What Are Smart Rings? How Do They Work?

What are Smart Rings?

Smart wearable technology tracking has completely changed in recent years. The advent of mobile technology and contactless smart devices that can enhance our daily life has finally spread to devices as small as a smart ring.

Our product testing team has always wanted to evaluate the different sensors of smart rings available on the market. Not only because these enhance things like measuring your sleep cycles, offering you a contactless form of payment, and even tracking your daily activities and fitness goals, but a smart circular ring have improved so much that they are now attractive to wear.

Instead of relying on a complex smart device for your wearable solution, you get a streamlined contactless smart ring that looks good and is comfortable for daily use, monitoring sensors, and active fitness tracking.

Let us get into more detail about how contactless smart rings have revolutionized the global community by extending our technical capabilities into a place no one would have imagined a generation ago.

 

What is a Smart Ring?

Smart Rings

Smart rings are contactless, compact, wearable electronic devices packed with all sorts of new tracking technology so you can interact with the world around you. This could be anything from having sensors for when you walk into a room in your house that sets the temperature to a certain level or using NFC chips for a variety of mobile applications like enabling tracking and managing your daily fitness activities.

We already use many wearable smart devices, like smartwatches and fitness bands, including this type of NFC tracking technology. However, with a smart ring, you get a much more streamlined and attractive device that does not require constant management to ensure it is working properly. Instead, everything is typically uploaded or transferred over to a viewable tracking dashboard on a smartphone app or your home computer, so you can check out historical data related to payments, fitness, or NFC sensors activity.

The result is a visually engaging smart ring tracking system where you can see all the different elements of the smart rings being monitored in real time. This way, if you want to see how your sleep was a month ago when you were really stressed out at work, all you do is go onto the dashboard for the smart ring application and look at your tracking report.

Just like any other contactless smart technology out there on the market, smart rings are in high demand and come in a variety of fitness brands and NFC tracking features. We will go over some of the more common smart ring options in this article, but almost every day, new smart rings are hitting online retailers.

You should also know that contactless smart rings come in various ring size. We have all kinds of people on our product review team. From more petite women to gigantic men, we had to request specialized sizing in their smart rings, and that was easy to accommodate for most of these brands. So, you will find sizing options and material choices that will easily fit your lifestyle, sensor interaction, payment needs, and fitness tracking.

 

What Does a Smart Ring Do?

At its core, a smart ring does all sorts of environmental engagement activities using technology like Bluetooth and NFC sensors. The goal is to give you a set of sensors, methods of payments, or unique tracking technology to interact with different features of your daily life.

The more common functions of a smart ring include the following:

Sleep Monitoring

Everyone from the blue color plumber trying to manage hundreds of clients to the librarian hoping to get at least six hours a night wants to track their sleep behavior. A smart ring is an excellent solution because it is so compact that it fits onto your finger while you catch as many Zs as possible to measure sleep quality.

You will be able to go back and view the different sleep stages you have had because of the tracking system inside of the smart ring. This way, you can see your natural circadian rhythm and where you may want to make improvements so you can get more quality shut-eye.

 

Fitness Tracker

Probably the most popular form of contactless tracking on a smart ring is related to physical fitness activity. A smart ring provides excellent monitoring for health and fitness. This could be anything from going on a 20-minute walk every day to monitoring your breaststrokes in a community pool.

Many contactless smart ring devices come with waterproof seals or durable materials that can tell you how long you have traveled, how many steps you may have taken toward a fitness goal, and tracking how many calories you are burning while sitting at a desk or walking your dog.

Again, you will get an easy-to-view dashboard for tracking your different fitness activities via your contactless smart ring companion app. This way, you can customize a report on how what you did last week compared to this week and then make adjustments accordingly.

 

Health and Wellness Management

Besides being a health tracker, smart rings also allow you to monitor critical health attributes such as your vital signs. For example, the integrated technology inside a smart ring allows tracking heart rate variability, body temperature, blood oxygen levels, current blood pressure, glucose levels for diabetes, and many others.

