SLIDESHOW

High-tech bling: 10 jewelry concepts for gadget geeks

Smart jewelry that's much more than ornamental, it's essential.

Baubles and bits

We can’t leave the house without our smartphones, tablets, fitness trackers, MP3 players, and handheld gaming consoles. Regular folks (okay, supernerdy regular folks) are sporting Google Glass, and wearable tech is one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry.

And now we have high-tech jewelry. Gigabytes are becoming a girl’s (and guy’s) best friend, and we’re not talking about recycled circuit boards made into earrings. Necklaces that double as portable file storage, communication devices disguised as rings, and bracelets that pack miniature presentation projectors—some are available for purchase now, but most are still in the concept stage. This is high-tech jewelry that’s beautiful in form and futuristic in function.

Interactive electronic bracelet

Designed by Biju Neyyan using flexible OLED technology, this clever bracelet concept has a lot of tricks up its sleeve, thanks to a Bluetooth component.

You can upload your own designs or messages, or connect the bracelet to your music player to display the track information or sound-activated animated patterns. Receive text messages, or simply enjoy animated leaves tumbling around your wrist.

Image courtesy of yankodesign.com

Interactive electronic bracelet

Regrettably, Biju Neyyan's high-tech bangle (see the previous slide for details) is only a concept. It was proposed for a jewelry-design workshop at Politecnico di Milano, Italy.

Philips Design

Vibe emotion-sensing necklace

The Vibe emotion-sensing necklace from Philips Design is intended to read multiple biometric signals from the wearer via a combination of conductive ink and textile sensor technology, and then to communicate the signals to other devices.

This design concept is meant to explore the possibilities of applications such as emotional gaming or mind and stress control—and it’s definitely more advanced than your mom’s mood rings.

My Life USB Ceramic Necklaces

A simple, modern take on the locket, this very wearable line of necklaces comes from designer Helena Rohner for Danish brand Kähler.

These ceramic pendant necklaces, available in a variety of interesting shapes and stylish colors, use a magnet to hide a 2GB USB drive inside. Each pendant comes with a color-coordinated cord along with three additional cords so you can switch up the look. They’re currently available online for $72.

Mini Projector Bangle

Perfect for the undercover executive, this beautiful ABS concept bangle by Prospective Design Studio disguises an HD projector, mini speakers, and a USB 2.0/3.0 port for adding your presentation and audio files.

A magnetic clasp keeps it secure around your stylish wrist; at showtime you just set it on a surface and swipe the touch-sensitive surface to move through your slides. And to keep the meeting from running long, you can consult its LED clock, too.

Image courtesy of yankodesign.com

Orb mobile communications ring

This prototype Bluetooth device by Hybra Advanced Technology is designed to transform from a ring to an earpiece for your mobile phone.

As a ring it displays text messages, meeting reminders, and caller ID, as long as your phone is less than 30 feet away. When you receive an incoming call, the ring vibrates, and you slip it off, give it a twist, and place it in your ear. The ring is still under development, but we’re saving all our spare change in hopes that it will be available to purchase someday soon.

Via buzzpatrol.com

Security Ring

You are now free to wander away from your desk without the risk of coworkers infiltrating your computer, thanks to the concept Security Ring designed by Yang Hai and Mingshuo Zhang.

You wear the ring while the base stays near your computer. Set your own distance requirements, and whenever you venture farther than the established parameters, your computer automatically locks down. Now no one has to know about your Justin Bieber wallpaper.

Image courtesy of yankodesign.com

Tron-like USB jewelry

Another take on useful USB jewelry, the Vilnvixn: Intelligent Accessories collection includes bracelets and necklaces in bold, modern black-and-white designs.

Designer Isaac Appiah cleverly embedded a USB thumbdrive into a casing that works as a chain clasp. A second Redux line features even simpler cuff bracelets with a definite masculine edge in black, red, and white, with a wooden accent on the USB stick.

Tron-like USB jewelry

Vilnvixn, a coterie of creatives, clearly expresses its design mission in these accessories—the pieces not only lean toward minimalism but also reflect Vilnvixn’s belief that information is the currency of our generation.

MP3 player and earring buds

Listening to music in public has never been so elegant (or discreet) than with this gold set by designer Lee Won-Jun.

The earrings double as glam earbuds while the matching bangle bracelet reveals itself to be an MP3 player that syncs with your computer. If this design were to go into production at any forward-thinking jewelry company, it would quickly find its way onto many a tech-savvy fashionista’s wish list.

Image courtesy of The Creators Project

MP3 player and earring buds

This close-up image shows Lee Won-Jun's bracelet player being charged and synced, and how the earbuds fit.

Now we just need someone to start production so that we can give them all our money.

Light-up engagement ring

It would be hard not to be dazzled by this unique, custom LED engagement ring created by Ben Kokes.

Code-named “Project Longhaul,” the ring consists of gems that are set into a titanium band and lit from behind with an LED and copper-coil assembly. The ring lights up only when in close proximity to an alternating magnetic field transmitter, secretly worn by the one popping the question. (She said yes, in case you were wondering.)

Sterling-silver USB jewelry

The final entry in the USB jewelry category, the sleek and polished limited-edition collection by German designer Tonia Welter features fine jewelry—with file storage—for men and women.

Starting at about $245, these sterling-silver cuff links, substantial bracelets, and delicate pendant necklaces come in a matte or shiny finish and can be upgraded with gemstones, engraving, or alternative metals. That’s some high-end high tech.

Sterling-silver USB jewelry

The Palermo bracelet, shown here in sterling silver with a shiny finish, is another example of Welter's designs.

Sterling-silver USB jewelry

The Munchen bracelet, in sterling silver with a matte finish and a leather band, also by Tonia Welter.