By adaptive - December 7th, 2015

One smart ring to rule them all may sound cool, but that’s not what startup neyya is trying to become. Company officials say their nascent wearable only wants to control some so-called smart devices from your finger—and do it well.

Neyya is an idea hatched in the Startup Village in Kochi, India, incubated in San Francisco, and made in Japan. The neyya smart ring (originally known as Fin) began as a well-funded Indiegogo campaign that raised more than $200,000. The product debuted November 26 in stores and online at Bloomingdales, Brookstone,, and Selfridges. Neyya President Sonia Hunt discusses the product’s potential with OMM’s Robert Gray…

OMM: First off, tell us about the name, neyya, since it’s the moniker for your company and the inaugural product.
Neyya means ‘To be led or carried to a higher path of enlightenment’. We felt that it was fitting on multiple levels as our purpose as individuals and as a company is to build soulful products.

OMM: The price point is lower than many wearables, what’s the strategy there?
If you look at the wearables space, mostly all devices are above the $200 point, which prices many consumers out
Our pricing goes back to the philosophy of the company, we wanted to produce something that is accessible and affordable to everyone. At launch we have two versions of the ring - our Titanium version retails for $139 (129 GBP) and a 18k Gold version retails for $179 (159 GBP).

OMM: Who is the target consumer for neyya?
We see all consumers as the target audience for neyya, from entrepreneurs and enterprise professionals utilizing neyya to move through slides in their presentation on Keynote, PowerPoint and Prezi. To anyone who may want to access Siri or Google Now while driving, or change tracks in their playlist as they’re working out, or get notifications of an important call while they’re at dinner. Neyya’s feature set spans across both work and play lifestyles.

OMM: The company is targeting enterprise customers—how so?
We believe remote controllers should be out-of-the-box and hassle free. So we thought that if we solved that issue, it would be a huge utility for professionals worldwide. All of the other features that were added into neyya, were pure everyday utility functions. We made a smart ring with reminders and alarms which also turns out to be your selfie-clicker and music controller.

OMM: What does the smart ring offer that the smart watch or other wearables do not?
The inspiration of our organization was rooted in gesture technologies and the goal of the ring and philosophy of the company was not to overbuild features.
We also did not want to add yet another device into a consumer’s life that forced them to go and look at their phone in order to execute what they needed to. This is why neyya does not have a screen. With simple tap and swipe gestures you can take pictures, access Siri or Google Now, move through tracks on a playlist, accept/reject calls and give presentations.

OMM: How does it work? Is there a readout on the surface--and what are the surface and the ring's band made of?
Our smart surface is a capacitive touchscreen using the same simple gestures that everyone is familiar with. We wanted to leverage this on our ring. So with simple tap, touch and swipe gestures, you can control your laptop, mobile phone and other connected devices such as GoPro and Roku.
The base material of the ring is stainless steel with either a titanium or an 18k gold finish, while the touchscreen is a polycarbonate base with a UV clear coating. 

OMM: How did you decide to control the Roku or GoPro from the ring? This seems to be a departure from the largely notification-centric smart watch.
We are avid movie and TV-goers as well as making sure a work-life balance is at the top of our priority list, especially when it comes to working out. Roku and GoPro were two obvious choices. There are so many distractions in life, when we participated in these scenarios, we didn’t want to be tethered to the device itself. We wanted to control while focusing on the subject at hand which was most important. So the ability to go on a bike ride, strap a GoPro on the top of my helmet and use touch and swipe on the neyya smart ring to take pictures of video of my ride was just priceless.

OMM: Are you striking up partnerships with other apps or even other wearables to work together?
We will wait and see what our customers demand. We feel that our initial {Indiegogo} backers/customers are part of this neyya journey, so we want to know how they are using our smart ring and what they want to see from it in the future. We see many uses for this ring, so we are open to talk to many companies that have connected internet devices, such as Apple TV and Sonos.

OMM: Could there be interference if someone’s wearing Apple Watch and neyya ring?
To use the neyya smart ring, you just pair the ring to Bluetooth and you’re ready to go. I own an Apple Watch and use both devices on a regular basis and there is no interference. 

OMM: Are there more smart jewelry pieces or other wearables planned or any timetable you can share?
We have been approached by multiple fashion designers, a watch designer in Denmark as well as an enterprise organization in the Warehouse Management vertical for custom versions of our neyya ring. We are seeing more and more companies approach us in different verticals and can see many uses for the ring. At this time we want to see the acceptance of this version and then determine what
path to go down.

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