Diamond rings are worn to express one’s eternal love. What about a smart-ring that actually helps with extending your love longer? After thousands of years of wedding ring revolution, and nearly a century after De Beer’s brainwashing diamond ring advertisements, how do we think about love and the representation of diamond rings now? Is helping your partner to stay healthier and live longer a more romantic gesture than precious stones? Are stones too superficial for the newer generation?
Looking down history from the ancient times to the Renaissance, rings were often made with uncut diamonds and precious metals with engraved passage and interlocking designs. The rarity of these materials represented the unmeasurable “value” of love and its durability represents the “undying” love. However, wedding rings were not a household owned by every couple, it was mostly popular among the rich or the royal due to its production price.
Post WWII, De Beers made diamond wedding rings a common gesture for every newlyweds. A simple sparkly band was orchestrated to symbolize the love tied between the soldiers and their partners while separated by WWI and WWII. Marilyn Monroe’s famous song “Diamond’s A Girl’s Bestfriend” was also a part of the campaign that was marketed by De Beers to further build on the connection between diamonds and love during the mid-century eras. But in recent decades, diamonds rings are acting more and more like a wedding routine than a special item that carries the meanings of “you’re my one and only”.
The tradition of gifting diamond rings in today’s world seems more like a romanticized eternality than anything else. We have passed the stage of cherishing hard stones as rare materials (thanks to man-made crystals) , and the problem of distance is brought closer with technology. Many of the old days challenges and ideals no longer applies to us.
Since 2020, life and death has become a daily subject. Instead of rare stones, health and the amount of time that you get to spend with your love ones are regarded as the new luxury. If eternality means the length of this lifetime, than extending our lifespan is a more practical way to “preserving” of saying “I love you forever” isn’t it?
“Love should be measured by how long you get to spend time with your partner,
not how big is your partner’s diamond ring.”
Tech and especially AI are viewed as unemotional and perhaps a “cold-hearted” object. Plus, the earlier designs of wearables weren’t exactly “wearable” as those rings were too focused on the development side rather than designs that normal shoppers would appreciate. Thanks to smart-ring innovators, the industry is finally seeing smart ring brands like Oura and Motiv that are bridge the gap between wearable technology and design, bringing out the best of both worlds – functionality for meaningful designs.
Oura and Motiv both uses infrared sensors to measures your body’s biometric data and offers daily health insights. It comes with modern designs and affordable pricing (a fraction or more than how much a diamond ring cost!) that could help you and your love ones to measure and optimize their daily rituals. Oura also offers rings with diamond designs just in case you miss the bling.
It is inevitable that more functions will be injected to existing objects, especially wearable accessories. Old cultural ideals and means will be altered with more useful applications to actually help us achieve what we want. Biometrical rings are just a small step of the digital revolution. Are you considering to buy a wedding ring this year? Would you choose to buy a smart-ring instead of a traditional ring?
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