…the problem of “jewelry that doesn’t make noise when something in your digital life” has just been disrupted by the perfectly-named Ringly, a Brooklyn company founded by eBay alum Christina Mercando.
Wearable tech is a natural extension of the subjects she studied at Carnegie Mellon, though, she said, Fine Art and Human Computer Interaction.
The biggest challenge for Ringly has been miniaturization, with a focus on the power source, said Mercando.
Contrary to early reports, it is not a “VC-backed company from Bogota that lets customers Help Squirrels."
Update: This is not to say that Ringly is a bad idea (though the Google automcomplete for “Ringl” really, really wants you to read about circus accidents). To the contrary, the basic concept of a device that operates with a whitelist, allowing only critical people or updates to reach you while ignoring everything else, is a great idea. And I’m a huge fan of reducing distraction via white lists (among other things).
The jewelry / wearable project Memi aims to do the same thing as Ringly, and no doubt there’s plenty of room for other players: if you don’t like bracelets or can’t wear rings, what about a notification earring, or lapel pin?
It’s also striking to me that both of these projects are aimed at women. Of course, when you think “jewelry” you mainly think of women’s accessories, but perhaps there’s a more basic reason for marketing these kinds of products to women. The new U.Va. study that revealed that two-thirds of men would rather give themselves electric shocks than sit quietly and do nothing suggests that dudes would prefer smart watches that push every notification possible to them, and should come with an option to administer electric shocks if they have no new mail.