Wearable technology has become a fashion statement for fitness conscious young and old alike. While Fitbit and Apple Watch have considerably established market, Warren Buffett’s venture into wearable technology has come as a surprise.
Berkshire Hathaway’s subsidiary Richline, a precious metal jewelry manufacturer and distributor is launching a smart-jewelry line called Ela. Ela comes with an Italian quartz stone center and a variety of bands ranging from 18 karat gold plated to leather straps. The company is initially launching 4 variants in bracelets. With time, Richline plans to experiment with more materials and introduce other categories like rings and necklaces.
To help develop Ela’s technology, Richline acquired the wearables firm Vaiwear. The smart jewelry is compatible with Apple iOS and Android devices and connects via device’s bluetooth. Ela stands out in a way that it has a variety of designs and assortment of material. The device sends alerts by glowing and vibrating when someone calls or texts. One can assign up to 8 colors for 8 different contacts.
Richline Group product and innovation manager Cliff Ulrich explained, “We’ve designed Ela to be jewelry first. As a jewelry company, we understand jewelry retailers and consumers, what they want to carry and buy. They want to create an emotional connection, whether you’re giving Ela as a gift or buying it for yourself because you just got a bonus. Ela allows you to save memories in your jewelry, like a modern day locket.”
With Ela, one can store pictures, voice recordings and songs that can be later checked on smartphones using the Ela app. The bracelet can also be used to track user’s steps using Apple’s HealthKit and Google Fit.
While Warren Buffett seems to be very optimistic about this new product, a veteran tech analyst Paul Meeks, Chief Investing Officer for financial management firm, Soly Dalh and Holst finds the idea far-fetched.
He says, “Buffett rarely invests in technology; and besides Apple’s stock, his track record [on tech] has been poor. I don’t use him as a credible fashion or tech source regardless of his investment success.”
Ela will be available for a price between USD 195 to USD 295 on Amazon and other independent jewelers from April.