In a market admittedly flooded with remarkably ugly wearable tech, it was only a matter of time before devices were disguised as jewelry. The most successful of these “fashionable” devices are the ones that are not a mere coverup, but statement pieces that one would want to wear with or without the embedded technology. Here are our top five contenders for wearable tech attempting to marry aesthetics with innovation. Whether or not they’re worth the price tags — or even worth wearing — will be up to the eye of the beholder.
What’s cool about Nenatmo’s June UV bracelet is that it does one thing and one thing only: tracking UV exposure. The design is sleek and inconspicuous, also versatile in that it could be clipped onto a hair tie or lapel. However, if you are the type of person who wears sunscreen daily, you may not benefit much from a $129 device whose purpose lies in telling you when to apply it.
The Misfit Flash is probably the most affordable ($49.99) and simultaneously simple device on this list. The gadget doubles as a fitness and sleep monitor, can clasp onto clothing, and is convenient in its water resistance and charge-free software (a single charge lasts up to six months!). The Flash also comes in seven non-cheesy but super-vibrant colors and is compatible with a large variety of smartphones. For a more blinged-out version of this tracker, check out the Swarovski Shine — although keep in mind that with great glitz comes a great price.
Probably one of the more useful tech rings on the market, Ringly is actually pretty good looking (albeit slightly clunky). Its functionality is undeniable; choose what notifications you want to receive from whichever apps, and the ring vibrates and lights up in assigned, corresponding colors. Because it is somewhat inconspicuous, it seems like a great little gadget for the businesses woman on the go. $195 isn’t too steep a price for 18k gold and semi-precious stones if you live the type of life that prevents you from constantly pulling out your phone throughout the day.
Tory Burch for Fitbit
In a world overflowing with notoriously ugly wearable tech, we appreciate Tory Burch’s attempt at an aesthetically pleasing device that might actually blend into a woman’s wardrobe rather than stand out. However, her designs are anything but understated. Once on-arm, the bracelet is loud and heavy. The fact that it is costume and not gold means that it would wear quickly, as well. Unless you are a Tory fanatic, you are probably better off saving the $195 for a more affordable fitness tracker.
Opening Ceremony & Intel
The result of a partnership between Intel and Opening Ceremony, the MICA is more a high-fashion piece of jewelry than any sort of useful technological device. With a price tag of $495 and a design consisting of snakeskin, gold plated metal, and semi-precious stones, the cuff lacks in functionality what it gains in bulkiness and expensive material. It has its own phone number, which is a pain. It doesn’t allow you to respond to incoming messages except from a preset list, an aggravating feature at best; the functions MICA does have are more irritating than they are useful.