Arts / Startups / Technology

Ringly: wearable tech startup from Christina Mercando to keep it simple

A Greenpoint entrepreneur wants to be fashion first, with tech built in.

Christina Mercando, cofounder of Ringly. Photo by Brady Dale.
In a previous version of this story we described part of Mercando's studies at Carnegie Mellon as "human computing." She studied Human Computer Interaction. (1/9/14, 9:28 a.m.)

Ringly’s first device will be very simple, by design. It will be a notification device.

Founder Christina Mercando doesn’t want to cram more functionality into the first product. She isn’t running a tech company, after all, Ringly aims to be a fashion business with a tech twist.

Since its million-dollar seed round, the wearable tech firm caught our attention.

Mercando’s new venture is, in a way, a big shift from her previous role at Hunch, the personalized recommendations site acquired by eBay in 2011 for its expertise in machine learning and predictive modeling.

Now, she’s getting tangible with her second cofounded entrepreneurial effort (the first was a music magazine she started with friends after college, called Loose Record). Wearable tech is a natural extension of the subjects she studied at Carnegie Mellon, though, she said, Fine Art and Human Computer Interaction.

The biggest challenge for Ringly has been miniaturization, with a focus on the power source, said Mercando. She’s been working on this problem, with Ringly’s team of three, during their stay at the Highway1 incubator in the Bay Area, a part of the hardware springboard’s first class of projects. After the team presents the latest iteration of Ringly at the end of their stay in late January, they will return to New York.

Mercando lives in Greenpoint, but the team hasn’t yet found a work space to return to when they come back to the city.

The public will finally get to see Ringly’s design (or designs — it could be either) when it does its initial release. Look for a release in the summer. Be sure to get on their email list, as they are likely to do a beta release.

Companies: Ringly
Series: Brooklyn

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