Any number of wearables have sprung forth in the past eight years since the original Fitbit Tracker was introduced. That first version clipped to a pocket. It wasn’t until 2013 that the first wristband model — the Fitbit Flex — was introduced. Since the Flex, every manner of style, color, size, and shape wearable fitness and health tech device has seemingly been tried. There have been pins, belts, garments, items you wear on your ankle or wrist, headbands and straps, and even talk of implants. But no rings, at least not for monitoring biometric indicators.
Our sister website, Wearable Tech Insider has written about three rings. One to block Netflix infidelity, one that acts as a tap and swipe interface for portable devices, and another for wireless payments. But no biometric rings. Well, now there is one: the BioRing. Or, at least there will be soon when the BioRing’s Indiegogo campaign ends.
The BioRing packs a lot of functionality into a small device. Made of ceramic zirconium (unless you opt for a promised sterling silver special edition), the BioRing has a 3-axis accelerometer to measure body movement, an LED optical heart rate monitor, and a bio-impedance sensor that can pick up frequencies from 25 to 100kHz. The ring will be available in black or white (or silver) in U.S. ring sizes 6-13. It weighs 14-17 grams depending on size (less than an ounce, in either case). It has onboard Bluetooth that connects with iOS 8 and Android 4.4 or later apps, and a curved lithium polymer battery good for up to 7 days operation between charges.
So what does the company promise with all that tech on your finger? Quite a bit, actually. It reportedly will report on total calories, carb, fat, and protein intake and burn rates. With the BioRing’s bio-impedence sensor and algorithms related to cellular water content, the company claims that it will be able to track blood glucose levels and your glucose curve (how long it takes to recover).
In some respects the BioRing is a fitness and health crossover wearable. Not only can it measure, report, and track distance, steps, activity intensity, and calorie intake, it also monitors heart rate, sleep level and status, stress and hydration levels, and, of course, blood glucose level. If this slightly bulky but largely unobtrusive ring can perform all those functions, the Swedish startup responsible for its design and development could send wide ripples when it drops on the market.