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Ringly takes fashion-first approach to wearables

ringly

Former ecommerce executives from Etsy and eBay took a fashion-first approach to wearables with a new smart ring that attempts to meet the needs of smartphone-savvy fashionistas. 

When a consumer is on-the-go and carrying her phone in a purse, it is common to miss an important call, reminder or text. Ringly, created with fashion appeal in mind, connects to a mobile application using Bluetooth technology and sends alerts to wearers when an important message is received on their smartphone. 

“Our product is innovative because of its simplicity and style,” said Christina Mercando, founder and CEO of Ringly, New York. “Most other fashion wearable products are gadget-y and geeky, and take a unisex approach to design."

“Some companies even think that turning something pink makes it more appealing to women. That doesn’t work,” she said.  

“At Ringly, we design our products with style in mind that would subtly integrate into a woman’s life. We are not a tech company that is trying to be fashionable. We are a fashion-first company that’s packing small and powerful technology into beautiful jewelry."

“Ringly is not trying to replace your phone, rather we want to integrate simple technology to make your life easier.” 

Fashionably, tech-savvy
The makers of Ringly designed the product, available in five different colors, from a fashion standpoint and then incorporated the technology. Ringly’s technology is minimal and hardly recognizable on the rings. There is a small light on the side of the rings that blinks when alerts come through, along with vibration signals, with four vibration patterns to choose from.


Ringly is available in five colors, one not shown

Users simply download the mobile app and connect to the ring through Bluetooth. The application is customizable to allow the user to choose which notifications will be synced. 


The ring connects directly to the application

The rings are made with 18 karat matte gold and 3 micron plating with precious and semi-precious stones. Ringly can alert users when they are receiving a call or text, have an upcoming meeting, their Uber has arrived and more. 

The brand has promoted the product on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

The wearable, compatible with iOS and Android platforms, will be available this fall, but those interested can preorder on ringly.com. Preordering currently saves consumers 25 percent off the retail price. 

Ringly retails for $195-$260, and the wearable can be preordered for $145-$180.

Design first
At first glance, Google Glass seemed too futuristic for everyday use, but a partnership between Google and U.S. fashion label Diane von Furstenberg might give the product the stylish appeal it needs to be marketable and desirable. 

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Premiering on June 23, styles will include five new frames and eight new shades (see story). 

Studies have shown that wearables lack a fashionable appeal. With some of the first entries in the wearables category failing to excite consumers, the next round of devices could feature a stronger fashion sense.

The well-to-do, early-adopters which wearables are targeted at are not just interested in technology for technology’s sake but desires items with the elusive cool factor. A lack of style is part of the reason why some early entries, such as Google Glass, have not caught on and could explain Apple’s $3-million deal for Beats as a stepping stone toward the development of a smart headphone with cache (see story). 

By prioritizing appearance over technology, marketers are more likely to appeal to consumers.

“All of the wearable products on the market today lack the aesthetic quality that women are looking for when they choose accessories,” said Ms. Mercando. “And although many wearable products have introduced some mind-blowing technology, they still haven’t solved a huge problem that every woman faces: how do I make sure I don’t miss a call while my phone is in my purse? 

“Ringly links up with your phone via Bluetooth technology so you can receive notifications on what’s important while still being present in the moment,” she said. “Ringly is not a clunky and over gadget-y device.” 

“It’s a beautifully crafted piece of jewelry that women will want to wear, and it looks like a piece of jewelry you would buy even without the technology. We’re all about making powerful technology that’s highly functional but seamlessly integrates into your everyday life almost as if it disappears altogether.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Marketer, New York

Caitlyn Bohannon is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at caitlyn@mobilemarketer.com.

 
Related content: Software and technology, Ringly, Christina Mercando, wearable, tech, mobile

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