Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Ringly's rings look like traditional cocktail rings with cushion cut gemstones at first glance, but there's a secret within. No, not poison for an unfaithful paramour, but technology that connects with your smartphone. For each call, text, e-mail, and even Tinder alert, the ring emits different vibration patterns and subtle light colors based on your customizations.
Co-founder Christina Mercando created the Ringly smart ring based on her own needs. She tells us she was constantly missing important calls because her phone was in her handbag. After meeting and partnering with Logan Munro they raised a $1 million seed round last August and are now releasing the product after 9 months of developing the software and designs.
Ringly is based in New York but half of the team is in San Francisco, Mercando tells us. "The SF market is comprised of early adopters," Mercando explains. "That's why it's important for Ringly to have a foothold here." The CTO and software developers are based here in SF while the fashion-focused, jewelry design arm of the startup is in NYC. Investors are also split between the two cities.
The apps supported at launch are Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Vine, LinkedIn, Poshmark, Tinder, and Uber. The rings are made with 18K gold plating and four semi-precious stone options of black onyx, rainbow moonstone, pink sapphire, and emerald. This first iteration is focused on combining tech with fashion in a chic and simple package. But future capabilities will include an alert function for when you're moving too far away from your phone—which is especially handy if you're about to leave it behind at a restaurant or at home.
Ringly's pre-sale campaign launched this morning. Three sizes are available—6, 7, and 8—and the first 1,000 rings sold on the site will include a real diamond in the side of the ring (where the notification light shines through). For a limited time, the rings are priced at an "early bird" pricing at $145 (regularly $195). Plus, for each referral who purchases a ring, you'll receive 10% off (10 friends, and your ring is free). If all goes as planned and the launch raises the goal amount of $60,000, the first batch of rings will ship this fall.
UPDATE: Ringly tells us that it hit $60,000 goal in less than 8 hours yesterday.