The age of wearable technology is upon us- able to track our calls, measure our sleep quality and even give us directions through our clothing. Seemingly no aspect of our lives left is untouched by the micromanaging reaches of technology. Once only dominated by fitness trackers and the like, the wearable tech industry is steadily becoming saturated with the emergence of a whole new form of wearables changing the status quo: smart jewellery.
The Art of “Pretty” Technology
Smart jewellery sees the marrying of “smart” technology with fashionable appeal, to create smart accessories that help with many aspects of everyday needs. Companies like “Ringly” and “Vinaya” are on a quest to get people unglued from their phone screens by selling smart semi-precious stone jewellery that vibrates and flashes to alert the wearer to only pre-determined callers and messages.Other companies like “Nimb” are tackling the issue of safety and are developing a ring that acts like a panic button, sending your location to a pre-selected “safe circle,” in an emergency.
“Misfit” and “Samsung” have tried to make fitness trackers more elegant, by releasing trackers that have the same features as other fitness trackers – such as counting steps and measuring calorie burn- but are frosted in Swarovski crystals and elegant rose-gold leather straps, respectively.
The Missing Link
For all their ability, current smart jewellery and wearable technology lack the ability to track one key aspect of life: wellness. According to the American Psychology Association, one in five Americans admits they do not take active steps to reduce the stress in their lives, at a time when stress levels are at an all-time high.
The following smart jewellery companies have sought to address this issue: they are releasing jewellery that not only keeps track of steps and notifications but also physical, emotional and psychological wellness. These pieces can measure stress levels, breathing rates and encourage relaxation and mindfulness, to help create a more holistic, up-to-date picture of “you.”
The company behind the notification-receiving jewellery, “Altruis,” is gearing up to release “Zenta,” a bonafide wellness tracker bracelet, that seeks to “coach” both the body and the mind. What Zenta will be able to do, will defy all existing health trackers: not only will the Zenta collect comprehensive information on daily activity and fitness as well as stress levels, but it will be able to gauge the wearer’s emotional state and “track” these emotions; remembering exactly what made the wearer happy and what made them sad and stressed them out.
The Zenta is fitted with biometric sensors that track everything from heart rate to skin temperature, to oxygen levels in the blood. It uses all this information to analyse current mood levels of the wearer and can discern patterns in daily schedules that contribute positively or negatively to a person’s mood. It is then able to encourage or discourage certain behaviour so that the wearer is able to remain optimally happy and healthy. The tracker can be worn as a bracelet set in a leather or silicone strap, and can be ordered adorned with Swarovski crystals. Aside from its visual appeal, fertility tracking, sleep monitoring and notification filtering are just a few of the extra functions of the Zenta, making this an all-around brilliant smart jewellery wonder.
The Zenta project can be backed on Indiegogo with first prototypes (costing between $149- $209), shipping April 2017.
The Bellabeat “Leaf” is a wellness tracker that seeks to “give your body a voice” and is specifically made for women. In terms of physical wellness, it not only tracks calorie burn and analyses sleep quality, but is able to monitor every aspect of the menstrual cycle- predicting when the wearer will ovulate, menstruate and when they are at their most fertile. This enables the user to take charge of her reproductive health.
When it comes to emotional wellness, the device can monitor stress levels through motion sensors that detect and analyse breathing rates. It motivates users to relax when it detects heightened stress levels, by activating a 2-10 minute meditation session which consists of breathing exercises and instructions on how to sync breathing to that of a calmer disposition. The Leaf analyses the above aspects in a woman’s daily life and breaks down her physical and emotional well-being in an accompanying app; giving her the power to understand her body better and take charge of her overall well-being.
The “Leaf” for about $119.99 – $149.99 and can be purchased at Bellabeat.
The “Bio Ring,” is an “everything tracker,” as the list of activities and functions it tracks are nearly endless. The mission of the company behind the smart ring is for the user to “Sleep better. Eat Better. Live Better. Train better,” and it tackles each one of these aspects thoroughly. The ring will track and monitor sleep, step-count, heart rate, “activity intensity” and all the other measurements you’d expect from any fitness tracker. What makes the ring unique, though, is its ability to not only keep track of calories burnt but to give an accurate depiction of daily calorie intake and exact breakdown of nutrients in each meal eaten. This breakdown of nutrition will help maintain or lose weight. The ring is also able to detect water and glucose level in cells, alerting the wearer when they need to drink more water. From a psychological standpoint, the Bio Ring is also able to measure stress levels and sends notifications when the levels get too high. It uses all this information to capture a complete picture of the wearer and make suggestions to improve productivity in daily life as well as keep track of all aspects of wellness.
The BioRing project can be backed on Indiegogo with first prototypes ($199), shipping November 2016.
Smart jewellery might just be the key to helping people become aware of their emotional and physical state so that they can take steps to improve their stress level and even their quality of life. The future of wellness is here.