Recently, Amazon unveiled a series of new Echo products including something called the Echo Loop. The Loop is a smart ring, designed to be worn on your hand like any other ring — a wedding band is a good example. What sets the Loop apart from other jewelry, however, is that it includes various “smart” features such as support for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.
Amazon’s Echo Loop is designed to sync up with the rest of its Echo product line, namely with the help of Alexa. If you’re not heavily invested in their smart home ecosystem then the practicality of the Echo Loop may be lost on you.
What Is a Smart Ring?
The Echo Loop is a smart ring with Amazon’s Alexa voice-assistant built-in.
A smart ring is just like a regular ring, but it’s much more than a piece of jewelry you wear. They generally include various “smart” features similar to a smart wearable, namely the ability to sync up with mobile devices and smartphones via Bluetooth or wireless connectivity.
The Echo Loop is a new and popular type of smart ring, but it’s important to note that Amazon’s ring is not the only device on the market. In fact, there are many additional smart rings out there. To understand what they offer and what they can do, you’ll need to take a closer look at each ring.
1. Motiv Ring
The Motiv smart ring is essentially a fitness or activity tracker.
The Echo Loop isn’t the only smart ring with Alexa support, the Motiv ring recently received an update that allows you to check Alexa stats remotely.
Motiv is a fitness tracker in ring form, able to monitor activity such as the total amount of steps you’ve taken, distance traveled, active time and even heart-rate. It’s waterproof up to 50m so you can take it swimming, in the shower or even wash some dishes without removing it. Battery life is great, as Motiv lasts for up to five days on a single charge.
It even doubles as an authentication device, allowing you to verify your identity to log-in to services like Facebook, Amazon, Google and more. It’s a super convenient way to gain access to your most-used platforms.
Motiv is relatively thin — at just 8mm wide — and comes in three variations all made of titanium: rose gold, slate grey and silver.
2. Oura Ring
The Oura Ring is a sleep tracker.
All the workaholics out there know, you need to get some good rest at the end of the day. Without that downtime, you cannot keep the same pace day-in and day-out, let alone with such exceptional performance. But how do you make sure you’re getting quality sleep? How do you measure it?
That’s where the Oura ring comes into play. It’s a sleep-tracker crammed into a convenient and sleek ringlet size. An infrared optical pulse measurement sensor can monitor heart-rate, and body temperature sensors can measure various stats related to body conditions. Also, an accelerometer and gyroscope help to measure motion, detecting how active you are during sleep. Altogether, the system indicates three important stats: readiness, sleep and activity. The information is analyzed and then presented to you in ways that will help improve your sleep.
The Blinq smart ring offers a slew of features, and is more fashionable than its competitors.
Blinq is a stylish smart ring, available in sterling silver or 12-karat gold. There are also 12 different style variations, offering plenty of customization if you wish to match an outfit or getup.
The ring syncs up with Android and iOS devices to provide many different features. Blinq provides notification and contact alerts, like letting you know an Uber has arrived. It can also track activity such as distance traveled, calories burned and more. It even has an S.O.S. alert system that you can activate when you’re in danger. The emergency system will notify others when you need help.
Blinq is water-resistant and the battery should last for up to 48 hours on a single charge.
4. McLear Smart Ring
The McLear smart ring offers convenient, contactless payments.
One of the most convenient features added to modern smartphones is mobile pay. The technology is now being introduced as contactless payments in new forms — via cards, wearables and more. The seamless experience of checking out with a simple tap or swipe cannot be overstated.
Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a ring you could use to pay for goods and services? That’s exactly what the McLear smart ring is for. Through NFC — and a connection to iOS or Android smartphones — you can make contactless payments while wearing the ring, simply by placing your closed fist near the till or reader system.
A companion app helps you keep track of what you’re spending, including stats on average expenditures and even offers budgeting support.
5. NFC Opn
Made by the same people as the McLear ring, NFC Opn is meant to be an authentication tool.
NFC Opn is from the same people who made the McLear smart ring (above). It’s designed to be used for authentication to unlock various systems. For example, the NFC functionality allows you to unlock doors, exchange contact information, transfer data to various devices, and more.
Embedded in the ring are two NFC tag inlays, one of which is for sharing public information and the other more private details. The private tag, for instance, might include data to unlock a smart lock for your home or payment details for making contactless payments. The public portion, on the other hand, might allow you to exchange an email address or phone number quickly with a new person you meet.
The ring is waterproof up to 50m so you can keep it on while bathing or washing dishes. Also, there are two color variations, ceramic glossy black or white.
6. ORII Smart Ring
Like Echo Loop, the ORII ring has voice-assistant support and can place calls, read and send text messages.
ORII is similar to Amazon’s Echo Loop in that it allows you to take calls and read text messages without taking out your smartphone. You can both hear (read) and send text messages through the ring thanks to a pair of embedded microphones.
To send audio to your inner ear, the ORII employs a rather unique method. While wearing the ring, you simply place your finger to the edge of your ear. It sends a clear and crisp audio signal to you and you alone, while also blocking out background noise with the natural abilities of your finger.
ORII is available in matte black, sandblasted silver, metallic dark grey and armor red. It’s also IPX7 water-resistant and splash-proof meaning you can wash your hands or stay safe in the rain. The team doesn’t recommend taking the ring in the shower or for a dip in the pool, though.
There you have it! Those are some of the best smart rings you can find if you’re not into the Amazon Echo Loop. While they are all meant to be worn on your finger, many of them have unique functionality such as sleep tracking, S.O.S. support, and more.