Forget Your Summer Camp Bling, This Is Friendship Jewelry Of The Future

Photo: Courtesy of Gemio.
Gone are the days of carefully braiding together pieces of thread (and getting immensely frustrated while trying to undo flawed knots) in the name of friendship. The next generation of tween BFFs will have a different way to commemorate their bonds: A smart bracelet that syncs up with your pals' bracelets, and lights up when they're nearby.

Gemio is a new wearable technology that alerts teens when their friends are within close distance via flashing lights and vibrating alerts. While its not the first piece of smart jewelry — nor the first friendship bracelet, for that matter — it markets itself as the first of its kind for a younger crowd that "is focused on self-expression and connecting with friends," according to a press release. You can customize the Gemio in three ways: the bracelet style itself, the detachable gems you can add or take off to your liking, and the lighting displays and settings you can fully modify on an app called MyGemio. You can also connect the bracelet to an iPhone to change the light effects while on the go.

There's no limit to how many people you can add to your network. "Gemio was designed to be inclusive," CEO Michael Bettua told Refinery29. "In fact, the more people you connect with, the more fun it is." Once you sync up your bracelet with your pals' baubles, you can program your bracelet to light up when friends are nearby (within a 50-foot indoor and 100-foot outdoor range, Bettua says) or when you perform some sort of gesture, like a wave or a secret handshake.

Users have complete control over the light effects on Gemio: You can assign alerts to a specific action or person on MyGemio, and even create your own light animations on a separate program called the Gemio Design Studio App, says Bettua. Consider these original light effects as a "code" of sorts for sending secret messages to your pals.

While the target demographic is ages 13 to 18, Bettua notes that middle schoolers and young adults also responded positively to the technology in focus groups. Currently, you can sign up for an invitation to pre-order the bracelet on the Gemio website, with pre-order officially open on November 16. Styles will range from $69 to $99, according to Mashable. Until then, we'll stick to the DIY.

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