As sensors and microprocessors get smaller and we move away from one device to do everything (like our smartphones), designers are coming up with more creative ways of helping us improve our lives with technology we carry with us all the time.
Jewelry is a relatively new way to hide this technology into devices that don’t look like they do anything other than compliment our clothing and style. But hidden inside these unassuming trinkets is a myriad of sensors, processors and batteries.
Fitness trackers were the first dedicated devices in this area. They would typically be strapped to your wrist or body and monitored your activities as you moved throughout your day. The Fitbit is probably the best known device in this category…and is widely considered to be the generic name used to describe all fitness based trackers, regardless of their features. The Misfit Shine is another example that captures all the biometric data and with the help of its companion app, helps you understand that data in a meaningful way. It also allows you to control your music and smart home devices from a single button press on your wrist.
Beyond simply measuring your steps or calories burned though, these devices can do much more. The Embr Wave, for example, can help regulate your body temperature by cooling you down or warming you up – all from your wrist. The Padrone Ring Mouse is worn like a ring on your finger but measures gestures and movement turning your entire desk into a touchpad to control your computer in a more natural and comfortable way. The BlinqBlinq ring has a security feature where you can send an emergency SOS text message by simply tapping out a secret code on the ring. Coming soon on crowdfunding platform Indigogo is the Rinote, a bluetooth remote from your phone packed into a ring that allows you to control your music and your camera from your finger. Even the wildly popular Apple Watch is available in a myriad of styles and material options including designs from some of the biggest fashion houses like Hermès.
This has lead to more subtle gadgets that looked less like a hardware sensors and more like traditional jewelry items. This also helps to attract more consumers that aren’t necessarily interested solely in the fitness aspect of these devices. As of 2019, we’ve only seen the beginning. As designers and tech companies continue to innovate and create, it will be interesting to see how traditional jewelry items may change, shift, and grow into wearable technologies that serve multiple functions.