Updated for 2018
Smart Rings offer a new form factor for the smart wearable sector. Whilst some find Smart Watches useful, sometimes a watch doesn’t suit the occasion or the outfit you’re wearing. Others want a simpler solution to some basic functions, such as safety. Let’s look at the best safety smart rings available and coming soon.
Enter Safety Smart Rings
This is one consumer need where the simplicity of a smart ring can help. In short, a safety smart ring can give the wearer the peace of mind that they have a simple, effective and accessible way of raising an alarm. With a quick press of a concealed button on the ring, you could alert family, friends or emergency services if you’re in trouble.
Let’s look at the best safety smart rings available now and those in the pipeline.
Safety Smart Rings available now
The NIMB Ring is available right now (click here). The NIMB Ring has a simple concealed button that when held for 3 seconds, can alert your pre-defined “safety circles”. Configuring the circles and other alert settings is done via the NIMB mobile app.
Activation works in the following way:
- You press the concealed button for 3 seconds.
- Your “safety circles” are notified.
- Your location is tracked on the NIMB app until your community or “safety circle” can reach you.
NIMB have identified a huge range of communities that will benefit from their offering. It’s hard to deny that there is massive scope for real value in these communities feeling safer.
- Women and men in general
- Parents and their children
- Elderly or impaired people and their families and carers
- Work colleagues
- Interest groups eg. clubs and associations
The thing we like about the NIMB ring is that they highlight not only the serious personal safety scenarios that can occur, but the non-critical scenarios as well. For example, this is a way that a child could reach their parent quickly and discretely, not necessarily in an emergency.
The NFC Ring is a Smart Ring with virtually limitless applications, thanks to it’s basic functionality that puts the power in the imagination of the wearer. There are a large number of rings available here.
The NFC Ring is not a “safety” ring in the same way that the NIMB or Siren rings are. Where those rings provide a specific, tailor made safety function, the NFC Ring offers the flexibility to trigger an alarm. Let’s explore this a little more to help you understand the difference in these offerings.
The NFC Ring works by triggering wearer-defined events when the ring comes in contact with an NFC receiver. Many mobile phones have an NFC receiver built in, and there are NFC tags/stickers that can be purchased very cheaply and used to trigger actions. Some really common examples include setting up the ring to unlock your phone when it comes in contact with the phone. This video below shows how easy it is to setup up actions using the NFC Ring.
If this still isn’t making sense, let’s break it down into steps:
- You buy an NFC Ring and install the NFC Ring app or another NFC task app onto your NFC compatible mobile phone. (here’s a list of NFC capable phones)
- Configure an event in the app to alert someone (eg via SMS), when the NFC Ring touches your mobile phone.
Once those initial steps are done, then to trigger the alert, just touch the NFC Ring on your phone, and voila, you have a safety smart ring.
Safety Smart Rings coming soon
The Xenxo S-Ring will have an SOS feature where you can alert a predefined list of people simply by long pressing the button on the ring. Check out our post on the Xenxo S-Ring to learn more. The S-Ring has a huge number of features (12 in total), including the ability to make a call using the ring. For this reason, the S-Ring doesn’t really fit into the category of a safety ring, as it offers far more than that.
So if you’re looking for ring that is purely aimed at safety, this is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you like the idea of coupling a safety oriented ring with other convenient features such as payment, making calls and health tracking, then check out the S-Ring from Xenxo.
This aptly named smart ring issues an “unbearably loud” siren when activated. Unlike other offerings like NIMB, which have more discrete applications, Siren is definitely for emergencies only. Currently available for pre-order, the Siren Ring is activated by twisting the top of the ring. That triggers an alarm after 1.5 seconds. The alarm can be heard from 50 feet away, and exceeds 110 decibels up close.
The alarm will sound for a configured amount of time, but there is an override to shut the alert tone off if needed. The ring comes with a neat little USB charger and they recommend charging every few weeks. There is a battery test that can verify there is enough power in the ring, which is useful for a quick check before heading out.
As far as aesthetics goes, the Siren ring has a bold design and is available in a large range of colours.
There isn’t a clearly identified release date for the Siren Ring as yet, but we’ll be keeping an eye on things for you and will update this post as news emerges of a product launch.
We hope that our review of the best safety smart rings available has been enlightening for you. We’ll be updating this post as more rings become available in this space, so check back if this is an area you’re interested in.
Loop Smart Ring
We recently announced the new Kickstarter Campaign for Loop, so you may with to read our original post. The Loop Smart Ring is similar to the Nimb Ring, in that with a press of a button, it notifies a group of contacts that you can configure.
The Loop ring is not rechargeable, but the battery lasts a year. It is made from hypoallergenic material and utilises the same Bluetooth LE technology that is used in so many Smart Rings.
Using the Loop Smart Ring looks simple enough, just press the button and your pre-configured contacts will receive an SMS with a link. The link will open a map showing your location. If the ring was pressed by accident, you can cancel the alarm on the app. Our only thought is that if you don’t realise you’ve pressed the alarm, your contacts may be calling the authorities. We think some haptic feedback or vibration in the ring would be a good way to give feedback to the wearer that the button had been pressed.
The Loop Smart Ring is set to be in production after June and shipping later this year.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at the best safety smart rings available. It’s definitely an important area where Smart Rings can make a real difference. We’ll be watching this space carefully and bringing you updates as new products and technology emerges.