Pretty and Practical: A ring that alerts

At first, Ringly struck us as one of those ridiculous person-who-has-everything items: It’s a $200-ish ring that vibrates when you get a call or other mobile message because Heaven forbid you’d take your phone out of your purse. But at second glance, we realized seniors could customize the vibrations to signal reminders of medication times, appointments, and other health alerts. And it’s gorgeous.

Clockwise from top left: Black Onyx, Pink Sapphire, Rainbow Moonstone, Emerald (sold out). Courtesy: Ringly

Clockwise from top left: Black Onyx, Pink Sapphire, Rainbow Moonstone, Emerald (sold out). Courtesy: Ringly

It looks like a high fashion gemstone ring, so even if it’s not used for its intended purpose, it’s a lovely piece of jewelry for those who can afford it. Unlike hearing aids and other obvious medical devices, there’s no reason to worry you’ll “look old,” if you wear it.

It could work well for independent seniors who’ve set health apps and medication alerts on their phones or tablets, as well as for caregivers and long-distance children who need to make sure reminders are received. If you can wear a ring to bed, you can wear Ringly. It’s water-resistant (you can wash your hands with it on), but not fully water-proof, so don’t try to swim with it.

We caution that we don’t know how heavy it is, the designers describe the 14 x 19mm center stone (that’s about ½ by ¾ of an inch) as “approximately the size of an almond.”

The rings are being offered, for now, only in sizes 6, 7 and 8 and cannot be re-sized. Ringly is taking discounted pre-orders at $145-$180, depending on the stone, and planning to ship rings in the fall. Retail prices will be $195 and $260. The company plans to eventually offer different designs, including styles suitable for men. (Men with a bold sense of style may like the currently available black onyx ring.)