These fitness-tracking toe-rings are the perfect fusion of wearable tech and Indian culture

The Lexus Design Award-winning Mettis Rings are the perfect confluence of heritage and the future. Building on the cultural significance of jewelry in India, the Mettis are toe-rings that are state-of-the-art yet culturally relevant. These toe-rings come embedded with the same technology as any fitness wearable, in a package that embraces traditional values. Toe-rings are often given to women as wedding gifts in Indian lore, and are considered to have health benefits that align with Ayurvedic practices… the Mettis builds on that by introducing technology into the rings in a way that makes those health benefits more direct and appealing to younger generations.

Even though they house technology inside, the Mettis rings embrace the persona of jewelry. Built for Titan, a prominent watch and jewelry brand in the country, the rings come with a metallic finish and sit inside one of two sleek, matte black cases – for charging at home and for charging while traveling. Originally toe-rings in the Indian culture come made from silver, which absorbs positive energy from the ground you walk on. The Mettis, however, use sensors that help monitor your health. Whether you’re walking, running, exercising, or even swimming, the rings capture your body temperature and your heart-rate, working just like smartwatches and fitness wearables do. The rings actively track your location, count your steps, monitor sleep patterns, as well as help you keep track of your period cycles… all while strongly echoing the cultural relevance of toe-worn jewelry in Indian customs and traditions.

Designer: Anshuman Kumar for Titan Industries

This hand-held thermometer + blood-testing device helps perform quick diagnostics

Putting his resources to good use during the pandemic and the ensuing global lockdown, Indian designer Anshuman Kumar has designed a conceptual device that can help rapidly scan and diagnose people for diseases by checking their body for fever, as well as testing their blood for the pathogen. The OZE isn’t just another hand-held thermometer… it’s a state-of-the-art testing device that allows you to diagnose people for not one, but several viruses.

What really sets OZE apart is its ability to do multiple things while still being a hand-held device. On its primary interface is a meter that displays the temperature captured by the infrared thermal-scope, along with advice that tells you whether you need to consult a doctor. The interface even goes the distance by displaying stats like air-quality and weather updates, serving multiple purposes. The interface acts as an output for two separate inputs on the OZE, an infrared thermometer on the front, which can read body temperature without contact, as well as a blood-test-kit on the base of the device.

Just pop the base off and you’ve got OZE’s blood-testing module that lets you instantly take a small prick of blood (like a glucose meter) and run it against a virus stream based on the cartridge loaded within the OZE. The current setup shows test-kits for COVID-19 along with the Hantavirus that suddenly popped up sometime in March in China. The blood-testing kit takes a prick, tests your sample, and can safely load another empty vial and lancet needle once the old one’s taken out. There’s even a set of pull-out finger-wipes on the OZE, allowing you to go through your test swiftly and conveniently. Diagnostic results are displayed on the same interface at the very top, laying out the information pretty clearly in a step-by-step fashion, not just for the people being tested but for the operators too. Test the temperature, if it’s indicative of a symptom, perform a quick blood test and the OZE lets you know if you need to visit a medical professional.

The device is entirely wireless and is no larger than a contactless thermometer. Designed to be used at any place where you’d see a potential influx of large amounts of people, from airports to grocery shops, the OZE just gives you an extra layer of security, allowing you to not just check the temperature, which surely is an indication of a viral illness, but to even double down on any doubtful cases by giving them a quick blood test. Besides, it tells you the weather and air-quality outside too, isn’t that just convenient?

Designer: Anshuman Kumar

Elegant element of Merc Merch


Sit back, light your cigar, swirl your whiskey and listen to some soothing Beethoven on your Mercedes-Benz wireless speaker. Oozing with elegance and class, this wireless speaker is designed with the raw sophistication of the brand in mind. Stealing your attention from the first glance, the dominant emblem speaks on behalf of the user regarding their lifestyle.

The usability of this speaker is straightforward – using a series of 3D dots to indicate what the user is touching (volume up, volume down and turn off), the speaker does not overcomplicate the experience. Hiding behind a waterproof flap in the rear of the speaker is the charging dock unless of course, you wish to use the wireless charging pad instead. The smart choices made by the designer of the Mercedes-Benz Wireless Speaker Anshuman Kumar are that of the material and color finish here – the satin finish and rich choice of colors compliment the brass emblem and make for an expensive looking product. Going off the premium look here, I think I’d get in trouble if I asked for one for Christmas.

Designer: Anshuman Kumar