With this (smart) ring, I thee wed

Here comes the bride – she’s wearing a classic veil, a timeless off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen gown and… smart technology? Could it be that today’s bride is set for a technological makeover?

A Smart Wedding Ring – For Signalling Commitment for Eternity and… Paying for Dinner?

Launching at CES 2017 – the world’s greatest tech show, was Tappy – proprietary technology that can be used by designers of timepieces and jewellery. Showcased in the form of a wedding ring, Tappy was demoed as the ultimate wireless payment – made simply by placing the ring finger close to the terminal.

So, will consumers be putting a ring on it?

Here’s the thing – no one can deny the heritage of the Tappy brand name – for this Hong Kong brand is one that has been right there, as contactless payment has developed. Today, their thumbs are firmly in many digital pies – from providing wearable technology in timepiece and jewellery brands, to data analytics services, to developing a Tappy Wallet App.

The trouble with Tappy, at least for now, is that it can’t be used within jewellery crafted from metal (the metal would interfere with the wireless payment technology). Tappy also has a price point of $100 – so we can’t see it budging out the baguette diamond ring just yet.

A clever marketing move, rather than a lifelong commitment? Perhaps.

But Then Again, Smart Rings Aren’t All About the Money

Positioning themselves alongside Tappy, even if it’s not aiming for the wedding aisle or wireless payments market, is the Motiv Ring – an app-linked sleep and activity tracker that is the self-proclaimed “Fitbit for fingers”. Unlike Tappy, the Motiv Ring launched to rave reviews.

PC Mag lauded it as…

“stand(ing) out from the pack with continuous heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, three days of battery life, and a waterproof build. Plus its elegantly discreet design is comfortable enough for all-day wear”.

While the Financial Times went with it being…

“all too rare that I come across something that seems to be a real engineering achievement. Motiv, a new fitness tracker, is just that: a real feat of miniaturisation”.

So, What’s The Next Step for Fitness Ring Wearables?

Sleep and activity is only half the story when it comes to health and fitness – after all, our health relies just as much, if not more so, on what’s being put into the body, as it does on exercise. So what’s happening in this tech realm? Well, over the pond in the US, the Amazon Dash Wand is allowing for the scanning of low stock items in the home, to be ordered on Amazon Fresh, while the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator features all sorts of apps, and has a camera in the fridge (for peeking at your dinner from your smartphone). Other smart kitchen tech includes remote controlled slow cookers, smart bins that order what you’ve just chucked out, and even a $1500 smart decanter, which promises to cut years from the time needed to mature a wine.

Yet despite all of this, we’re still forced to trek through FitBit food plans (manual entry? Urgh!). The appetite is more than there for an affordable wearable-to-kitchen tech solution. Given the obesity epidemic, society is hungry for digital help in the cupboards and on the sports field – which would be great news for life beyond the wedding diet, if we’re to combat that ‘happily married’ expanding waistline.

Smart rings in store