Company News | April 27, 2020

Why Proxy acquired smart ring startup Motiv

by Denis Mars, CEO

Today, we shared exciting news — that we have acquired Motiv, the maker of the world’s most popular smart ring and hired a majority of their employees. We are thrilled to welcome the Motiv team to Proxy — it’s an incredible group of technologists that built many of the components and manufacturing processes of their breakthrough smart ring from scratch. They won numerous innovation and design awards and ultimately created what is now widely regarded as the most advanced and innovative smart ring wearable on the market.

Equally exciting is what this means for the future of wearables as a category. At Proxy, we believe wearable technology is still in its infancy. Wearables are where mobile phones were in in the 90s, the flip phone days. For the most part, they have been relegated to fitness and sleep tracking, when we see more profound purposes possible.

With this acquisition, Proxy plans to bring digital identity signals to smart rings for the first time and revolutionize the way people use technology to interact with the world around them. We believe it’s possible to ignite a paradigm shift in how people use wearables to interface with the physical world, so they can do and experience things they never have before.

Advancing wearable technology has been a key element of Proxy’s strategy since the company was founded. We started the company with the vision of a universal identity signal that each individual owned and controlled, and we named our company Proxy because our wireless identity signal technology acts as a person’s proxy in the physical world. It made sense to start building this signal into smartphones because everyone already has one in their pocket, but smartphones were always just the first step towards creating the future we envision, where ultimately humans and signals merge as one. Enabling smart rings and wearables is the critical next step in our journey.

As we move into the VR, AR world and as more and more devices get connected, we see a need for new form factors, such as a smart ring, that can open up more natural and exciting new ways for people to interact with their devices and environments. With the ring on one’s finger, constantly in contact with the human and biometrically linked, we start to enter a new world of what we define as the fusion of humans and technology; man-machine symbiosis. Silicon intelligence starts to merge with carbon intelligence by working together, passively and constantly in the background, where the human is empowered to operate at a more efficient and higher level, while technology works to remove friction and provide resources to the objects around us so that they can better serve us.

The smart ring offers the unique opportunity for biometric authentication that is constantly in contact with you, continuously confirming your identity and augmenting you and your presence along with your personal preferences, and secure credentials towards devices and spaces around you. The smart ring is designed to be worn 24/7, and advances in battery technology are enabling longer battery life of 7 days and more between recharge. The ring form factor also goes places your phone doesn’t. You swim with it, you sleep with it, you run with it, you cook with it. While we do carry our phone’s with us most of the time, it’s not 24/7, and efforts from industry leaders like Apple and Google have been aimed at actually reducing screen time to avoid negative impacts to health and wellbeing. The possibility of an ever-present, ever-authenticating identity device, working passively and wirelessly in the background, opens up new ways to augment humans in the physical and digital worlds, create powerful new experiences, and change the way people interact with their environment.

As my team and I began to explore expanding into smart rings, we surveyed the landscape. We knew about Motiv, and I’ve been a big fan of Motiv’s technology for years, so through mutual friends I got to know the Motiv team and technical co-founders where we began a conversation around a possible partnership. Over the past year, while we had started to do preliminary work to integrate Proxy into Motiv’s existing ring, we concluded that the best way for Proxy to accelerate its move into wearables is to bring the technology under our roof. When the opportunity to acquire Motiv presented itself earlier this year, we knew it was the right path to advance our smart ring efforts. 

By incorporating much of Motiv’s patents, technology, and advanced manufacturing, Proxy will accelerate our wearables timeline by at least a couple of years. I wish I could share all of the exciting things we’re working on to advance the smart ring forward. What I can say right now is Proxy has already begun work to foster the next paradigm in what wearables can do and has a number of smart rings under design and development, aimed at creating new experiences and unlocking new use cases that will move us further into the post-smartphone era.

This acquisition places Proxy at the forefront of human-machine symbiotic technology that will lead a revolution in the way we identify ourselves to all objects around us and how we interact with our environment. With AR, VR and advancements in crypto coming together, the timing is right for us to create a future we can all look forward to, one where your privacy and personal data stays yours and in your control, where everyone has their own terms of service and is empowered to curate personalized experiences everywhere they go and with everything they interact with. 

We have a lot of work to do as we enter this next phase of our journey towards a frictionless world and we’re excited for what’s to come.

Stay tuned!