Cuff smart jewellery aims for fashion first, tech second

Wearable technology that goes beyond watches and glasses, CuffLinc is a module that can be swapped between bracelets and necklaces
Cuff smart jewellery aims for fashion first, tech second

Wearable technology is still very much in its infancy, and one of the main criticisms against it is that, well, it looks more technological than wearable. A San Francisco-based jewellery company called Cuff aims to change that.

Cuff will make pendants, bracelets and keychains that are designed just as much with form in mind as function. These are items, the company says, that you’ll want to wear not just because they are technologically smart, but because they make you look great.

Cuff and ready

Looks are a subjective thing, of course, and Cuff’s upcoming range of jewellery (available for pre-order, due out at the end of 2014) may not appeal to everyone. But it’s certainly more likely to prove a hit with style-conscious sorts than the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch or Google Glass.

In terms of smart features, Cuff is a lot simpler than most of the wearables we’ve seen so far: it can’t provide you with notifications from your smartphone or keep track your fitness activity. It’s instead a personal security system that allows you to reach a circle of pre-approved contacts in case of emergency (or just because you need them to get in touch with you).

Paging your friends

Cuff iOS app

It’s based around the CuffLinc, a small black tracker (it resembles a piece of onyx) that offers Bluetooth 4.0, GPS tracking, a year-long battery and compatibility with an iOS app. The CuffLinc can be swapped between all nine items in Cuff’s initial jewellery range and, when pressed, will send an alert to your contacts, both via their CuffLinc (which vibrates) and their smartphone. The location data from CuffLinc’s GPS means that the alert can be restricted to the contacts nearest your location, and it can be set up so that double clicking will send the alert only to a selected “inner circle” of contacts.

It’s a bit like a pager and sounds limited in scope, but Cuff says that there will be more applications for it in the future. Because it links to your smartphone via Bluetooth, CuffLinc could be used to skip songs in your music player, control your phone’s camera shutter and more. An Android app is also pencilled in for future release.

Cuff’s initial range of jewellery is aimed at women and priced from US$50 to $150 (RM165 to RM496), with the CuffLinc included if you pre-order. Items will begin shipping in the autumn.

[Cuff via CNET]

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