A multipurpose wearable designed to track fitness, wellness, and vital signs that also has communications and entertainment functions sounds wonderful. If the rich feature set comes in a bulky end product with an awkward user interface, however, the buzz fades to silence in short order. Smartwatches do an outstanding job of performing all of the above functions and much more. The latest Apple Watch even improves on its predecessors’ basic watch function by displaying the time continuously. But what about smart rings as powerful wearables? We’ve written about the Oura Ring sleep and activity tracker. North’s Focals smart glasses employ a smart ring called the Loop as a joystick to navigate and control the Focals app so you don’t have to tap, yank, or twist a dial on your glasses to adjust functions.

Hardware Studio, a Paris, France-based tech development initiative by Kickstarter, Avnet, and Dragon Innovation is currently crowd-funding the Circular Smart Ring on Kickstarter. The Circular ring pairs via Bluetooth with iOS or Android smartphones and transmits data to a multi-layered app called Kira. The Ring comes with three different scratch-resistant and water-resistant shells in silver, black, and rose gold. The battery-powered ring runs for up to two days per charge and includes a dock that fully charges the battery in 60 minutes.

Onboard technology includes a 3-axis accelerometer and a red and infrared optical pulse sensor. There are no switches or controls on the ring which begins working when someone puts it on. If you sleep wearing the ring it functions without Bluetooth data transfer to your smartphone but synchronizes the app when you arise. If the paired phone is turned off or not available, the ring can store up to seven days of data.

The Circular app uses machine learning to analyze the data from the ring and to better understand your behavior and habits, according to the Kickstarter campaign. The Kira interface also makes personalized wellness recommendations. The smart ring tracks long lists of data including heart rate information, blood oxygen levels, sleep data, activity including steps, intensity, and training zones, calories burned, and more. The Circular smart ring vibrates to alert you of texts, calls, or social notifications. You can use the ring to silence your phone and start or skip music tracks on your smartphone. You can also use the ring to wake you up with gentle vibrations when you are in a light sleep stage.

Crowd-funding campaigns always entail risk, but the Circular’s bona fides look promising, especially considering the reputations and resources of the backers. The project development timeline indicates the wearable completed alpha and beta prototyping with pilot tests of each. At the time this is written, the Kickstarter campaign has already raised more than $163,000 in pledges, far surpassing the original $22,068 goal. So far there are 768 backers with 28 days to go in the campaign. The money raised in the campaign is earmarked for product optimization and gearing up for production. The timeline and the pledge perks estimate first deliveries in August 2020. The projected retail price for the Circular Smart Ring is $289 plus $10 for shipping which compares favorably with some smart watches that have more features.