 5 Best Smart Rings
History Of Wearable Technology
When inflation is taken into account, the first calculator watches cost considerably more than Apple's smartwatches today.
All throughout human history, people have worked to develop wearable devices capable of improving or making possible a range of activities.
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.
Models designed for use on the boardroom can even control Powerpoint presentations.
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.
It becomes difficult to convey the necessary information to the user.
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.