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Semi-precious: The best smart jewellery

Smart jewellery as a trend has been bubbling under for the past two 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 Vinaya, 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 and notifications, the next generation of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings is going to be connected.

Here are some of our favourites – most are on sale now and some need more funding to make them a reality.


best smart jewellery altruis

Altruis from London based design house Vinaya ticks a lot of boxes. It looks fresh and chic and worth the (admittedly high) price tag. It does one job and one job well – alerting you to important notifications.

It’s modular so even if you choose a ring, bracelet or pendant to begin with, you can choose to pop out the main unit and wear it in a different style. And there’s enough choice to make it personal – gold, rose gold or platinum for the metals, three different ring sizes. The best bit? It’s not just a bunch of pretty accessories. You can choose to only let through notifications that contain predetermined keywords. That’s what we call smart.

Tested: Read our Altruis smart jewellery review

From $480, altru.is


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.

$145-$195, ringly.com


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 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 Aries is up for pre-order now with shipping set for August 2016.

$195, ringly.com

Bellabeat LEAF

best smart jewellery

The Bellabeat LEAF features a bunch of lifestyle tracking options from a slick looking device. Stress levels are monitored by LEAF, by recording the wearer’s breathing patterns. When you put on the LEAF for the first time, you input how stressed you’re feeling into the app – and an algorithm keeps track of your vitals going forward.

The device can also help women track their menstrual cycles and advise them during periods of ovulation. Step and sleep monitoring is also part of the feature package.

From $119, bellabeat.com

Fitbit Alta x Public School

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. Due later in 2016.

£TBA, publicschool.com

Fossil Q Dreamer + Q Reveler

These two wearables are based on existing dumb Fossil ID and Plaque ID bracelets/bands for men and women. It’s a great example of tech that doesn’t look like tech, until, say, the LEDs start blinking. Both the Q Reveler (pictured) and the Q Dreamer handle fitness tracking and smartphone alerts via Fossil’s own app.

We got a whole host of new smart analogue watches and a new Q Motion fitness tracker at Baselworld 2016 but nothing new yet in this smart band category. Look out for new styles and materials later this year.

Tested: Read our Fossil Q Reveler review

$125, fossil.com | Amazon

Misfit Swarovski Shine

best connected jewellery

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 – like the Samsung Gear S strap we saw at IFA.

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.

Tested: Read our Misfit Swarovski Shine review

From $169, misfit.com

Tory Burch x Fitbit Flex

best smart jewellery tory burch fitbit

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.

Read more: The best fashion tech from big name labels

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 2016 so if you’ve picked up Fitbit’s latest fashion friendly tracker, these could be a nice upgrade.

From $50, fitbit.com

Opening Ceremony MICA

best smart jewellery opening ceremony mica

Yes the MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory) is a bit on the expensive side but with semi-precious obsidian and pearls, it’s no pricier than the equivalent dumb cuffs sold by Opening Ceremony.

It’s untethered too with a free two year AT&T contract thrown in. That means you can leave your phone at home for an evening out and still get text messages and alerts to the bracelet’s 1.6-inch OLED screen, handily hidden on the inside of the cuff. A collaboration with Intel that we hope gets repeated the world over, MICA is a wearable to coo over.

$495, openingceremony.com

Mira + Vivid Wellness

best smart jewellery mira

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 at CES it did extend the range with new Vivid Wellness bracelet and necklace accessories.

from $149, mymirafit.com


best smart jewellery ear-o-smart

The ear is a spot that has a lot of potential for wearables, particularly for women used to wearing earrings. Ear-o-Smart is a single earring which tracks activity, calories burned and heart rate and syncs this to iPhone or Android. The prototype uses a coin cell battery that will last eight hours and the team are also selling a DIY kit to allow tinkerers to add their own stones and metal cases on top of the tiny components.

Ear-o-Smart didn’t quite hit its Kickstarter target but the company says its still on course for launch and you can sign up for updates on the website.

$TBC, earosmart.com

Arc Pendant

best smart jewellery arc pendant

Arc Pendant is one of the best examples we’ve seen of smart jewellery for men. That’s right, you heard us. Designed to be worn underneath a shirt or t-shirt, the Arc is voice-activated and has haptics all around the necklace. That means it can be used to help cyclists navigate city streets, with nudges left and right, without the need to look at cycling computer or smartphone screens.

It’s water-resistant, should boast a month’s battery life and also tracks body position and posture. Plus if you don’t feel comfortable wearing a necklace, the main unit does pop out.

$TBC, arcwearables.com


best smart jewellery wristify

Shunning the notifications game for now is Wristify. This MIT project and Intel Make It Wearable 2014 finalist takes a day-to-day problem that women really have – finding their temperature fluctuates massively – and tries to solve it. The ‘thermoelectric’ bracelet can cool down or warm up your wrist area within seconds via heat pumps and uses algorithms to keep the bursts flowing in waves so you don’t adjust too quickly and lose the benefit.

There were plans to crowdfund the final hardware but Embr Labs has been quiet of late saying only that it’s working to build the bracelet as fast as possible. We’ll let you know if and when it makes this interesting tech makes it to the Kickstarter stage.

$TBC, embrlabs.com

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