- Works as promised
- Multiple uses
- Design won't appeal to everyone
- Of limited use
- Not actually smart
Rory slides a tentative digit into Neyya’s smart ring, a wearable device that gives you remote control of your mobile, laptop, GoPro or set top box just by wiggling your pinkie.
Wearable technology is the most buzzworthy tech term of 2015. Everybody and their dog is dipping their toes (and now fingers) in the market, and the most intriguing wearable device we’ve seen lately is the Neyya Smart Ring. The concept behind the device is simple: it may look like a (rather chunky) piece of jewellery but it connects wirelessly to your mobile phone or laptop, allowing you to control them or receive subtle notifications.
Of course, alarm bells are probably ringing if you saw our coverage and hands-on video of the Logbar Ring earlier this year. This ugly slab of plastic was supposed to do a very similar thing to the Neyya, but it turned out to be more irritating than an endless Mrs Brown Boys marathon. So, does the Neyya fare better? Here’s our full review.
Ring piece of art
Being a piece of jewellery, it’s obviously important for the Neyya smart ring to be aesthetically appeasing, or at least interesting. Well, Neyya has certainly nailed the latter. It’s available in small, medium and large sizes, with either a titanium- or gold-finished ring section. The ring itself is pleasing enough – if you’re a fan of chunky sovereign designs – but when paired with the glossy black touchpad section it ends up feeling more like a novelty piece than a serious fashion accessory.
That said, if you’re the type of person that likes to accessorise with quirky trinkets, then the Neyya could be just the ticket.
We’re not fully convinced by Neyya’s build quality, however. For one, that black touchpad doesn’t feel particularly well housed. And as using the device often involves a fair amount of rotating it around your finger, you’ll feel this rather disconcerting give on a regular basis.
Charging and storage is thankfully well-executed. The Neyya has a 10-day battery life and charging can be completed in just 90 minutes by placing the ring into the accompanying USB dock.
Put a ring on it
The Neyya smart ring connects to your smartphone or laptop via Bluetooth. Once hooked up, it’ll let you control those devices by performing various swiping and tapping gestures. For example, you can play and pause music on your phone by double tapping. Swiping up or down lets you adjust the volume, skip back and forth between tracks, or accept or reject calls – all of which is quite easy and effective.
Business users can skip through a presentation, using the ring as a remote control. Selfie fans can use the Neyya smart ring to capture photos and record video on their phone (or even a GoPro), and there’s support for controlling your Roku too.
Neyya’s next most useful function is to serve as a notifications tool. It vibrates strongly, although only once, if someone calls or messages you, which is potentially more discrete than having your mobile phone vibrate loudly in a quiet room. The ring also has a rhythm mode, which lets you activate a timer of pre-determined length by swiping and tapping. Of course, in practice this isn’t as useful as it might sound, as you’re only able to set the time in five-minute increments.
More useful is the ability to set a reminder to take medication. There’s no ability to specify what particular medication to take, but it could be useful if you’re only on one type, such as a daily contraceptive pill.
You can wear the Neyya ring on any finger you choose, as it’s mainly controlled by swiping the index finger of your opposite hand across its surface. If you’re dextrous enough, you can spin the ring around so the touchpad faces downwards, then control it with the thumb of the same hand. This tends to work better if worn on an index finger.
Ring in the changes
If you’re the type of person who can’t be bothered to pick up your phone up when it rings, then Neyya could be for you. For everyone else, it’s something of a gimmick.
Don’t get us wrong, it definitely has its uses; we love the ability to instantly resume, pause or adjust the volume of playback of music with a simple gesture. But almost all its other functions seem poorly executed at best, or completely pointless at worst.
What use is it as a music remote if your headphones already have an inline remote control? What use is being alerted to a call or text when your phone does that anyway, especially when there’s no way for the smart ring to show you who’s calling before you pick up your handset? And what use is a vibration reminder to take your medication when that vibration is the same one you get upon receiving a text?
Ultimately, we’d recommend the Neyya only to those who find its design appealing. And the interminably lazy. Or those who just want to show off. Everyone else needs to think long and hard before jumping on this particular wearable bandwagon.
|OS||Works with iOS, Windows and Mac OS|
|Bonus features||Gesture support|