Last year at Computex, I stumbled upon a cool smart ring and wrote about it. It was also my first year covering Computex and I had honestly never heard of bone actuator tech, hence the discovery of said smart ring that allowed me to make calls with my finger blew my mind.
This was the ORII ring, and a year later, I find them again at Computex and they have even more to offer.
When I first interviewed Emile and Kevin, founders of ORII’s Origami Labs, I only saw prototypes and one functioning ring for audio demos. These days, the rings are fully functional and are shipping to initial Kickstarter backers. More functionalities are added on, with even more features to come in the future.
What’s new with ORII?
For starters, the ORII ring is even smaller and more polished. It’s now at a size that I would actually wear for the tech.
And, as promised, it comes in more colors: There’s a red one that goes well with my hair, in addition to black, silver, and gray ones. This is a big deal to me because last year, there were only black and gray rings, and now color is finally here!
The ring comes with different ring sizes, too, so it fits every finger. It’s also splash-proof with an IPX7 rating so everyday wear is a possibility.
It comes with a charging dock, but it seems that the ring won’t be on it a whole lot as it has a whopping two days of battery standby time and two whole hours of talk time. That’s a lot considering you’ll only ever be using it for short commands and calls don’t usually last that long (we hope!).
So, how does it work?
With the ORII ring, you need only your finger to be able to hear things from your phone. The ring has a built-in mic so you can actually make calls — like a real spy.
Smart assistants are also compatible with the ORII. Using just the ring, you can send messages and issue smart commands to Google Assistant, Siri, or Alexa, without even having to look at your phone.
It has gesture commands and there’s also a button on the side of the ring that you can program depending on what you want it to do. For example, just raising your finger to your ear can activate the mic, or pressing the button can trigger your smart assistant.
At the bottom of the ring is a small LED light that’s a discreet way to give you notifications. Designed so only you can see the quick prompt, the lights are also fully customizable.
Meaning, you can change the colors depending on what app is alerting…
… or even choose which people messaging get special alerts.
Think of all the things you can do with this thing! Everything will literally be at the tip of your fingers.
Admittedly, I got sentimental when I tested out the ORII again. I personally saw the growth of this tech firsthand and it’s great to actually try out technology that only a year ago, Emile and Kevin were just describing to me. They’ve come a long way from last year and yet again I am impressed with their progress.
What I love about the ORII is how different it is to what we already have in the market. It’s great to see tech that breaks out from the usual mold of what current wearables are and what they do.
I’d totally rock this ring, and it’s not just because it matches my hair.
Xiaomi launches affordable Mi Super Bass Wireless headphones
20 hours of non-stop playback
Xiaomi is known for its feature-packed smartphones, but the brand has a massive presence in the lifestyle segment. For now, a lot of these products are limited to Mainland China, but the brand is slowly releasing them in its core markets like India.
Today, the Chinese company launched the Mi Super Bass Wireless headphones in India and they’re priced quite aggressively. This week is going to be even more exciting because the Redmi K20 Pro is scheduled to launch on July 17.
The headphones come with a 400mAh battery that Xiaomi claims can last up to 20 hours on a single charge. In simpler words, it is sufficient to listen to 300 songs in one go. Equipped with 40mm drivers, they are tuned to deliver high bass and pressure-less earmuffs provide a comfortable listening experience over extended periods. The head beam is adjustable and has elastic shafts to rotate the ear muffs.
Lastly, they connect to any smartphone via Bluetooth 5.0, offering wider range and capability to connect two headphones simultaneously to one phone. They can also be used along with a wire if you want truly acoustic output. Operations can be handled via voice commands thanks to an in-built mic and support for virtual assistants.
They’re priced at INR 2,199 (US$ 32) and can be purchased via Amazon.in. Prime Day sale is going on and they can be grabbed for just INR 1,799 (US$26). Color options include Black and Red, as well as Black and Gold.
Previously, Xiaomi has launched its range of smart TVs, air purifiers, and light bulb in India. A couple of weeks back, they also unveiled a trimmer. We expect the brand to launch more of these in the coming future as it slowly scales up operations.
5 accessories to protect yourself and your gadgets from the elements
Don’t just get an umbrella, duh!
I hate changes in weather. One minute it’s hot and sunny like a perfect summer day, next minute, it’s raining as if Zeus and Poseidon are having the war of their lives. Monsoons got worse thanks to climate change, especially in tropical countries. It’s now even more impossible to predict the weather so you need to stay ready for all kinds of elements.
So we scoured the internet to help you prepare. Here are the accessories you need to protect you and your gadgets, of course, without getting out of style.
Dress your phone with a pouch and a case
Ready to brave the storm? Make sure you put your phone on a waterproof pouch. I know, I know. The thought of using a waterproof pouch sounds cringey. But of course, you don’t have to sacrifice style with this one. Most waterproof pouches let you change their straps to something fancier.
In particular, Travelon’s Clear View Waterproof Pouch comes in five colors and you can still tailor the strap to your preference. For something clearer and more transparent, Anker has a pouch but it looks a little bit tacky.
For those who’d want a case instead, LifeProof offers one of the best waterproof cases in the market. Most cases look bulky and sturdy, but LifeProof made it more fashionable with its bright and popping colors.
Stay fashionable while you protect yourself from the elements
Of course, nothing beats a good old umbrella when it comes to protection against the rain but you can up your style by picking one that’s clear and transparent. Even better if it’s a bubble or a dome-shaped one.
Additionally, you can keep your gadgets and makeup safe with a waterproof bag. Fjällräven has an array of water-resistant and waterproof backpacks that don’t compromise style. Brands like Doughnut and Pacsafe have a set of stylish yet functional waterproof bags, too.
Lastly, cap off your style with a water-repellent raincoat or parka. This particular blush pink raincoat by Cole Haan should be a part of your ensemble, especially when it’s raining. Avoid using black, neutral, and earthy-tone since most people would prefer using a darker hue when it’s raining, and you won’t stand out if you wear the same colors.
For those who don’t feel like wearing a raincoat, Uniqlo has a Blocktech line of water-repellent parkas that you can use casually or for your outdoor needs. NikeLabs has a longer parka as well if you prefer using one!
If you want the world to see your OOTD, you can opt for a transparent raincoat so people can see what’s underneath.
Bonus: Get a water-resistant watch!
If it’s raining while on your way to an important meeting, chances are you’ll be keeping your gadgets inside your bag to prevent it from getting wet. This might keep you from tracking time. Thus, you need a watch that can handle these kinds of elements. Apple and Samsung both have smartwatches that are water-resistant yet stylish at the same time.
Now, who told you rain can’t be fun?
Get free Lightning cables by planting trees
Stay charged for the planet
Sturdy Lightning cables that don’t break the bank are hard to come by, but one brand is here to save the day — and the planet.
You can get a free Lightning to USB cable from Nomad by making a donation to plant trees. You can choose the amount to donate — US$5 for 5 trees, US$10 for 10 trees, or US$20 for 20 trees — and 100 percent of the proceeds go to Carbon Fund. For comparison, Apple’s Lightning to USB cable starts at US$19.
Funds raised will help address deforestation in Brazil. Deforestation in itself is responsible for about 20% of global warming. Reforestation will help reduce climate change as trees absorb carbon dioxide emissions. Planting trees also helps preserve biodiversity, control flooding, and creates jobs.
Nomad is committed to offsetting all carbon emissions generated from production up until final delivery, so each shipment will be completely carbon neutral. The initiative will run until supplies last.
Money may not grow on trees but by getting a Lightning cable, your money can help plant trees. Visit Nomad’s website to get your free Lightning cable today.
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