It seems like every other day we read about some far-out, new technology that makes us scratch our heads and say, "What the heck?" In this series, we'll take a look at all types of crazy new gadgets, apps and other technologies -- and the entrepreneurs dreaming them up.
If the gadgets on display at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show are any indicator, the market for wearable technology -- smartwatches especially -- is exploding. But, wait a second. There's such a thing as a smart ring now, too? Why, yes, there is.
The Smarty Ring is an actual ring you wear on your finger, which features an LED screen that tells you the time and Bluetooth 4.0 technology that pairs with your iOS or Android phone and actually accepts calls.
This is no bulky, obtrusive accessory. The Smarty Ring is sleek enough to grace even the most elegant finger. Made from allergy-free, surgical quality stainless steel, the screen alerts light up a cool green or blue, and the buttons of the remote control are so unobtrusive as to be almost invisible.
It's even waterproof, and can alert you if your phone is more than about 100 feet away from the ring, so you don't forget it somewhere.
According to the Smarty Ring page on crowdfunding site Indiegogo, the average mobile user looks at their phone every six minutes to check for text messages, voicemails, Facebook messages and other notifications. This little accessory puts all of that right at your fingertips: incoming and outgoing call notifications, alerts for text and email messages, real-time updates from Facebook, Twitter, Google Hangout and Skype.
Though the ring itself doesn't have speakers or a microphone, the remote control functions of the ring allow you to accept or reject incoming calls, make outgoing calls to preset numbers, take a photo with your phone's camera, control your music, or change your profile. And the clock function can remember up to five different time zones, in addition to providing a stopwatch and countdown timer.
The Smarty Ring is in development, and their Indiegogo campaign ended up raising almost $300,000 -- significantly more than their $40,000 goal. Backers of the campaign were able to pick up their very own Smarty Ring for only $175, though the retail price will be somewhere in the range of $275 when it makes its public debut sometime around April, 2014.
What crazy apps and gadgets have you come across lately? Let us know by emailing us at FarOutTech@entrepreneur.com or by telling us in the comments below.