The MOTA SmartRing has reached the $100,000 funding goal on Indiegogo, meaning that the finished product should be ready by next spring. Around thirteen hundred people have supported the project, of which around a hundred will be getting the t-shirts. A thousand people were prepared to pay $60 for the ring itself, which is a Bluetooth-enabled smart ring, as you might expect from the name. It has a touchscreen and a vibration feature, which gives it similar features to the more basic smartwatches available in the markets. The idea behind the SmartRing is that MOTA believes in order to stop people checking their ‘phone during conversations, we need to make notifications more subtle. Even more subtle than on a smartwatch, so the MOTA SmartRing has been designed. The SmartRing is worn such that the small, curved OLED touchscreen is pointing towards the palm and with a little practice, users are able to easily check their notifications and swipe them away. MOTA are designing the SmartRing with a thirty six hour battery life and it’s water resistant with wireless charging. Check out the YouTube video clip below.
Let me put the number of people into context. Thirteen hundred people have supported the SmartRing compared with seventy thousand people supporting the Pebble’s kickstarter campaign. It’s great that the SmartRing has reached the funding goal, which means the units should arrive but I do use the word “should” here on purpose. The Indiegogo campaign is still running so if a lot of people support the project it’ll reach the “guaranteed” stage. Perhaps the reason why relatively few people have supported the project is because the utility of a SmartRing is lost on people. After all, it’s too small to be functional, right? We have smartwatches that can do more, right?
That will come down to personal preference. What we look for in our smartwatches is different from one person to the next. Some of us want to feel like Dick Tracy and handle calls, while others want to figure out where they are and will want voice directions. And others want a timepiece that can occasionally provide additional notifications for select applications. It’s these people that the MOTA SmartRing is aiming for and I think it makes a good case for itself, especially if your chums cough and choke if your afternoon tea is interrupted by a smartphone beep, or drop their eye piece in horror if you were to steal a glance at the screen. In such cases, one might expect a clip around the back of the head. A quick glance at the palm of my hand is more subtle.