Bluetooth earpieces are great for taking calls hands-free. Problem is, keeping one stuck to your ear the entire day is a pretty dorky way of getting around. Yes, you can keep it in your pocket and take it out only when needed, but that almost always guarantees you’re bound to lose or misplace the earpiece at some point during the day. The Orii offers a different alternative.
Billed as a “smart ring,” it’s a bone conduction device that sends sound vibrations down through the finger it’s worn on. That way, you can simply place your finger atop the ear bone to hear whatever’s transmitting from your phone, saving you from having to wear a dorky-looking earpiece while you walk around town.
The Orii has integrated dual noise-cancelling microphones for facilitating two-way conversations, ensuring you can use it as a proper device for taking calls. Granted, it sorts of ruins the whole hands-free concept of Bluetooth earpieces, but if you don’t mind keeping one hand busy, it should make for a genuinely functional alternative. Since it, essentially, turns your finger into an earpiece, you can also use it for everything you do using Bluetooth earpieces, including talking to Siri, listening to music, and whatever else you listen to on your phone. And since you’ll wear it outdoors, it comes with IPX7 water resistance, so it should handle sweat, splashes, and even the occasional rain without any trouble.
Because of its integration with Siri and Google Assistant, the smart ring can, pretty much, do most tasks you’ll need to carry out on a smartphone. From making calls and creating messages to setting reminders and checking your calendar, you can do a whole load of things without having to look at a screen again. I mean, let’s be honest, we could all use a little less screen time in our lives. To call out your phone’s virtual assistant, simply long-press at the top of the ring, which should register on the hidden buttons underneath, activating the pre-programmed function.
In addition to Bluetooth earpiece duty, the Orii can also provide notifications, which is made by flashing an LED light at the top of the ring. Granted, a single multi-color LED light can only make for several variations in notifications, so you can customize the type of notifications it will actually bother with via the accompanying app. Yes, you’ll have to memorize which color corresponds to which notification, so good luck with that.
As for its form factor, the ring actually comes with a large rectangular cap on top, which, for all intents and purposes, is a little too big to have on your finger. Still, if you find value in the convenience of being able to remotely interact with your phone using nothing but a single finger, this inelegant device does make for quite the elegant solution. Do note, the ring form factor means they can only fit it with a small battery, which is rated at just 1.5 hours of talk time, so you’ll probably need to charge this multiple times a day if you end up using it frequently.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Orii. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $119.