Charged Up and Street Legal

Charged Up and Street Legal

Previously a concept car, the plug-in hybrid BMW i8 can run on its lithium ion battery for some 23 miles and, depending on road conditions and driving mode, its fuel efficiency can exceed 100 mpg. It can also accelerate up to 60 mph in under five seconds.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Changing Styles

Changing Styles

With an interchangeable module, Cuff's technology can be used in a variety of jewelry, from bracelets to necklaces.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Keeping Watch on Pets

Keeping Watch on Pets

Another entry in the pet technology space, Petcube lets users watch and interact with their pets via a smartphone app, video camera, and laser pointer they can control.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Organic Food Testing

Organic Food Testing

The Penguin, from BioSensor Laboratories, lets people test their organic food for the presence of antibiotics, pesticides, and traces of other things they do not wish to eat.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Elite Phone Privacy

Elite Phone Privacy

KryptAll sells iPhones it has equipped with security technology that operates on a network of servers to eliminate any records of conversations---such as location, time and duration of calls, and anything else that might reveal private details.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Health Monitoring

Health Monitoring

The InBody570's sensors take a range of readings about a person's body, including skeletal muscle mass and distribution of body fat, for health management.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

More than Pedal Power

More than Pedal Power

ProdectoTech's electric bicycles can accelerate up to 18 mph to 20 mph. The off-road Rebel X (foreground) is priced at about $3,000; and the Phantom X line starts around $1,400.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Reflections on Televsion

Reflections on Televsion

When turned off, the screen on this television from Seura becomes a mirror and part of the household's décor.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Xconomy New York — 

A plug-in hybrid BMW sports coupe, gold-plated encrypted iPhones, and another player in smart jewelry vied for the attention of the well-to-do last week at The Luxury Technology Show, hosted by New York-based events company Rand Luxury.

These gatherings bring out typically pricier examples of consumer technology, aimed at folks who might be interested in dropping $5,000 and up for a smartphone designed to eliminate any trace of their calls (see slideshow).

Some items spoke to more everyday use. San Francisco-based Cuff, for instance, brought out an array of smart jewelry in one of a growing number of efforts to make wearable devices more mainstream. “We wanted to reimagine what wearables look like and also what they do,” said founder Deepa Sood.

Rather than performing a laundry list of tasks, she said, Cuff has just three functions: activity tracking, message notifications, and emergency alerts.

At the heart of Cuff is a removable module, where its technology resides, that can be transferred from one piece of jewelry to another. So far Cuff has nine products, including necklaces, bracelets, and, naturally, cuffs, with more in the works. “Many women, myself included, don’t wear the same jewelry every day,” Sood said.

Smart jewelry has a variety of players rushing to market, including New York-based Ringly, which is backed by First Round Capital, High Line Venture Partners, and Andreesen Horowitz. At least one entrant to the field seems to have faltered, though: The website of ringblingz, a graduate of the first class from the R/GA Accelerator, is not active and e-mails to the startup bounce.

For its part, Cuff raised a $5 million Series A round in January, led by New Enterprise Associates, with Tugboat Ventures and Tandem Capital participating. The startup also entered into a manufacturing and distribution partnership with Richline Group to get jewelry in more consumers’ hands.

The appeal of smart jewelry is the simplicity that lets people stay connected to their smartphones without constantly staring at the screens, Sood said. Cuff, like its rivals, is trying to be a fashionable option. “We don’t want to be an iPhone duct-taped to your wrist,” she said.