It looks like 2015 will be a year filled with wearable tech, including Ringly. The collection of “smart jewelry” first revealed a single ring style with the capability to notify the wearer of important calls or messages through vibration and subtle light. Now, the company has its sights set on new products thanks to a second round of investment totaling $5.1 million. Christina Mercando, the brand’s founder and CEO, gave us a call to chat about what’s next for Ringly.
Wearable tech has become so huge in the fashion world. What inspired you to get a piece of the pie?
I didn’t set out to start a wearable technology company. In fact, when I first had the idea for Ringly, the term “wearables” hadn’t even hit mainstream. I was simply tired of worrying where my phone was — at dinner, meetings, parties, drives, picnics, hikes, everywhere — for fear I’d miss something important. Ringly was founded to solve this problem, one that many of us struggle with in our connected world: How can we stay in touch with those that matter, without sacrificing time with those we’re with?
What does this next round of funding bring for Ringly?
This year we’ll be using the funding to expand our collection, add new features, and introduce partnerships with fashion brands and designers to create a wider variety of new designs — all with the technology embedded and invisible. We also have plans to grow the Ringly team.
What do you see as the next frontier for wearable tech?
Just as we own several different pairs of shoes to address certain situations and needs — and let’s admit it, desires, too, since shoes aren’t just about function!— different wearables will suit different purposes and lifestyles. You might wear a shirt that tracks your heart rate while you’re at the gym, a bathing suit that monitors sun exposure at the beach, or a ring that notifies you about an important message when you’re at work and out to dinner with your friends. As we start shifting the conversation from gadgets to clothing and accessories, the wearables industry, like fashion, will thrive on a diversity of offerings.