Smart jewelry is gaining ground. In recent years, we saw smart rings, smart bracelets, smart lockets, of different stylish designs and executing various functions. But smart jewelry makers seemed to avoid one small concept: the smart earring. (And who can blame them? It’s hard to tuck all that technology into one small piece of ear wear!) With one exception: Bio-Sensive Technologies – a startup that just recently introduced Ear-o-smart.
Said to be “the world’s first smart earring (patent pending)”, Ear-o-smart is a fitness tracker disguised as beautiful ear wear. Just as any other fitness tracker, it can monitor your heart rate, calories you burn and your daily activity level. But unlike your regular tracker – the cluncky band covering your wrist – Ear-o-smart was especially made for the earlobe. And there were several reasons behind this approach, as Ravinder Saini, the President of BioSensive Technologies Inc., explained in an interview for DigitalTrends:
“During research for my Master’s degree, I was trying to figure out a way to monitor health data in an unobtrusive way. I found that many people were not comfortable with wearing smart watches or wrist bands and moreover the wrist is not the best spot to get heart rate data. Physicians have been using earlobe based monitors for a long time, so it was just the matter of scaling down the device so that we can embed it into earrings.”
Interesting is just how much they were able to scale down the device. But even more interesting is the customizable, do-it-yourself aspect.
“We came up with the idea of modular earrings, where you can have an ear smart fitness monitor and put in your own gem, your own stone and let your creativity define your personality,” Saini added.
So far, the team have created two stylish designs for their smart earring. But they don’t want to limit users’ options. Which is why they’ve also created the Do-it-Yourself (DIY) kit that enables you to use the actual tracker(or circuit board) with other covers – gems and stones of your own choice –, and to choose between clip-on or normal earrings.
What would it be like to develop your own smart earring? Just think of all the possibilities! I’m almost day-dreaming! Okay, now back to reality; here are some technical details as well – Ear-o-smart:
- Includes a LED that “reflects” the blood present under the skin; this technology is called photoplethysmogram (PPG) and monitors pulse through blood flow in the skin.
- Includes Coin cell battery, antenna and sensors
- Transmits data through Bluetooth
- Comes with the Ear-O-Smart app that instructs users to switch exercises based on their heart rate zone.
Personally, I think the project should receive more attention and support. Even if it didn’t reach its funding goal on Kickstarter, there’s a great chance the concept will catch on. ‘Cause one thing’s for sure: we’ve entered the era of smart jewelry, and it’s just the beginning of it.
Okay, so what next?
Taking a step back and looking at the latest developments, I dare say I see another trend shaping. Just as with the DIY side of ear-o-smart, fashiontech developers have started to put much more emphasis on user customization. After all, when we wear, try or buy something – especially a fashion item – the experience is all about us. So we should be able to customize it as we please!
Share your thoughts in the comments below!