Do you remember Ringly? The idea behind it was that people would use a vibrating ring to alert you about incoming calls, emails or text messages. If you can imagine that same concept, albeit in a smaller and less gendered package, then you have the starting point for the MOTA Smart Ring. Silicon Valley design outfit MOTA believes that in order to stop people checking their phone during conversations, notifications need to be buried somewhere even less obtrusive (and visible) than on a smart watch, and hey, it’s pretty easy to look at your hands, right?
A “smart ring” manufactured by a US-Chinese company, Mota, will flash notifications and scroll text across an attractive metal ring, in the latest incarnation of wearable technology. “The secret to good wearable technology is to make it super, super simple,” Mota’s co-founder Kevin Faro explained to the Guardian on the show floor of the bustling IFA in Berlin. “The idea of the smart ring is to deliver important notifications discreetly to the finger – if you’re in an important meeting but your wife is about to give birth, you want to know immediately but you also don’t want to annoy the boss,” explained Faro. The ring, a work in progress, will vibrate before displaying icons and small snippets of text on a display on one side of the ring. It connects to Android and iPhones via Bluetooth, with a function that only allows text, call and email notifications from those most important to you. “We’re starting with basic notifications but the software is adaptable and we can easily add notifications for other apps like Uber or Twitter,” said Faro.