For us, the key to a good wearable has always been design. If it isn’t something we want to be seen wearing in public, it’s not something we’re likely to buy into, no matter how sophisticated it might be. Apple gets around this to an extent with their special luxury status — the Apple Watch is by no means the best-looking wearable out there — but for everyone else, fashion has been a vexing and crucial problem that needs solving.
Often enough, the best ideas we see in fashionable wearables are from smaller companies — with the exception of Intel’s MICA. These wearables solve the fashion problem by doing away with the least fashionable part of any wearable — the screen, bearing a digital display that doesn’t look natural or luxurious no matter what watch face you slap on it. Instead, they create wearables that look like jewelry first, tech second, while adding in another wrinkle — selective notifications, so your wrist isn’t blowing up 24/7. We’ve seen this in Tyia, Ungaro’s Omate X ring, and the Kisai Link, but none of them have looked quite as luxurious as Vinaya’s Altruis.
Altruis beats the others on options in addition to tech and fashion, encompassing a whole line of rings, bracelets, and necklaces available in multiple color combinations. All of those wearables will have the same pendant, a faceted rectangle made of zirconia ceramic, the same material found on the back of the Apple Watch. That pendant houses the electronics that make Altruis tick. The pendant will buzz whenever a notification comes in, but a companion app has options to filter those notifications.
Most smartphones and wearables, including the ones we mentioned above, have a priority notifications option to some extent. Some, like Ditto, keep it simple, while others like Tyia and Altruis go for more granular tinkering. With Altruis, basic filters for emails, texts, calls, Whatsapp, and calendar notifications can be set on the app. More interesting is that multiple profiles can be set — a work profile can allow notifications from co-workers and clients, while a family or friends profile can screen those notifications out and allow only personal messages. There’s even a little something we haven’t seen before — keywords can be set, which can tell Altruis to make an exemption for messages containing a certain word or group of words.
All of the rings, bracelets, and necklaces being released now are under the Cleopatra name, suggesting to us that a lot more is on the way from Altruis. All of the present wearables come in rose gold/white, silver/white, silver/black, and gold/black color combinations and come with platinum-, gold-, or rose gold-plated details. The necklace is thin and accentuates the pendant, while the ring is thicker and has more presence. The bracelet stays comfortable with the use of genuine leather, making the whole line seem well-conceived and, most importantly, gorgeous.
The Cleopatra line of Altruis wearables are all available on their shop for between $345 and $430. Eventually, they’ll also be sold in boutiques in London, New York, Los Angeles, and Vancouver.