Smart jewellery as a trend has been bubbling under for the past three years or so and now we've reached the stage where, no matter which piece of jewellery you'd like to see smartened up, there's a couple of different options.
Startups like Ringly and Bellabeat, alongside big names such as Swarovski and Fossil, have been quick to realise the potential of these form factors, and have created some beautiful designer jewellery that does more than just look good. With added smarts including fitness tracking, notifications and stress management, the next generation of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings is set to be connected.
Here are some of our favourites - most are on sale now and some of the latest are on pre-order with shipping later in 2017.
Ringly is an 18k gold ring set with a choice of emerald, pink sapphire, black onyx, moonstone or the limited edition tourmalated quartz. It comes in three different sizes and connects to both iOS or Android phones.
So how does it work? Four vibration patterns and five colours can be mapped to meeting alerts, calls, texts, Ubers arriving and Facebook and Twitter notifications. The idea is that you can get on with what you're doing and know at a glance if you need to pick up your phone. As elegant as wearable tech gets right now and the next version will feature NFC payments thanks to a partnership with MasterCard.
Read this: Our in-depth Ringly review
If you're the kind of person who's got a note app on their phone filled with ramblings, gibberish and a list of stuff you'll never get round to watching on Netflix, then Senstone is the smart jewelry for you.
Senstone records voice memos and translates them into text then organises them for you in an app. It can be worn as a bracelet or necklace, and is designed to blend in about your person. The LED indicates it's recording, but other than that there are no giveaway signs that there's any technology in this at all.
We don't usually recommend Kickstarter projects, but US editor Hugh Langley tried Senstone, and it's the real deal.
$140, senstone.io | Kickstarter
The second smart jewellery device from Ringly is actually a smart bracelet called Aries. It features the same alert handling as the original smart ring but adds fitness tracking to alerts and a slightly longer two to three day battery life too. Aries is iOS and Android compatible and allows users to kill the Ringly app and still get alerts throughout the day. The bracelets are gold-plated and feature a range of semi-precious stones to choose from.
4. Kate Spade Bangle Tracker
Kate Spade's line of designer, activity tracking 'n' alerts wearables includes this Bangle Tracker. It's available in three styles, all of which feature mother of pearl, scallop detailing and a 'Seize the day' inscription. If you want something a bit preppier, there's also the Scallop Tracker which features spotty, stripy glittery and cat ears styles and a
Metro Grand hybrid watch. Look out for reviews soon.
5. Michael Kors Access Reade
Like Kate Spade, Michael Kors is a Fossil Group brand so it's no surprise that we've seen this fitness tracking cuff from the designer alongside its Michael Kors Access smartwatch series. It houses the mother of pearl tracker and comes in black/gold and white/silver styles. The band is available embossed with a crocodile skin-style design or with a stitched style.
6. Fitbit Alta x Public School Axis
Fitbit's latest fashion collaboration is with New York label Public School - now, the results have divided the office and may only look good if you're a model with a minimal wardrobe. But the collection for the Fitbit Alta is definitely a different take on fitness tracker accessories with a give-no-fucks, modern look. It includes this unusual take - the Axis is a hand polished, stainless steel watch frame for Fitbit's stylish tracker.
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7. Bellabeat LEAF Urban
The Bellabeat LEAF Urban features a bunch of lifestyle tracking options from a slick looking device. Stress levels are monitored by the Urban, by recording the wearer's breathing patterns, and now the companion app will tell you how rested/prepared you are to deal with stress that day.
The device - like the LEAF before it - can also help women track their menstrual cycles and advise them during periods of ovulation. Step and sleep monitoring is part of the comprehensive feature package and this leaf-shaped wearable is smaller and a bit funkier than its predecessor too.
Read this: Our in-depth Bellabeat Leaf Urban review
From $139, bellabeat.com
8. Misfit Swarovski Shine
The sparkly Shine is an official partnership, with the design work done by Swarovski's in house team in France, rather than the crystals being bought in bulk and stuck on.
The Swarovski Shine features all the same tracking technology as its forefather the Misfit Shine and cheaper cousin, the Misfit Flash. That means step and activity tracking, as well as sleep monitoring, with results delivered via the Misfit smartphone app. More solar powered Swarovski Shines are in development - expect them by the end of 2017.
From $169, misfit.com
9. Tory Burch x Fitbit Flex
Fitbit has legions of fans already and these Tory Burch cases in jewellery form are a great treat for existing users. The American designer has brought her signature style to these open, gold-plated pieces - necklaces and bracelets make up the range.
They're certainly elegant, even if you can see the Fitbit peeping through. The Metal Hinged Bracelet is slightly more expensive than the Fret Pendant, but still not astronomical at $195.
Tory Burch accessories for the new Fitbit Alta are due to land later in 2017, so if you've picked up Fitbit's latest fashion friendly tracker, these could be a nice upgrade.
From $50, fitbit.com
10. Mira Vivid Wellness
Rather than hide your fitness tracker inside jewellery a la Tory Burch and Fitbit, why not just choose a good-looking band in the first place? Mira is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter for its open, jewel-coloured design which can clip onto belts and sportswear as well as pop into the bracelet.
A great (or potentially annoying) addition is that the app sends motivational Boosts throughout the day to keep you on track or just make you laugh. Mira is iPhone and US-only for now but in 2016 it did extend the range with new Vivid Wellness bracelet and necklace accessories.
from $149, mymirafit.com
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