Today’s healthcare providers and medical facilities have started introducing smart rings as a standard issue for patients. This allows the staff to actively monitor the current condition of patients via a smart ring app that connects to their mobile nursing computers or stations. In addition, they can use smart rings for tracking movements and other key health factors.

 

Contactless Payments

One of the beneficial outcomes of the global pandemic was more focus on contactless technology integration. With a smart ring, you do not have to worry about touching a keypad or handing physical money back and forth with your bartender.

Instead, you can hover your smart ring over a payment device, NFC sensor and pay with any banking or credit card information integrated into your smart ring. Then, the contactless smart ring interaction and sensors will automatically pay for whatever you purchase.

We actually tried this contactless smart ring payment system in several locations around our office. Our team used the provided contactless smart ring brands to test payments, from going to the movies, picking up a coffee, grabbing a new pair of jeans, to even paying for pet grooming services. This contactless smart ring technology ended up being an excellent way to lower the chances of any germ transfer via smart ring contactless payment systems.

 

Enhanced Security

Some smart reprint ring brands have entered the online security arena. This is because a smart ring can offer a form of two-factor authentication. This is when you log into a website, and it asks you to confirm your identity by either sending you a text message, using an authentication app, or answering some sort of security question.

With a smart ring, you can use biometric authentication related to everything from your fingerprint to your heart rate data to confirm your identity. This is still on the cutting edge of current technology, but it is exhilarating to watch. Our team loved seeing how beneficial smart ring 2FA could be for more control over our privacy settings and personal data.

 

Elevated Home Controls

For anyone who loves home technology and smart applications, a smart ring allows you to do everything from remote control of your TV to set up music to automatically play when you enter a room. The NFC capabilities of a smart ring allow for near-field communication with other various devices around your home.

We have a few coding gurus on our team that placed fun little toys around our office with NFC tags and integrations. This way, the technology inside the smart rings would activate the toys to either move around, say some kind of catchphrase, or even crash cymbals together. It was pretty interesting to see how advanced the smart ring technology is and how far away you can be to activate the device.

 

Transportation

If you live in a big city or an area with frequent public transportation, smart rings allow you to get a contactless payment method and confirmation of access. This means you can get on the bus with your hand over a sensor, and the NFC technology inside your smart ring would tell the bus driver you have paid.

This could drastically revolutionize the transit system in many major cities, allowing more people to get to where they need to without hassle or contact, increasing public disease transmission. Not to mention it is just highly convenient to have a smart ring in this situation instead of carrying around a bulky purse or thick wallet.

 

How Does a Smart Ring Work?

There are entire books about the technology involved in a smart ring that would make this review a bit too cumbersome to handle

To put it simply, the ring has a solid inner and outer layer with an NFC chip, sensors, Bluetooth, chip, battery, and usually some microcontroller or light indicator between the two layers. This way, you can charge and use your smart ring anywhere you want to go with as little maintenance requirements on your part.

Some more common technologies include:

Smart Ring NFC

Smart ring NFC, or near-field communication, is something that basically uses a wireless connection to communicate with any surrounding environmental devices. So, the closer you get to some form of NFC technology, the more likely it is to interact with your smart ring. This could be anything from your smartphone to paying for fries at McDonald’s.

 

Smart Ring Sensors

These are the internal devices on your smart ring that are used for tracking all sorts of activities and health functions. Most of the time, this includes some sort of gyroscope, pulse monitor, sugar sensor, blood oxygen level sensor, and plenty more.

 

Smart Ring Bluetooth

Pretty self-explanatory about this smart ring feature. It allows you to communicate with any Bluetooth-enabled device, from a speaker to your tablet.

Beyond those smart ring features, you are likely to see some form of the battery system that you can typically charge smart rings with using a stand provided by the brand. And there may be one or two additional tiny functions that are brand specific as well.

 

Best Smart Rings

There are a wide variety of smart rings on the market as of right now. While we could not get our hands on every single one of them to give you an excellent broad description of smart rings across the industry, we were able to get the three most popular. These include the Oura, Motiv, and Token smart rings.

 

Oura Smart Ring

Oura Ring

The Oura smart ring comes with a seven-day battery life that only requires about 20 to 80 minutes of charging time. It has a 1 to 2-year warranty, depending on where you live, and uses state-of-the-art sleep analysis to track for tracking your health and wellness.

