How I Stopped Missing My Husband's Calls: A Ringly Review @getringly



THE BACKGROUND
I have a feeling I'm not going to hear the phrase "Do I have any clean white shirts" from my husband until the end of time, so I'll work with eliminating another annoying phrase I seem to hear WAY too often. "Woman. Why do you never answer your phone!"

Well, dear husband, let me list just some of the reasons: I don't always have pockets, my phone was in my purse/another room/the car/on my desk, our daughter was climbing the walls/getting into glitter pens/watering the plants unsupervised or maybe I was making dinner, cleaning, talking to the neighbors. It could be any of of the thousands of things I'm doing when I'm not on my phone.

In the end, it's always the same response. "Just answer your phone." Men. They can be so solution-oriented sometimes and frankly it's annoying. This time, however, I saw an opportunity to fix the solution.

About a year ago, I attended a session at SXSW (tech conference) on Wearables that featured a company called Ringly. At the time (wayyy back in 2014) fashionable wearable technology was pretty non-existent and only slightly recognizable thanks to the Tory Burch/FitBit collaboration. Fast forward to a year later and SXSW was abuzz with all sorts of fashionable wearable tech solutions. My own company even got on board with the sparkling Swarovski Shine, propelled by Misfit - an activity/sleep tracking jewelry wearable. What I was really excited to see however was a solution to a problem that didn't involve how many steps I was getting or how little sleep I achieve each night (although I recently got a Misfit Shine and I'm loving that too - maybe a review for another day). Ringly offered a piece of jewelry (or ring if you need me to get specific) that alerts you with a tiny vibration when triggered by an action that you define in the mobile app. So at the very basic level of this product, you can put that phone away and get back to living life - but not miss the important stuff.

And putting the phone away is something I've committed to doing lately. Like Pavlov's dog, I was very trained to respond to every notification, ding, and buzz. I am a Social Media Manager and a Blogger after all, I get a lot of those throughout the day. But during my latest trip to SXSW I had a revelation that I needed to seek more balance in my online/offline world, to become much more mindful. In short, in order to connect I have to consciously disconnect. I'm not going to lecture, but I'll let you in on a little secret, we're not doing our minds or short term memory any favors with our current relationship to technology. There are many interesting articles out there on neuroplasticity so if you want to explore it for yourself, start with this Mashable article. At the end of the day, I committed my spare time to more mindful activities like reading books (physical books so I don't get distracted), researching (I'm an Ancestry.com nerd), and writing (oh hey blog!) - instead of what I was doing before which was apparently just scrolling with a little content creation here and there. Stop and really think about it for a second, you just spent an hour online, what did you learn?

Now, I'm not an alarmist or a fear-mongerer. I LOVE technology, it is my passion (besides my family obvs!) so I'm not going to throw it out the window. Instead, I'm going to find ways to make it work for me in a balanced way.

THE REVIEW
Enter my decision to purchase my very own Ringly. And keep in mind as you read this review, like Destiny's Child - This Rock I'm Rockin' - I bought it. I actually bought it online at Bloomingdales and scored a major deal thanks to a Friends & Family 25% off discount and free shipping because it pays to be a Loyalist member. Wooooop. Original price is $195

The packaging blew me away. It's perfectly elegant and I spend a lot of time evaluating (judging?) jewelry packaging. In the box is the Ring Box charger, the Ringly, a USB cord, and instructions that literally have 2 lines: 1. Take your Ringly out of the box 2. Download the Ringly mobile app on your device and follow the setup instructions. Only 2 steps. So sexy.

Here's the outer box, and the actual box/charger that you can see in the photo above.
As someone who listens to directions, I promptly downloaded the Ringly app. Voilà. 
It doesn't tell you this, but then take the Ringly off your finger (I know you put it on, I did) and put it in that charger because it doesn't come with a full charge. I wish it did. So far my only complaint. Tech nation craves instant gratification, please come with some juice!


Setting up your profile is stupid simple. Email/name/password. Done.

Tap the 3 lines in the top left corner to display Connections (that's the top screen image you see here), Notifications, Contacts, and Profile.



On Notifications you'll select how/or if you want to be alerted for specific actions and in Contacts you can relive your MySpace Top 10 Friend days (actually you can pick more or less if you want) and see who makes the cut. To anyone reading this not shown on the list, it scrolls down - I swear. ; )

Here's the Ringly on my pale as can be hand. I was going to photoshop on a tan and some nail polish but in the spirit of "Keepin' it Real", you're welcome.

Another shot with my crystal-laden arm, Misfit Shine, and statement necklace that I always seem to wear when I take pictures of myself.

Size-wise, the ring feels comfortable. I do have smallish hands, but the size of this ring isn't small. If you're more comfortable with a very modest ring style I don't know if this is the ring for you. I also have tiny fingers and no patience so when Bloomingdale's only had size 7 or 8 I went with the 7 and will have to wear it on my index finger for now.

The ring looks a little greenish blue here, but in person it's definitely a gorgeous white almost marble looking color. I love the color of the stone and the gold setting and feel that it's neutral enough that I can wear everyday.

HOW DOES IT WORK
I've been wearing the ring for 4 days now so I figured it was time to let you know how it went. First of all, I did wear the ring for all 4 days which is sometimes an amazing feat when it comes to wearables. Unless they're "sticky" and can easily become a part of your routine, they are often left on the dresser. I had that problem with my Lumo Lift. Loved the idea of the product, but the Lumo Lift's magnetic snap on your bra function was a pain to remember in the morning. With Ringly, jewelry is already part of my morning ritual so I just put in my earrings grab my ring and go!

I'll also mention that the ring kept a charge for 2 whole days, which is pretty good. I'll probably try to get in a habit of placing it in its ring box each night to charge while I sleep.

Once you get used to the notifications they work really well. I set up three vibrations for a phone call, two for a text, and then one for Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, etc. I chose not to set up email and calendar reminders because they're not that important on my personal phone... I could see a great use for it if you were connected to your work phone.

I also like the application of setting up to only hear from certain people that you select. You can use this when you absolutely can't be bothered, but still be available to those important in your life:
calls from family, calls from your child's school, etc.

THE WOW FACTOR
People were really interested in hearing about the ring. Usually people would see the LED flashing on the side a few times and be compelled to ask about it. Most people assumed it was just a fashionable ring and were blown away when I described (gushed) about the features. I'm really excited to see the evolution of this ring's features. The beauty of today's tech world is that new features can be rolled out via the app and we don't constantly have to purchase new hardware.

THE COMPANY
I love startups with passion. And Ringly's story is inspiring.
Read the rest of the interview here.
I had to post this quote from an interview with the CEO of Ringly, Christina Mercando because I 100% identify with their three core values. I too was looking to redefine my relationship with technology, I believe that less is more and try to express that in my work and my life, and I'm weird. For sure. I'd never not want to be.

I'll be sure to provide you updates and additional thoughts as they come to me. I also hope to update y'all on my new relationship with technology. Please feel free to ask me any questions in the comments and I'll happily answer them!

So what do you think? Will you buy a Ringly?