The rising popularity of smartwatches confirms one thing: a good amount of people are stoked about the idea of wearing computers on their limbs. Since we have that "wearable computer on the wrist" part figured out, it's probably time to move on to other body parts. How about those skinny things sticking out of your hands? Well, the Smarty Ring wants to take care of that.
Why use a gadget that wraps around the wrist for mobile notifications when you can have all those on a gadget that's worn on just a single finger? Yeah, makes sense to me. Sure, a ring is too small to read emails, hold a camera, or cram in a mic for hands-free conversations, but if all you plan to use a smartwatch for are receiving notifications, then this seems like a more efficient device for achieving the same thing.
The Smarty Ring is a stainless steel band with a small LED panel (single-color only, either blue or red) on the body acting as the display. The panel will display time by default (you can set the time from the accompanying app), but will change to display an icon, along with playing an audible beeping sound, when a notification comes in. It uses Bluetooth 4.0 to pair with your phone, after which it can alert you of calls, texts, emails, and various updates (upon launch, Facebook, Twitter, Google Hangouts, and Skype will be supported).
The features don't end there, though. On the outer side of the band sit a set of buttons, which you can use to control the phone remotely, letting you accept/reject incoming calls, place calls (only to numbers preset via the app), trigger the camera, control music playback, or change to a different user profile. Plus, it will beep any time the phone is more than 30 meters away, so it can help minimize the chances you'll forget the phone in the bathroom at Chili's like you did last week after a couple of beers. Everything is watertight, too, so you can keep the ring on all through the day.
Want one? The Smarty Ring is currently raising funds for a production run on Indiegogo. Pledges to reserve a full unit starts at $175.