While Apple, Fitbit and Xiaomi have ensured that smartwatches and fitness trackers create the most buzz in the wearable tech space, smart jewellery is quietly building up a solid following by offering a more fashionable and discreet alternative for both women and men.
Due to their small size, smart rings in particular are difficult to get right, and we've seen more than a few startups run into legal and financial trouble, too.
But despite the faults within the space, we've smartened up our finger and trawled through all the options in order to provide a round up of the very best. Any questions? Let us know in the comments below.
The iPhone-compatible smart ring, Motiv, turned heads when it was announced in early 2017 and it's not hard to see why. It's sleek, just 8mm wide and comes in rose gold or slate grey finishes of titanium. Plus, there are seven sizes to fit both male and female fingers.
Inside, it's a fitness tracker that will monitor steps, distance, and active minutes, as well as heart rate thanks to an optical heart rate sensor. The battery will last five days and it's even waterproof to 50m. In our tests, we found it to be both stylish and easy to wear thanks to its lightness.
Read this: Motiv Ring review
This high end, sleep tracking and analysing smart ring raised a boatload of money on Kickstarter and became one of the few to actually ship to backers. The app uses data on how well you've slept and does something useful with it - Oura provides you with a simple, intuitive readiness score for the day.
Plus, it makes personalised suggestions and can show you trends over time - though in our testing we'd like to see more of this. It comes in three colours and ring sizes 6-13. In our review we noted that the design might divide opinion, but it feels luxury and the sleep tracking is really great.
Early backers are already taking advantage of the original Oura, but the company indicates it will launch a new Oura Ring in April 2018. It looks suspiciously similar to the Motiv above, but those interested can pre-order the device in three different styles from a range of colours.
Read this: Oura Ring review
From $299, ouraring.com
The second-gen NFC ring, crowdfunded on Kickstarter, can be used to unlock phones and doors, transfer information and link people.
The ring packs two NFC tag inlays - one for public information and one for more sensitive stuff. The private tag - for things such as your smart door lock and payment information - sits on the inner part of the ring closest to the palm, so that it requires a deliberate gesture to use. The public portion, for stuff you want to give out, like your email address, sits on the top side of your finger.
Waterproof to 50m, the ring comes in a range of subtle designs, including ceramic coated in gloss black. So there's something to suit both men and women. And the best news? It never needs charging, and it's by far the cheapest option on this list.
Ringly is widely regarded as one of the leaders in the smart jewellery arena. This is largely due to the fact that the ring looks like an actual piece of jewellery that we'd wear - there are no obvious visual clues marking it out as a gadget.
Wisely, Ringly has kept it simple, with no screen, just subtle notifications from your smartphone, allowing you to choose what comes through - whether that's emails, texts, social updates or reminders from health or parenting apps. Plus, you can even choose just to hear from certain people.
Since the launch of its smart ring, the company has branched into smart bracelets with its Aries collection and GO range, which offer fitness tracking features, too.
Read this: Ringly review
From $99, ringly.com
ORII Smart Ring
We've got high hopes for ORII, which raised over $400k on Kickstarter earlier this year. Its particular secret agent trick is that it lets you take calls by holding your finger to your ear, something we've seen on smartwatch straps before but which makes even more sense as a smart ring form factor.
It's available in matte black, sandblasted silver, metallic dark grey and armor red finishes and other features including getting voice read-outs of text messages and notifications, hearable-style without the earbud permanently in your ear.
Hong Kong startup Origami Labs is looking to ship the ORII in February 2018, and we'll look to test out the device over the next couple of months.
In-depth: We talk to Origami Labs about ORII
Blinq is a luxury smart ring collection that wants to keep you fit and safe and just recently launched on Kickstarter. It's the work of a Montreal-based startup and offers sterling silver and 12-karat gold rings with 12 styles and seven different gemstones to choose from.
Features wise, there's an SOS Alert feature that works by tapping a custom sequence to send a text to friends, as well as notification filtering via a special backlight behind the stone and basic activity tracking. Blinq is expected to ship out its rings starting in February 2018, so stay tuned for our full review.
From $119, kickstarter.com
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