The Oura Ring Gen is known more as a performance ring in the niche smart ring market. It does not have the two-factor authentication or other extreme technology future features that many people want, but it is beautiful and includes the tracking details for your activity, sleep, and different sorts of daily functions you would like to manage.

Pros:

  • Impressive data collection.
  • Customizable presentation of collected data.
  • Roughly six weeks of data storage.
  • Perfect for deep sleep traffic tracking.
  • You get a long-use ability range on a single charge.

Cons:

  • No two-factor authentication features.

 

Motiv Smart Ring

Motiv-Ring

The Motiv ring was the favorite of many of our product testing team primarily because of the two-factor identification. Many of us are security conscious and work with a lot of mobile devices that require them to have advanced security features so no one tries to steal our information.

You get roughly a 72-hour window of battery life from a single 90-minute charge with Motive smart rings. The Motive smart ring has about three days’ worth of onboard storage and a beautiful design that offers a one-year warranty.

But the best feature is hands-down the two-factor authentication that allows you to ensure protection. This helps prevent hackers from getting your payments, e-commerce, business, email, passwords, and anything else that requires some secondary form of verification or sensitive information.

Pros:

  • Superior security features.
  • Premium design quality.
  • Easy to understand data management.

Cons:

  • Shorter battery life.
  • Two-factor authentication only works on current iOS models.

 

Token Smart Ring

token-smart-ring

The significant advantage of the Token ring is the NFC capabilities for everything from contactless payments to verifying your identity when you are trying to get a Subway ride. Many security companies or enterprise-level businesses use this smart ring brand to ensure proper access controls for their buildings.

You can also find Token smart rings used as passwordless login devices for healthcare and private sector jobs. The Token smart ring mobile accompanying app is highly user-friendly. It works on both the Google play store and Apple iOS models.

The only downside to the Token smart ring is that it can be a little more expensive than others depending on the size you choose from and any kind of material features.

Pros:

  • Extreme NFC contactless features.
  • Advanced payment and security benefits.
  • Wide variety of sizing options.

Cons:

  • It can be a bit more expensive.

 

Are Smart Rings Worth It?

This is a little hard to answer because it really depends on you, the individual user, if you get a lot of value out of your smart ring device. The pricing ranges anywhere from as little as $200 to upwards of $400, depending on your type of materials or sizes.

At the end of the day, our best advice is to go with the smart ring that fits the specific need of your life on a daily basis to ensure you get the most value for your money.

For example, if you are someone who works in healthcare that requires two-factor authentication, you might want to go with the Motive smart ring.

Or, if you are an athlete, try to track everything from your caloric intake to how many hours of sleep you are getting at night, you probably want to go with the Oura Gen smart ring.

And if you are someone who works in a high-security building, then the Token smart ring might be best for you.

The good news is that every smart ring brand has various options to choose from that make them highly attractive without being too over-the-top to wear.

For our team, the tracking capabilities were, hands-down, the best benefit. We loved the advanced security and NFC capabilities of the smart rings that we tried, but for us, the everyday ability to integrate health tracking was a plus and more than worth the expense.

 

Wrapping it Up

Smart ring wearable technology is nothing that is going to go away anytime soon. All kinds of brands are getting in on smart ring integration because of the wide variety of benefits they offer the everyday user. It’s a useful tool that is not as cumbersome as the Apple Watch or other smart bands on the market. While some apps such as Apple Health and Google Fit offer monitoring services, many of these Smart Rings, provide more beyond the basic health metrics.

While we were able to try three of the most popular smart rings on the market, there are plenty of others out there, and most likely will be new brands popping up every few months. If you take your time to research the type of smart ring that will work best for your lifestyle, you can get a high return on your investment. This will allow you to engage and interact with your environment all through a small wearable smartphone device on your finger.

When it comes to your overall health and convenience, we think Smart Rings are an excellent way to go to help accomplish your goals. There’s a good chance people you know have made the switch. If so, talk to them and get their opinion. Keep in mind, everyone has different goals and the selection you make should catered to your goals.

 

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