Ringly GO bracelets are coming to Target Ringly

The smart jewelry brand Ringly just debuted meditation and mindfulness features in a corresponding app Monday, in addition to a new partnership with Target. Ringly founder and CEO Christina Mercando d'Avignon told International Business Times the $125 Ringly Go bracelets should be available at Target stores by next week. This move reflects a wider shift in the wearable tech industry: a growing awareness of women tech consumers alongside a push for more affordable high-tech jewelry.

“I’m really excited about the direction the wearable tech industry is going,” she told IBT. “It was shocking to me when I first started out that other companies weren’t considering this market [women] more.” Mercando said she hopes this will be the first of many Ringly products to be sold at Target.

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Ringly was considered a pioneer in high-tech fashion when the New York company started in 2013. Most early smartwatches had a bulky, unisex design. Ringly’s stylish jewelry with decorative stones and a variety of colors were eagerly received by tech-savvy women. TechCrunch reported in 2015 the company raised $6.1 million and sold out of presale orders. Today, Ringly’s variety of rings and bracelets are available through retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Barnes & Nobles and now Target. High-tech fashion is quickly moving beyond niche luxury markets.

Wearable tech designed specifically for women has become a mainstream fashion trend. Designers like Michael Kors and Kate Spade, just to name a few, have their own smart jewelry lines. Forbes reported CCS Insight updated their industry analysis in 2016 to estimate the wearable tech market will be worth $34 billion by 2020. Mercando believes wearable tech options will soon be as diverse as the shoe industry.

“We’re not going to have a one-size fits all device,” Mercando said. “We buy different shoes for different purposes, and they have different styles. I believe the wearable tech is going to be very similar in the future. There are going to be many brands playing in the ecosystem.”

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Demand for health and wellness features, beyond mere fitness tracking, is driving the wearable industry’s expansion. Similarly, Ringly’s GO bracelets are equipped with more than just standard fitness tracking features.

It can also be set up to vibrate or flash a subtle light if an important notification, such as an email from your boss or child, comes in. “I just wanted to leave my phone out of sight, out of mind more,” Mercando said.

The corresponding app has content to help users sleep well and reduce stress, in addition to tracking steps. She told IBT the next generation of Ringly’s smart jewelry will include similar alert features to help users time breathing exercises and meditation practices. And although Mercando couldn’t offer a timeline for the upcoming mobile payment feature, she confirmed the company is still collaborating with Mastercard to enable mobile payments directly through Ringly jewelry.

In the near future, stylish women will be able to leave their wallets behind and go shopping with just a high-tech bracelet, one that looks more like traditional jewelry than a gadget. “I wanted to make things women are excited to wear,” Mercando said. “I think it’s starting to catch on with other wearable companies. But there’s still a long way to go.”