Smart Jewelry has the potential to become one of the leading wearable technology sectors.
If you’re reading this, the chances are your life is influenced by modern technology, i.e, smartphones and other smart connected gizmos. The fact is that wearables and IoT devices are moving into that space to bring us more connectivity, more information and greater efficiency.
The most popular wearables in 2015 are wrist-worn activity trackers which give us a digital insight into our activities, sleep, food consumption, etc, with the goal of setting us on a path to a healthier lifestyle, AKA, The Quantified Self.
Some people perceive activity tracking wearables as being unkind on the eye, and I’m not going to argue with that. Traditional watch makers have been striving to produce beautiful timepieces for the last century, then along come activity trackers that don’t much more like a rubber band on your wrist, and they steal the show. The point I’m getting to is “Wearables need to look better!”
Smartwatches are equipped with activity tracking sensors, they are compatible with a wide selection of quantified self applications, and they don’t lack in the looks department! However, wearing a smartwatch is not for everyone.
Emerging smart Jewelry accessories can perform many of the functions of the leading activity trackers, i.e, heart rate monitoring, counting steps and calories burned. The obvious advantage of smart jewelry is, ” It looks great”, like jewelry is supposed to!
We have covered stories about many smart jewels, some didn’t quite make it into the production stage, others have received venture capital funding and shaken hands with some of the world’s leading jewelry companies. As to the ones that didn’t quite make it first time round, I feel that their timing was amiss in the sense that they were ahead of the times, and although smart jewels are starting to make perfect sense to investors and customers now, they didn’t back then.
We’ve written about smart rings, bracelets and pendants so it’s about time we did smart earrings.
Canadian startup, BioSensive Technologies have created Ear-O-Smart, which they are hailing as the world’s first fashion orientated smart earrings. BioSensive ran a Kickstarter campaign at the end of 2014 but the campaign only raised $12,015 CAD out of a $30,000 goal.
Scaling the earrings down in size to fit standard casings, and achieving a practical battery life in such small devices were difficult challenges, but they were met head on and now the company is on track to start taking pre-orders in October 2015.
To make sure the Ear-O-Smart connected earrings look their best when they hit the market, BioSensive Technologies have been exploring different design options with established jewelry designers.
The smart earrings bring the same kind of functions as wrist-worn activity trackers; heart rate, steps and calories, but according to BioSensive they deliver greater accuracy.
“Contact between the user’s skin and the device is the key to accuracy. The foremost reason for trackers giving inaccurate readings is bad contact, and the cause of bad contact is movement.”
Ear-O-Smart uses photoplethysmogram (PPG) technology to monitor heart rate through blood flow under the skin. Light is emitted through LED and is then reflected by blood under the skin and absorbed by photodiode. The changes in light absorption are measured and used to determine your BPM. Optical heart rate monitors used by activity trackers and smartwatches work in pretty much the same way.
Although the smart earrings use basically the same technology as wrist-worn wearables to monitor your pulse, they can provide more accuracy because they don’t move around as much. With HRMs, the slightest movement that you wouldn’t even notice will cause inaccurate readings.
To back up the claims of the earrings being more accurate than wrist bands; the earlobe has a high amount of blood flow and is used by physicians to monitor the heart rate and blood oxygen level of patients.
Along with looking great and logging your activities, Ear-O-Smart acts as a digital coach by recommending customized exercises through the companion app for iOS and Android devices. The digital coach analyzes your heart rate data and recommends that you increase or decrease training intensity to optimize your calorie burn.
The starting price for the smart earrings will be around $200 CAD, and increase from there depending upon the type of metal and semi-precious stones you prefer.
Public pre-orders are set to open in October 2015. If you want exclusive access to a pair of Ear-O-Smarts you can sign up now at earosmart.com