Is the person on your gift list not very tech oriented but always missing their phone ringing or the important text (or Snapchat) that you send them? Maybe they need something that discreetly hides just enough technology to keep them better connected. Do you know someone who isn’t afraid of tech but is looking for something that is functionally very targeted. Perhaps they need a device that serves a very focused purpose.
NOTIFICATION BRACELET BY REBECCA MINKOFF
Introduced at NYFW this fall, Rebecca Minkoff’s lazily named Notification Bracelet gently vibrates when you receive a notification on your phone. Nothing about the device would cause anyone this think it was more than a bracelet. There are no lights flashing or techie screens drawing attention. Expect a 30 day battery life from the bracelet, which features chunky gold links and black enamel studs. There is a companion app allows you to choose contacts that cause the bracelet to alert you. It connects to your Android or iOS phone via Bluetooth 4.0.
The Notification Bracelet by Rebecca Minkoff sells for $120 from Case-Mate.
Ringly is about as discrete as a connected device can get. The focal point of the ring is your choice from 5 almond sized precious and semi-precious stones available. The stones are set in an 18K matte gold setting. Hiding underneath the setting is a connected device. The ring vibrates when you receive a notification and a very small LED on the side lights up. With 4 vibration patterns and 5 LED colors, you can customize your notifications so you know exactly what what the notification is without looking at your phone. Because of its diminutive size, Ringly only manages 2+ days of battery life before it needs to be recharged. The creators of the device have made charging it an elegant experience with the ring box serving double duty as a charger. Simply return Ringly to its box and it will charge. It is a ring, so make sure you know the ring size of the person you are gifting it to. Ringly is available is sizes 6, 7, and 8. The device connects via Bluetooth 4.0 and is compatible with Android and iOS devices.
Ringly sells for either $195 or $260, depending on the stone you choose, and is available through the company’s website.
Designed by Opening Ceremony and Intel, MICA is significantly more techie than the other wearables in this guide, but it also has a lot of style. The bangle is hefty, but supposedly by design. Opening Ceremony wants it to feel like a heavy piece of jewelry. It is around the weight of an iPhone 5S and about 1/3 inch thick. The front of MICA is covered with snake skin and stones, such as obsidian and tiger’s eye. The back is equally as eye catching, featuring a curved touchscreen. Sporting 3G cellular connectivity, the bangle is designed to allow you leave you phone at home when you go out at night, just remember that means having a dedicated cell phone plan for the device.
OMsignal Biometric Shirt
Covered with integrated sensors, OMsignal’s Biometric Shirt monitors your body as you do your favorite physical activity. The compression shirt utilizes sensors woven into the fabric of the shirt to track your heart rate, breathing, activity, calories, and steps. That information is transferred from a small box on the garment via Bluetooth 4.0 to your phone. The material of the compression shirt has a feel similar to thin neoprene and is designed to closely hug your body. Early reviews peg OMsignal’s sensors as being fairly accurate and should provide great metrics as you try to to get or stay in shape. Ralph Lauren believes in the company’s technology so much that they are launching a new line of smart clothing, powered by OMsignal. One word of warning, since it is a compression shirt, if you are not comfortable with your physic, you might to wear a larger shirt over the garment.
The OMsignal Biometric Shirt lists for $249 and is available directly from the company.
We all know how bad UV exposure can be for our skin and health, but how much exposure are we really getting in a given day? Netatmo’s June seeks to answer that question while also alerting you when you need to put on a hat, apply sunscreen, or seek shade. The small sensor can be worn on your wrist or clipped to your clothing. The design of the device is stunning, but clearly more feminine than masculine. It could easily be mistaken for jewelry, especially since June has no buttons or lights on it. The sensor communicates with your phone via Bluetooth 4.0 and is only compatible with iOS devices. One important note, if you are headed to the beach, June is not water proof.
June is available for $99 from Amazon or directly from Netatmo.