I have a new favorite “mini” biotechnology innovation. My plan this month was to stick with October/Halloween-related posts, but this was too good not to share.
It’s the “HB ring” (heartbeat ring), the latest in a new line of “existential dread” romance technologies brought to you by the future. If both you and your loved one are wearing them, you can tap the ring to make it pulse with the other’s heartbeat.
I learned about the rings when word samurai Kristen Lamb lamented that she and her husband could never use them, as each would constantly be thinking each other was dead. That’s the rub; you have to connect the ring to an app on your smartphone via Bluetooth, which means you need your phone always on and in range while wearing the ring.
Most of us are never away from of our phones anymore (including me). Even so, this connection would have to fail on occasion. You get thirty feet away from your phone, or the phone’s battery dies, the Bluetooth pairing fails, the ring’s battery fails, etc.
Loved ones press the button to feel a heartbeat and gets a flatline instead. They drop to their knees in the middle of the street, fists to the sky, screaming WHY??? She was too YOUNG! We had a future together!
Even worse, what happens when you tap the ring, and it pulses back triple speed with a racing heartbeat? How odd, you think. Could my loved one be at the gym? No, it’s 10:00 am, right in the middle of the workday.
Chased by wolves, maybe? Possible, but improbable…
Impromptu skydiving trip?
Watching the end of Titanic when DiCaprio slides into the water?
The HB ring is just the latest in a coming wave of technologies that will keep you connected to your loved one, i.e. make sure that you don’t go a second without constant relationship validation.
It’s not even that new. The smartphone kicked this off, and it still dominates. Have you ever been in a relationship, sent a text, and wondered what was wrong if you didn’t get a response within ten minutes? Yep.
Apple came up with the first version of the “loved one hears your heartbeat” thing—you can do that with the Apple Watch. The HB ring just made it classier.
I love imagining the next iterations of these technologies. Maybe it’s a ring that tells you your loved one’s mood… nope, that one already exists (at least in smartwatch form). It’s more for medical analysis or self-improvement right now, but the “romance connection” aspect can’t be far behind.
Loved one feeling grumpy? Press a button and have a drone take them a bagel. Guaranteed pick-me-up.
The sky is the limit with this stuff. They say food is the language of love, so how about a stomach implant that tells you what your loved one just ate?
Oh, honey, you just had chicken fingers. That was our first meal together!
I’m working on a line of detached bionic hands for long-distance hand-holding. My company reproduces your hand and your loved one’s hand even down to skin texture. You trade hands, connect them to the Bluetooth app, and walk down the street in different cities while holding hands. If your loved one squeezes your bionic hand, their bionic hand mimics it.
These also work great for Halloween parties, home defense, and remote murders.
Would you wear the HB ring? Forget buying a pair—in this hypothetical, I’m just giving you a free pair. Could you convince your loved one to use it? If not, there are other options—put the ring on your cat, dog, or pet lizard.
Single people can put one on both hands and make believe…